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Matthew was a student at the Daisy Ingraham Elementary School in Westbrook. While in the 4th grade, Matthew lost his much adored teacher to cancer. The teachers, students and the entire community were saddened by this loss. She was an incredible person and wonderful educator. She had become ill during Matthew’s 4th grade school year and so his class was aware of her struggle. When she passed, it was very hard for Matthew to understand and grieve. Matthew’s mom suggested he have something positive come from something so sad and together they came up with Bottle It Up! And that is how it all began…
It started at home with family and friends collecting .05-cent eligible bottles and cans, making the redemptions and collecting the receipts, watching it add up. Matthew’s brothers, Andrew and James became quickly involved helping collect bottle, cans and promoting the Bottle It Up! message and goal. The word spread to Matthew’s current middle school and his brothers continued Matthew’s work at Daisy Ingraham School. Within a few months, parents, administrators, teachers and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center joined in to help raise awareness of our program and as a result lead to us collecting even more bottles and cans. The motto Matthew created, Bottle It Up! “Let’s put a cap on cancer, and find a cure!” was spreading quickly.
Matthew, Andrew and James have chosen to donate the funds collected to the Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital to help with cancer research. Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital was contacted and they continue to send us letters of acknowledgement of all donations made from Bottle It Up! through their Closer To Free Fund. We continue to spread the word, collect bottles and cans, and keep going one bottle, one can at a time. Together, along with Matthew, Andrew and James we can put a cap on cancer and find a cure!
With much thanks and gratitude,
Matthew, Andrew & James
Matthew, Andrew and James