The Prime Family Bottle Drive amassed a huge amount of donations back in 2018. COVID has forced the organizers to make it a drive-thru event in 2020 and it will be that way again for 2021. (Aldergrove Star files)

The Prime Family Bottle Drive amassed a huge amount of donations back in 2018. COVID has forced the organizers to make it a drive-thru event in 2020 and it will be that way again for 2021. (Aldergrove Star files)

Langley family gearing up for fifth annual bottle drive to fight juvenile arthritis

People can bring their recyclables on Saturday, June 26, in a drive-thru style format

Save your bottles advised the Prime family, host of an annual collection in support of juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

The bottle drive is returning for its fifth year on Saturday, June 26, and people looking to help out can stop by but they won’t have to lift a finger.

Charlene Prime said the bottle drive will be held in a drive-thru style format once again this year due to COVID-19 precautions.

“Drive in and drop off,” she said. “We’ll unload you.”

The collection – dubbed by participants as the biggest bottle drive in Canada – began as a way to for the family to give back.

Prime’s teenage daughter Jaylene has battled juvenile arthritis. In fact, her family was the first in B.C. to receive reimbursement for the life-altering arthritis drug which costs $19,000 a month on a six-month trial basis.

While Prime described her daughter’s health as “fantastic” in recent months thanks to a new medication, they haven’t forgotten the plight of other children suffering juvenile arthritis.

Cassie + Friends, a Canadian charity the family knows well, is dedicated to transforming the lives of kids and families affected by rheumatic diseases through research, awareness, connection and support.

“We owe everything to Cassie + Friends. They have done so much for us in helping our daughter,” Prime said. “This is our way of giving back to them.”

Since its inception in 2017, the bottle drive has raised more than $52,000 – with $20,000 of that figure coming from last year alone.

READ MORE: Jaylene “pays back” Cassie and Friends

“I think it was COVID. People are drinking at home and have lots of empties,” she explained – hoping that the longevity of the lock down will only amplify the bottles and cans donations again this year.

The fundraiser is already off to a good start despite being several weeks away; Prime said she’s gotten calls all year long about if people can drop off bottles. She’s already accumulated $4,000 worth so far.

Anyone interested in donating on the drive day can stop by between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 25095 Robertson Cres.

“Watch for all the big signs we’ll be putting around Robertson,” she said.

While sponsors, games, and even food are often part of the Prime family bottle drive – COVID has curtailed those, though there will still be prizes up for grabs from Save-On Foods and Bonetti Meats.

Volunteers will be masked and practising social distancing.

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