A Chain of life

A 900-foot long chain of aluminum can tabs will help thousands of children and their families around the states sleep better at night. Throughout the year, a joint effort between Castleton State College, Castleton Elementary School and Castleton Village School raised a record breaking number of these aluminum tabs for Shriners Hospital for children. Shriners Hospital for Children is a health care system of 22 hospitals that provides free pediatric specialty care to children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lips and palates, according to the hospital’s web site.

The aluminum tab fund-raiser helps make these children’s stay at these hospitals more comfortable and brighter.

“All medical care from the Shriners Hospitals being free, the money from these tabs will pay for non-medical wishes such as IPods so the children can listen to music, a computer to Skype with family and friends, a stuffed animal to hug

and love,” says Jan Rousse, assistant director of the Robert T. Stafford Center for the Support and Study of the Community. “It can also be used to help the child’s family stay close by the hospital, for lodging and food.”

Rousse said she’s not sure how much money was raised by the tabs because hospital officials keep the tabs until the aluminum market peaks and then they sell them.

The fund-raising effort culminated with a celebration at the Castleton State College stadium this past Thursday. Rousse, the students involved, Shriners Representative Derek Corbett, Dana Pulkinen of the CSC Student Government Association and Castleton College President David Wolk were among the attendees and speakers.

“This must set a record,” stated Wolk in amazement. “It does set a record, a lot bigger than former years.”

The celebration began with a jaw-dropping entry by the more than 150 students involved with the fund-raiser. They entered the stadium, single file, carrying the seemingly never-ending chain of tabs. This entrance ended with the students standing in the shape of a C, for Castleton, around the majority of the football field.

“I am very impressed by this,” said Corbett, toting his official Cairo Shiners’ hat, “because the effort that you put into it certainly is tremendous.”

Everyone attending the celebration was at awe at the sight of the oversized chain of tabs.

“I think that it’s a really great thing to see how many students are here representing all the things that you have done in the past year,” Pulkinen said to the students, “and I just want to thank you for the work that you guys put in, because I know it’s a lot of fun for you guys and I hope you guys are having a lot of fun doing all of this.”

Although the Castleton fund-raiser is over for the year, people can still help by continuing to collect and save their aluminum tabs, Rousse said.

“Your help is needed. Save your aluminum can tabs throughout the year, including the summer, and bring them in the fall when the fund-raiser returns,” Rousse said. “Have your family and friends collect them too.”

Those interested in volunteering for next year, individually or in a group, can contact Rousse in “The Center” at the Moriarty House, 62 Alumni Drive.

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