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Wednesday May 6th, 2015

Posted at 12:00pm

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Have 99 empty bottles of beer on the wall? If so, you can help a good cause.

The Beer Store is preparing for their Returns For Leukemia fundraiser. Taking place on Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24, the annual event turns empties into cash to help fight the illness.

“The main part to the bottle drive is the weekend itself, where customers are asked to donate all or a portion of their empties to volunteers outside of the stores,” said Kingsville Beer Store manager, Nick Russell. “All money raised from the bottle drive goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC.) It all stays in Canada and is used in research, patient services and patient education.”

People who don’t have empties can still help too. All stores will accept cash donations and can issue tax receipts if the amount is large enough. Those unable to donate can also lend some manpower to the cause however. Anyone interested is asked to visit the bottle drive’s website and click on the “volunteer” link.

Additional events to raise money are being held in Windsor as well. Windsor Eats is hosting Bikes And Beers, where participants sample beers and food while cycling through the city. Tickets for the May 16 gathering are available on Windsor Eats’ website.

Another unique fundraiser is scheduled for July 25. The Light The Night Walk will take place at Coventry Gardens, giving people a chance to get some more exercise.

“For that we need people to walk and raise pledges,” said Russell. “It’s a night time walk at the Peace Fountain park with LED lanterns. I’ll be asking all my friends to walk, just a heads up to them.”

Returns For Leukemia isn’t new to the Kingsville manager. Being involved with the bottle drive for a decade, Russell was once its Windsor coordinator. Teaming up with another manager he used to compete with, they’ve continued to expand their job and are now district coordinators.

Of course, this means they’re always looking towards the next big event.

“A fellow manager — our other coordinator — and I plan year round,” said Russell. “We also have contests in our district for donations at certain times of the year. I’m in charge of all peanut sales for the company as well. I help our related product coordinator with orders and help distribute nuts to stores that run out. Funny enough, my title for that is ‘Top Nut’ coordinator.”

In 2014, Returns For Leukaemia raised $1,707,012.24. Although they’ll be happy with any money received, those participating this year hope to beat that number. In total, The Beer Store has raised $10 million for the LLSC in 10 years.

Many stores will also raise funds through barbecues and small events on May 23rd and 24th.

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