Cedar Point's loose change helps charity

SANDUSKY A few pennies tossed in the fountain may not seem like much -- but they add up to a sizable
Annie Zelm
May 24, 2010



A few pennies tossed in the fountain may not seem like much -- but they add up to a sizable chunk of change for a local soup kitchen.

Cedar Point's vice president, John Hildebrandt, presented the Rev. Lonnie Walters of Victory Temple Soup Kitchen with a check for more than $5,700 Monday morning.

The money from the park's Loose Change Fund helps the soup kitchen assist those in need, Walters said in a previous news release.

Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes said park employees collect loose change throughout the year. Much of it comes from water fountains, money dropped along the Midway and coins that fall from rides such as Demon Drop.

"It's something everybody contributes to and participates in," Innes said. "We take pride in trying to help people this way."

Throughout its 20-year history, the Loose Change Fund has donated more than $182,000 to various agencies -- including hospital pediatric wards, food pantries and other organizations that benefit children or families.

Last year, the fund collected $6,800 -- all of which it distributed to Victory Temple Soup Kitchen.

Innes said Cedar Point chose the soup kitchen for the past two years because of the economic hardships in the area.

"It seems like each year there are more people who need assistance," Innes said. "We figured it'd be a good way to help as many people as we can."

Cedar Point also recycles its aluminum cans collected through bins in employee break rooms each year and donates the proceeds to the Burn Care and Reconstructive Center at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.

The money helps purchase non-medical items and services not covered by insurance that are essential to each patient's recovery. The fund is also used to provide burn prevention education programs for children throughout northwest Ohio and helps send recovering burn survivors to a regional summer camp designed especially for burned children ages 6-18.

This year, they collected about $800 from aluminum cans. Last year, the cans generated almost twice that amount -- about $1,400. In the past 19 years, Cedar Point has raised more than $29,000 for the fund.