It was a busy summer for Penticton’s Coyote Cruises.
The Coyote Cruises team, alongside Adolf and Lesley Steffen, returned 33,000 empty bottles throughout the summer with a particular goal in mind: giving back to the community.
With a final total in hand – over $2,000 – Coyote Cruises manager Jonah Cramer presented the cheque recently to the Outma Sqilx’w School.
“Coyote Cruises is a Penticton Indian Band business, so we thought, ‘Why not give back to the youth there?’”
The Coyote Cruises team brainstormed before the beginning of the season and came up with the idea of donating collected bottles. They finished collecting at the end of the season.
Cramer said he’s unsure of whether or not Coyote Cruises will donate to a new recipient next year or continue to give back to the cultural school, but knows the crew wants to continue donating each season from the empty bottles collected.
“Everyone was very happy, it was a really positive reaction,” Cramer said of presenting the cheque. “It was just a very good experience.”
The money, said Cramer, will mostly be put towards supporting the educational programing at the school, specifically in arts, language and culture.
But the team’s hard work went above collecting, sorting and returning the bottles: Cramer said the team continuously educated the public on the importance of recycling.
Many of the bottles, he said, were left behind by channel-goers in designated recycling bins thanks to that education and reminder from staff.
“It’s the first step towards cleaning and respecting the land,” he said.
Cramer said his three-year-old daughter attends the school and absolutely “loves it there.”
“She’s in junior kindergarten with some of her cousins,” he said. “She loves it (there).”
Coyote Cruises operates the popular channel float and shuttle buses on Penticton's Channel Parkway.