Peyton’s Promise collecting pop tabs in downtown Wausau to honor toddler’s life

Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 8:31 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2023 at 8:46 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Pop tabs are often something we leave on the can and recycle, but in this case, they’re actually worth money. Wednesday night, Peyton’s Promise embraced the rain along with concertgoers with hopes you’ve been saving them to help a good cause.

Peyton’s Promise advocates were at the 400 Block on Wednesday from noon until after Concerts on the Square to take pop tab donations. They had around 250 pounds at 3 p.m. and were hoping to reach 1000 pounds. Some people that donated had been collecting pop tabs for 15 to 20 years.

Peyton’s Promise started collecting pop tabs seven years ago, in honor of Sophia Van Ermen. Sophia needed an organ transplant, and her family stayed in Milwaukee at the Ronald McDonald House. After she passed away, her family asked others to pay it forward to help other families who may need a place to stay.

“When she passed our family wanted people to give back to the Ronald McDonald house because they did so much for the families when they were staying there,” said Sarah Meyer, Sophia’s cousin, and Peyton’s Promise Advocate.

That’s where Peyton’s Promise comes in.

Once collected, the pop tabs are recycled and turned into dollars which are donated to the Ronald McDonald House. This year, Peyton’s Promise wants to keep the money raised from the pop tabs local, by sending it to the Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield.

“Even though we’re donating this to Marshfield, it is directly affecting our families in the Wausau area, while their child is in the hospital or waiting for an organ transplant, or whatever the case may be, there’s a long list,” said Teena Medick, Executive Director at Peyton’s Promise.

Peyton’s Promise says that 60% of patients at the Ronald McDonald House in Marshfield are from our area. If you don’t have pop tabs to donate today, there are other ways to help. Abby Bank will be taking pop tab donations year-round at their locations in Wausau, Abbotsford, and Weston.

“We are also accepting cash donations, which will go right back into the local community to buy food for the local food pantries,” Meyer said.

“I’m hoping that some parents show up with trucks because I thought we were going to be able to fit it all in here and we’ve rearranged three times and it’s a lot of pop tabs,” said Medick.

Mayer, who started the project originally, will be passing it down to Zoey Yang, a junior at D.C. Everest High School. They’ll be collecting pop tabs every year.

“There’s been a large amount that have come out and donated,” Yang said.

“It’s rewarding to me to see these kids work so hard to give back to people that are in need,” said Medick.

For anyone unable to donate in person, AbbyBank has dropboxes for Peyton’s Promise at their Weston, Wausau, and Abbotsford locations. You can donate food or pop tabs there throughout the year.