One by one, the cars filed into the Crossings of Colonie. And one by one, Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan and several volunteers carried off the donated bags of bottles and cans at a Saturday, Jan. 31, fundraiser for the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society.
Executive Director for the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society Brad Shear said community members donated enough cans and bottles at the event to fill a tractor-trailer.
The fundraiser was held to replenish the humane society’s stock of recyclables following the Monday, Jan. 26, discovery of a break-in at the Menands facility. A rear shed filled with bottles and cans (about 7,000, Shear said), was emptied some time overnight.
The shed was completely full, and usually when the shed is full we get about $500 for the cans, said Shear.
Typically, the can and bottle reimbursement rate is 5 cents per unit, but since the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society separates all the cans and bottles they collect, Shear said, the organization receives 7 cents per can or bottle.
The money is used to pay for food and supplies for the many animals that are sheltered at the humane society, as well as the vaccinations needed to keep them healthy, Shear said.
Menands police have not yet identified a suspect involved in the robbery and are still working on the case.
The day the break-in was discovered, Mahan announced that the town would be holding a fundraiser at the Crossings to recover some of the cans and bottles that were lost.
The fundraiser, which was held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31, allowed residents to bring bottles, cans and pet food donations to the Crossings. According to Shear, many people came with those items, as well as cash donations.
`We had no concept of what the turnout would be like,` said Shear. `We just weren’t prepared for this.`
Mahan took a pause from pulling bags out of cars to talk about the town-wide effort being displayed at the park Saturday.
`It’s been bumper-to-bumper like this the entire time I’ve been here,` she said.
Mahan said she was happy to see so many residents coming out in the negative temperatures to help out the humane society.
`It’s beautiful to see the community to respond like this,` she said. `And it’s wonderful that we could set it up here at the Crossings.`
On Monday, Feb. 2, Shear estimated that the humane society got back nearly 10 times the amount of cans they lost. In addition, Shear said, Price Chopper has pledged to match the reimbursement rate of the total number.
Public Relations Manager for Price Chopper Barbara Page said Price Chopper plans to match the dollar amount of the bottles and cans raised `nickel for nickel.`
Also, Page said, a representative of Price Chopper presented Shear with a cash donation amounting to about $250, which represented money raised by employees in the corporate office of Price Chopper.
While the events that lead to the fundraiser unfortunate, the goodwill it inspired was apparent to anyone who attempted to use Albany Shaker Road the morning of the fundraiser.
When asked whether the robbery was a blessing in disguise, Shear replied, `If you’re going to be robbed, it’s great that the community can come out and support you like this.“