UPDATE: Cans 4 Kids organizer comes forward, talks to ASSIGNMENT 13 team

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – WEAU 13 News has new developments in an Assignment 13 investigation that aired last week.

WEAU has solved the mystery of who is behind those once-mysterious Cans 4 Kids bins that have been spotted all over town.

The man behind it all told us that the money from donated cans will be going to local high school kids.

Having an aluminum can collection program under the same name, the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes came to WEAU to do some digging.

What we found was these Cans 4 Kids bins had been showing up at businesses and no one had any idea who was behind them and where the recycling money was going.

But after the story aired, one of the organizers came forward.

“We were pretty surprised. Especially that we were being represented as being mysterious and that type of thing,” said Andrew Pernsteiner, a co-founder of Cans 4 Kids.

Pernsteiner is a local businessman.

He said he started Cans 4 Kids two years ago as a way to get cans recycled and raise money for scholarships that would go to local high school students.

Pernsteiner said there are 22 aluminum can collection bins across the Chippewa Valley.

“There's just slightly over $1,700 and all that has gone into the scholarship account,” Pernsteiner said.

The local man said the group is waiting to disperse the money until they have better methods of collection and they can start a partnership with a local organization.

“This is something that benefits the local community. We're still growing and we're still learning,” Pernsteiner said.

Dave Turner with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes spoke to WEAU in our first story about his concerns with the mysterious bins.

He said after speaking with Pernsteiner, those worries have since been put to rest.

“The good that might come from this other than us knowing that this is an organization that we can trust, and that maybe we’ll partner up with them as the FCA and other groups and we'll all get a better deal than we're getting right now,” Turner said.

Pernsteiner said he's also sending out a letter to the businesses that have the bins placed on their property to let them know more about the program.

In our first story, WEAU called a woman named Patty who claimed to be from Cans 4 Kids.

Pernsteiner said there is no one with that name who’s involved in the organization and she could have been taking the cans for her own use.

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