ERIE — A Monroe County high school recently raised money for its prom by taking in scrap metal donations from the community.
Volunteers set up a scrap metal collection site in the Mason High School parking lot on April 9. Workers greeted vehicles and unloaded trucks and trailers full of metal items while a crane placed the scrap in a large collection bin.
The event originally began as a low-cost idea to raise money for prom. Now in its fifth year, the scrap metal drive is Mason’s primary funding source for the dance, bringing in between $1,000 and $2,000 each year.
Mary Ansel, an aide for Mason Consolidated Schools, coordinated the event. She said that the program has been a great success for raising the necessary funds to pay for the school’s annual prom.
“The first year we did this, we tried a bunch of fundraisers, and we didn’t hardly make any money,” she said.
While other types of fundraisers come with associated costs, Mason’s scrap metal drive is essentially free for the school to host.
“We put nothing into it,” Ansel said.
Jerry Yanak, a Mason dad who works for North-South Trucking in Monroe, brought a crane to the site, as well as a collection container that was donated by his employer.
Ansel said that they accept a wide range of items during each annual drive, from small scraps to large items, and can schedule pickup appointments for those who cannot haul their scrap to the collection site.
“We take anything, as long as it has metal on it,” she said.
Ansel added that this time of year is advantageous for getting scrap donations, as people clean their yards and garages during the spring season.
Ansel’s son, Jacob Ansel, is a senior at Mason. He was onsite to help unload scrap from vehicles and place the items near the crane. This was his second time volunteering, and he said he enjoys the event, which enables him to work for his own prom.
“It’s actually pretty fun coming out here,” he said.
Mary Ansel said that two other volunteers help with pickup arrangements, traveling to people’s homes with a truck to collect their donations. She also recalled that one of the largest items they ever accepted was a van that was donated during a past drive.
“That was so exciting,” she said. “Someone pulled up (to the drive site) and said, ‘Hey, if you can get our van here, you can have it.’ If you ask (Jerry) to do something, he’ll figure out a way to do it – and he did. We used the crane to put the van in the (bin).
“It was very cool.”