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Bottle drive Saturday funds cadet activities

Air cadets from the 809 Newark Squadron drill team put on a display for the crowd at the Wednesday Supper Market at the Village. They are holding a bottle drive in Niagara-on-the-Lake Saturday to help fund cadet activities. Penny Coles/Niagara Advance

Air cadets from the 809 Newark Squadron drill team put on a display for the crowd at the Wednesday Supper Market at the Village. They are holding a bottle drive in Niagara-on-the-Lake Saturday to help fund cadet activities. Penny Coles/Niagara Advance

Penny Coles

Niagara Advance

Twice a year the Niagara-on-the-Lake air cadets hold a bottle drive to offset costs of operations and extracurricular programs.

Fundraising committee member Gary Zalepa says the funds help pay the rent - the group leases space now at the Royal Elite International Academy on Niagara Stone Road - and help with the cost of programs such as gliding instruction at the airport, new equipment, and weekend camping trips for field training exercises. The cadets also enjoyed a weekend at London Airport last year, where they were able to use the flight training simulators, and at the end of the year, the junior and senior cadet groups enjoy a field trip.

Cadets and their parents will be picking up empty liquor, wine and beer bottles or cans in the Old Town and Garrison Village this Saturday, Sept 16, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The cadets ask that pick-ups be left outside in a visible location.

Bottles can also be dropped off at Van Noort Greenhouses at 2069 For Mile Creek Road between 8:30 and 3 p.m., and in Queenston at 5 Front Street.

The cadets also have a permanent depot located on East West Line across from Royal Elite (the former high school), at the home of Scott Ruttan - there is a sign to mark the location.

This year, twelve cadets are headed to Vimy Ridge in October to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. The battle occurred April 9, 1917, and was the first time four Canadian divisions fought together as a unified force, Although 3,598 Canadians were killed during the campaign, the battle has come to represent Canada’s progression from dominion to independent nation.

The 12 cadets will leave for Europe Oct. 5, and will have the opportunity to visit battle sites at Vimy and Juno Beach, cemeteries and national monuments.

Zalepa says this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the young people to stand on the battlefields, see the graves and the memorials, and experience the reality of what they have been learning about.

“I think it will be very powerful for them.”

They’ve been researching the history of the area and are looking forward to being there, he said.

“There will be some experiences that will be made available to them because they’re Canadian cadets.”

The teens going on the trip have also been been fundraising, and have about $5,000 to cover about $40,000 in expenses, he said.

“It won’t pay for it all, but every little bit helps.”

Air cadets are part of a national organization whose purpose is to develop in youth the attributes of leadership, engaged and active citizenship and physical fitness, all within a safe environment. The program is jointly managed by the Canadian Forces and the Air Cadet League of Canada. Cadets have the opportunity to participate in gliding, drill, sports, public speaking, marksmanship, aeronautical subjects and weekend, as well as summer, training programs.

For more information on the 809 Newark Squadron Cadets and their fundraising, email notlcadetstovimy@hotmail.com, visit www.809cadets.ca or call 905-468-7584.

Donations to the Vimy Ridge trip can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/NOTLcadetstovimy.

 



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