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Got sensitive documents? Get them shredded at Coquitlam Rotary's first spring shredding event

Coquitlam Rotary wants your personal documents. To chop into millions of tiny bits at the club's first spring shredding event on March 20.
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Coquitlam Rotarians Paul Zalinski, Ron Warneboldt and Jim Lane are getting ready for the club's first spring shredding event, to be held March 20 at the Canadian Tire on Lougheed and King Edward.

The Rotary Club of Coquitlam wants your tax records, old bills and credit card receipts.

No, the venerable service organization isn’t running a scam or stealing your identity. But handing them those sensitive documents on March 20 at Rotary’s first spring shredding event may prevent you from being defrauded if they’re just tossed in the trash and end up blowing in the breeze at a landfill.

Dr. Jim Lane, the club’s president, said its 30 members were casting about for new fundraising initiatives to fill the gaps left because it hasn’t been able to run traditional events like whiskey tasting and a beer festival due to public health restrictions against public gatherings to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Lane said money from those events helps support causes like children’s camps, the Share Family and Community Services food bank, park improvements, a Christmas food hamper program as well as bursaries for students and international education projects in Africa.

“Rotary is about service above self,” Lane said. “We want to give back to the community.”

As the public health crisis and its consequent hardships heads into a second year, need in the community is greater than ever.

Lane said a shredding event is a safe way for Rotarians to help address some of that need.

On the first day of spring, a large shredding truck will be set up in the parking lot of Canadian Tire at the corner of Lougheed Highway and King Edward Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People will be able to drop off their sensitive documents at a drive-thru, with two shifts of volunteers wearing face shields or two layers of masks retrieving them from open trunks in return for a donation.

The shredding service is by donation — with no minimum — and can be paid by cash or credit card.

“We don’t have to be in contact,” Lane said. “Everything we do today we have to be aware of being COVID-safe. That’s our goal.”

The papers will then be sliced, diced and julienned into millions of minute pieces, keeping the information they contain safe from scallawags, scammers and fraud artists.

• Rotary spring shredding event; March 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Coquitlam Canadian Tire (Lougheed and King Edward).