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Saving bottle caps for sick children turns out to be hoax

Saving bottle caps for sick children turns out to be hoax

Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:21 pm

JOHNSON CITY (AP) — After starting an effort that collected 150,000 plastic bottle caps, with hopes of redeeming them to provide cancer treatments for children, two Johnson City employees discovered they were victims of a hoax. They are not alone. A rumor about redeeming bottle caps for radiation or chemotherapy treatments for children has become so widespread that the American Cancer Society posted a statement on its Internet site that says it as a hoax. In Johnson City, City Hall facilities manager Margaret Hayes told the Johnson City Press that she first heard from her young granddaughter that 150 caps could be traded for a radiation treatment. Hayes said she believed it could be easily included in a city recycling program. City employees got involved and 150,000 bottle caps were collected. Hayes said she is “really hurt and disappointed.” Keisha Bratton, a writer-editor in Johnson City’s Community Relations Department and chairwoman of the city’s Green Team, said she got involved after hearing about the bottle cap collection campaign through “a friend of a friend” who has a sick child. Hayes said by the end of the first week they had collected 50,000 bottle caps and thought they were going to be able to help out a lot of sick children. With those first 50,000 bottle caps loaded into Bratton’s car and taken to a friend, they discovered no one knew where to deliver the caps and no medical organizations knew about the program. “We came to find out no one really knew where the information originated and the more we went back down the line to try to find out, the more we realized it just wasn’t true,” Bratton said. The rumor also started efforts in West Virginia. Published in The Messenger 10.28.08

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