Fundraiser helps local youth battling cancer


Jake McLeod, who is battling cancer in his leg, will be at the Timberwolves Athlete Student Society bottle drive in the CN Centre parking lot Saturday.
Jake McLeod, who is battling cancer in his leg, will be at the Timberwolves Athlete Student Society bottle drive in the CN Centre parking lot Saturday.

If you’ve saved up some bottles and cans over the winter and are looking to get rid of them, Saturday is a good time to do it.

Not only can you get your recyclable bottles and cans out of your way, but you can help a local youth who is fighting cancer. The Timberwolves Student Athlete Society is holding its Fill the Bus bottle drive on Saturday, March 31 in the CN Centre parking lot.

“The initiative started last year with a little girl named Olivia Frost who was fighting cancer,” said Francesco Bartolillo, president of the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society. “At the time we just wanted to help the family as much as we could.”

Pacific Western donated a bus and the goal was to fill the bus with recyclables. They raised close $4,000.

“We basically try and fill the bus,” said Bartolillo. “Last year we filled the bottom of the bus in an hour and we had a pile, probably four feet tall, in front of the bus.”

This year they wanted to do the same type of initiative and started the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society MVP of the Month initiative. With the help of the Canadian Cancer society, they select a child who is fighting cancer and help them and their family with some of the costs. In addition, some of the funds raised go to cancer research for children.

This year they will be helping Jake McLeod, who will be attending the drive.

“Jake McLeod is now graduated from Duchess Park,” said Bartolillo. “He is a football player, so he’s a good fit … athletes helping athletes. He’s going through a battle. He has a pretty aggressive form of cancer in his leg. We just want to help as much as we can.”

The society held a flag football tournament a couple of weeks ago, which raised some money and they wanted to do some more so they brought back the bottle drive.

Pacific Western has donated a bus again this year and it will be parked in the CN Centre parking from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

If you don’t want to wait until Saturday, starting on Wednesday you can take your recyclables to the Prince George Recycling and Return It Centre and donate the proceeds from your recyclables to the bottle drive.

All 70 members of the Timberwolves Student Athlete Society will be out on Saturday helping with the drive and and some will actually go door-to-door on a few select routes through town.

“It’s nice to see all our athletes out there being involved in the community and seeing the community give back to the cause, which is Jake and family and cancer research,” said Bartolillo. “We go through challenges every day and we think it’s tough and then you see some of these individuals who are fighting massive challenges like cancer and they always have such a positive attitude.”

Emily Holmes is vice president of charity and Owen Stewart director of charity for the Timberwolves Athlete Student Society, which was formed this year. All three have been heavily involved in organizing Saturday’s event.

So, it’s time to get rid of those bottles and cans. Take them down to CN Centre on Saturday and help out a local youth who is battling cancer.

The pile of recyclables collected last year.
The pile of recyclables collected last year.