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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Post-holiday bottle drive helps support NOTL air cadets
12 year old Teia Epp sorts through bottles donated to the cadets at Cornerstone Community Church on Saturday. Julia Sacco

In a town without a Beer Store, the 809 Newark Air Cadets were happy to collect NOTLers’ holiday empties during Saturday’s cadet bottle drive.

Cadets were out collecting bottles at Cornerstone Community Church, the St. Davids Lions Club and the NOTL Legion to support extracurriculars, training activities and general unit upkeep.

“The public seems to appreciate it. It gives them an opportunity to clean out their garages,” said commanding officer Lieut. Dan Couroux.

“We strategically place it right after the holidays and that’s what leads to this,” said Couroux, gesturing to the countless boxes collected outside Cornerstone Community Church. 

The Legion was the group’s busiest location and cadets had filled two trailers and a truck cab with donations by noon.

Civilian instructor Joachim Dau led collections at the Lions Club and said plenty of donations were received. 

“Niagara-on-the-Lake has a unique situation to take advantage of because we don’t have a Beer Store here,” he said. 

Joe Cossu recently moved to the community and used the collection day to get rid of a year’s accumulation of empties, something many people in the community do.

“A lot of people hang on to (their empties), some even collect from neighbours,” said Dau.

“In many ways, it ends up being a community event.”

Ethan Epp and Prestan Peters, both 14, braved the cold weather to help out their squadron.

Peters said joining the cadets has been an excellent way to meet new friends and get involved with the community.

“It brings people together.”

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