Jill Wierzba, friends donate more than a million ‘pull tabs’ for Ronald McDonald House

Sep 6, 2023 | Around Ottawa County | 1 comment

Executive Director Chad Bridgman of the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Ohio in Toledo gets ready to haul away a donation of more than 955 pounds of aluminum pull tabs — about 1.33 million of them — collected by Jill Wierzba of Port Clinton and her friends.

BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN

Pull tabs, the little aluminum devices that allow a thirsty individual to open a beverage or beer can, have been an obsession for more than a couple of decades for Jill Weirzba of Port Clinton. Wierzba and her friends and neighbors, who have also been collecting them for her, have made a difference for more than two decades for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Northwest Ohio in Toledo.

Jill and her husband, Ted Wierzba, are a well known couple around town and volunteer for many worthy causes. The couple have been a mainstay of the Sunday Brunch at the Elks Lodge 1718 in Port Clinton for many years. The Elk Lodge funds many charities around the area with the buffet breakfasts, and has for decades joined Elk Lodges around the world in supporting United Cerebral Palsy.

Jill began collecting pull tabs after a friend’s granddaughter and child stayed at the Ronald McDonald House years ago.

“The Ronald McDonald House (next to Ebeid Children’s Hospital) is 100% funded by local donations, and their mission allows parents to stay near their hospitalized children during medical crisis,” she said. “Kids in the hospital need parents nearby all around the clock, and the Ronald McDonald House is is only a few steps away.”

More than 600 parents can stay there while their boys and girls receive medical care in Toledo. The pull tabs collected from schools, churches, libraries, factories, hospitals, service organization and local communities offset half of of the RMHC food budget, said Chad Bridgman, Executive Director and President of the Toledo facility.

Why not donate the whole can? Only the pull tab is pure aluminum, while the cans contain paint and other metals, which thwart recycling.

“We get the most pull tabs from the Eagles Lodge in Port Clinton, as well as the Elks Lodge and Port Clinton Yacht Club,” said Jill. “The RMHC sends us plastic tubs to store the pull tabs, and this year we donated 955 pounds of them. Chad Bringham was going to recently bring a van to haul them. We suggested a pickup truck was really needed.”

It is estimated that almost 1,400 tabs make up a pound of aluminum. Jill’s massive 955-pound collection was estimated at about 1.3 million pull tabs. Anyone collecting pull tabs can contact Bringman and the RMHC can call 419-471-4663 Ext. 6107.

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1 Comment

  1. Carolyn

    Jill Wierzba and Ted and friends are very special people. What a difference alot of people did
    together,to help people in need of being near their family .
    I have saved a few hundred, but was blown away by the amount of tabs they collected.
    Well done.

    Reply

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