SEBRING — The Rotary Club of Sebring collected cans and cash for The Salvation Army on Friday. Rotarians took one hour shifts in an attempt to circle Circle Park with cans.

Assistant State Attorney Heather Beato, who works in the juvenile division, said, “I’m doing my hour shift. We try to put cans all the way around The Circle, and we are usually able to do it. We are using some cans to hold down signs so they don’t blow away.”

Rotarians use their hour break at work to accomplish a task together that one individual could not accomplish alone. The club had one person at three of the busiest spokes on the Circle — South Commerce, North Ridgewood and South Ridgewood. The Rotarians cover these three streets from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the annual Salvation Army Circle of Cans & Cash Drive.

Mary Strenth, coordinator for the fundraiser, said, “We are able to obtain food to help more needy individuals in the community with the money we raise and the canned goods we bring in.”

Jeff Roth, a Rotarian who works for Edward Jones, said, “We have a one day cash and can drive that usually falls on the Friday of the [Sebring] parade. I’ve been in the club 24 years, and we’ve done it every year I’ve been involved. We exceeded our goal last year.

“The cans and cash help feed people all year round,” Roth said. “They are not hungry just on Christmas Day.”

Debbie Cwalinski said, “This is the 49th one [Salvation Army Circle of Cans & Cash Drive]. I’m so blessed that I like to help out those in need.

“I love being a part of Rotary,” Cwalinski said. “It does so much good in our community and around the world. I’m not sure if the community knows how much Rotary gives back, especially for youth programs.”

“It was Gene Scheck’s idea to circle the Circle with cans,” John Meder, from Meder in the Morning, said.

“In the past we could circle the Circle two or two-and-a-half times,” Strenth said.

“We used to get more cans,” Meder said. “Now we get more cash. People might forget to bring cans, but they want to help, so they give cash.”

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