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Local youth collects bottles for ARCH

Sault youngster Ryker Brocklesby used his summer to raise money for ARCH
Ryker Brocklesby spent this past summer collecting empty bottles and cans to help ARCH Hospice. Photo supplied.

Most kids look forward to their summer at camp to have fun with friends, eat ice cream, and soak up the sun, but for Ryker Brocklesby, he saw the summer as an opportunity to help his community. 

The 9-year-old decided at the beginning of his family’s camping season at Sunset Shores in Batchawana Bay that he would do bottle collections throughout the summer and donate the money to ARCH Hospice. 

“We suggested that he do the job but keep 50 per cent of what he raised for himself as it was going to be a lot of work and commitment and he was going to have to do it right until the very end of the camping season,” said Shannon South, Ryker’s mother. 

South posted on the camp’s Facebook group about Ryker’s charity work and through that and word of mouth, the whole camp became aware of it. 

“People would send us messages about what campsite they were at and then as the summer evolved, he just walked around the entire campground and everyone knew to put their bag or box of empties in front of their camp. They knew Ryker was going to come by with his blue wagon and pick them up,” South said. 

Ryker collected the empty bottles and cans from the end of May until Thanksgiving.

In total, he ended up raising $1,500 for ARCH. His original plan was to keep 50 per cent of his earnings and use it to buy himself an iPad, not realizing how much he would actually raise. 

“I’m extremely proud. He blew me away. At first he wasn't even thinking about an iPad, his first statement was ‘I want to collect cans for charity’. We’re the ones who made the suggestion of keeping 50 per cent and donating the rest to ARCH,” said Steve Brocklesby, Ryker’s father. “We said that he could maybe get an iPad out of it and we would pay the rest for the iPad. All of a sudden he reached the $1,000 mark and Ryker decided that he would donate $1,000 to ARCH and only keep enough for the iPad. There were people around the campground telling him to keep half because he’s doing so much work but he just kept on saying that he will donate $1,000.”

Ryker and his family would like to thank all of their friends and camp family at Sunset Shores and the Voyageur for helping out. 

“I would especially like to thank the Voyageur because we hit them with a truck bed full of empties every weekend. They were awesome up there,” Brocklesby said. 

Ryker says he is proud of himself for raising that much money, and still managed to enjoy himself while doing the work. 

“Some of my friends helped me and whenever they would help I would get them a treat from the Voyageur,” said the Grade 4 Isabel Fletcher student. 

He will be presenting his $1,000 on Thursday. 

“I’m super excited to hand in the money to ARCH,” he said.