On a stormy Saturday, the annual “Shred Day” for Special Olympics made $2,321 “in spite of the rain,” said Geri Murray, who started the annual event about 10 years ago.
“Not one piece of paper was lost to the wind,” reported Murray. “A big thank you to ShredNW who donates its shredding truck and driver every year.”
ShredNW, based in Gresham, provides the service and waives the 50-cents-per-pound fee, Murray said.
“The truck left with more than 6,700 pounds of shredded paper,” brought by about 35 people, who remained in their cars, among other pandemic-dictated safety measures, in the event at Rite-Aid parking lot on Oct. 10. Some people chose to watch as their papers were elevated into the shredder, Murray said.
The financial result was slightly above most years, which average around $2,000. Donors bring papers to be shredded on site, and Murray accepts donations for the service, She turned over the proceeds to Karen Nietzel of Hood River, who works with Gorge Special Olympics.
Shred Day is usually held the second week of September, but Murray was told this summer that, due to COVID restrictions, it had to wait until after September in order for athletes and volunteers to participate as they normally do. So the Oct. 10 date was chosen, but Murray received renewed word that the prohibition on participants’ involvement had been extended to Nov. 1. Also, she could not do as much publicity because Special Olympians were not directly involved in the event itself.
“Waiting any longer than we did just does not work, because of the weather,” she said. “So we decided to call the event a fundraiser, with the money going to Special Olympics. We missed having the volunteers and athletes involved, but Ronnie Simmons stepped up.”
Simmons, a Hood River resident and Special Olympics volunteer, offered to recruit some volunteers and she and five other people joined the effort, braving not one but two downpours in the process.
“These people stood fast in the face of drenching downpours and wind, taking refuge under a tarp stretched between our cars during times while waiting for more patrons. We had someone bring us homemade soup for lunch, delicious and very welcomed, to warm us up,” Murray said.
Murray, who works for Gorge Winds Realty, said several members of Mid-Columbia Area Realtors showed up to have documents shredded and support the fundraiser.
“Community members were so generous and we appreciate everyone who turned out,” Murray said. “It was a very good turnout, and hopefully we will be back to holding it in September in future years.”