Nine-year-old raises $500 to help his aunt

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As far as the eye can see: Anthony Clements poses with bags of returnable bottles and cans he's collected. He has been giving the money from returning them to his aunt, who has cancer.

VOORHEESVILLE — A 9-year-old Voorheesville Elementary School student has been collecting cans to help his aunt, who is battling cancer. He has collected around 10,000 returnable items over the course a month.

Anthony Clements is giving the money from the return to Tammy Ferriro, said his stepfather, Shawn Maxwell. Ferriro has been undergoing experimental chemotherapy after experiencing a third bout of cancer in the last four years. The money will go towards her medical bills.

“I just felt bad for my aunt,” said Anthony.

He got the idea to raise money by returning cans when a friend at school mentioned that she had some at home. He told his mother, Christina Stevens, who said it would be a great idea.

Anthony made a Facebook post asking for people to bring their cans and other refundable items to his house. The family leaves their garage door open for people to drop off items, or they drive to meet someone to get their cans and bottles. They’ve traveled to Schoharie, Voorheesville, Altamont, and the Hilltowns to pick up returnables.

“When I mean they fill up our garage, they fill up our garage,” said Maxwell, of the items dropped off by people.

Bottle and can deposits are limited to 240 items per person at most stores, and so the family must travel to different venues to drop off hundreds of dollars worth of bottles and cans. Maxwell said they’ve gone to the Colonie Beverage center, Price Chopper in Slingerlands, Shoprite in Slingerlands, and the Voorheesville Hannaford, among other places. It can take three or four hours at a time to drop off the returnables, he said.

Anthony had set a goal to raise $500 for his aunt. After returning $134 dollars worth of cans last night, he has made $546. He plans to set a new goal of $1,000, and, once he reaches that amount, the money will be donated to a fund that helps people with cancer.

He is also a Boy Scout, a lacrosse player, and has Type 1 diabetes. His brother, Riley, has autism, and so the family is familiar with raising money for different causes.

The family will also be holding a fundraiser for Ferriro at the Altamont village-wide garage sale on May 6.


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