Community penny jar collects $5,000 over six years

Choices Retail and Recycling Centre on King George Boulevard may be closing its doors, but it will be leaving a legacy in community health care.

For the six years the centre has been open, manager Gary Allan has housed a Pennies for the Peace jar where customers can drop off spare change to be donated to Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation.

With his most recent donation of 12 kilograms of pennies, the recycling centre’s total donations have reached more than $5,000.

The centre has also donated to the hospital through its Containers for Care bottle deposit program.

“This is a great example of local business making a big difference in our community,” hospital foundation executive director Jackie Smith said in a prepared statement. “Gary Allan took his environmentally friendly service to the community and parlayed that into a hefty donation in support of our hospital.”

The centre will be closing because it is not economically viable to remain open, Allan said, noting the date is still to be determined.

Although he will be moving on, Allan said he has fond memories of the last six years.

“I loved it here, this was great,” he said. “I like the people.”

Proceeds from the recycling centre have been designated to the area of greatest need at the hospital throughout the 2006-2011 Pennies for the Peace campaign.

For more information or to make a donation, contact the foundation by calling 604-535-4520 or visiting

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