Scrap metal sends kids to camp

EVERETT — Rusty old lawn mowers, water heaters, car parts.

Garfield Elementary School teachers and volunteers saw it all during the scrap metal drive held Saturday to raise money for science exploration camp for fifth-graders.

The teachers were worried about not having enough donations, but they got more than twice what they expected, Principal Shannon Koehnen said. Five huge containers loaded with scrap metal were sent back to Seattle’s Independent Metals Recycling, which provided the containers.

“We probably have 100 lawn mowers and 50 barbecues,” Koehnen said as she looked around the parking lot.

All day on Saturday, people brought loads of scrap metal, with half a dozen vehicles waiting in line to unload.

Some kids even stopped by to drop off empty soda cans.

Tim Wade, who lives nearby, saw signs for the fundraiser posted at the school and brought more than 100 pounds of aluminium, bronze, brass and copper.

“This is the more expensive stuff here,” he said.

Wade was on his way home to grab the rest of his valuable scrap metal.

The school hopes to raise $5,000 to pay for the annual camp, which takes place in May. It was too early to tell on Saturday how much the donated scrap metal might be worth.

A few people who stopped by also donated cash, fifth-grade teacher Alissa Dersom said. Somebody left an envelop with a $200 money order, signed “from a former student.”

People who dropped off scrap got thank you posters signed by fifth-graders.

Steve Craft of Mill Creek heard about the drive and decided to lend a hand. Craft runs a gourmet popcorn business, and his popcorn was for sale during the drive, with proceeds going to the camp. Craft spent all day loading and unloading scrap.

“It’s amazing how hard these people work,” he said, helping a fifth-grader wheel a car engine across the parking lot.

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452,

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