Elementary school headed to pop tab title

Sharma Jean and Morgan Chappell are leaders in the pop tab collection effort.

Dolores Elementary School is on track to be the largest pop tab donor to the Ronald McDonald House of Southern Colorado this year.

"The kids just really went with it," said Michelle Chaffee a member of the PTA.

So far, the school has collected 198 pounds of the aluminum tabs, said PTA member, Donna Guggenheim, who helped start the program.

There are about 1,280 tabs in a pound, and a pound brings in 45 cents.

The charity collects the tabs because cans are messy to store, said Sam Rush-Walton, a representative with the nonprofit.

The Ronald McDonald House hosts the annual Mountain of Love pop tab collection competition for about 70 schools in southern Colorado, and Dolores Elementary has a very strong lead, she said. Last year, pop tab donations brought for the $3,000 nonprofit to help the families of seriously ill children.

Guggenheim said she hopes students learn to help others in need through the competition.

"I think kids understand it better than some other kind of charity," she said.

The organization helps provide housing, gas money and other necessities to the families of children who are being treated at Memorial Hospital for Children or St. Francis Medical Center.

Sharma-Jean Chaffee, 9, and her sister Morgan Chaffee, 6, some of the largest donors, said they collect pop tabs from pet food cans, their neighbors and Belt Salvage.

"I want to try to get kids out of the hospital and help their families with food," said Sharma-Jean.

To contribute to the effort and help students win the competition, bring pop tabs to the front desk of the elementary school before March.