Owner Clarence Scharpen had a heart for veterans
From a young age, Clarence Scharpen was collecting and selling scrap metals.
He turned that hobby into a business 10 years ago when he opened the family owned and operated Clarence’s Recycling in Isanti.
Clarence passed away Aug. 25, 2012, and to honor his memory, his family is hoping to reach one million pounds of all metals, of which one penny per pound will be donated to Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.
If one million pounds of metal is received, it will equal a $10,000 donation to Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.
“Dad was always a giving person and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon was one of his favorite charities,” son Mike Scharpen said. “He always wanted to give to veterans as he was a veteran himself.”
The mission of the organization is to support the county’s military service members, veterans and their families by coordinating services and resources available to them.
On Oct. 6, Clarence’s Recycling will have a pop can drive—they encourage people to bring in aluminum pop cans, and all the money they would have received from them that day will go to Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.
At their first pop can drive in May, Clarence’s Recycling donated about $1,500 to the organization. Mike said he hopes to at least double that in October.
Clarence’s granddaughter Kella Harmer said Clarence grew up in North Dakota, where he started scrapping with his pickup truck. When he moved to St. Paul, he continued picking up steel and aluminum, and even went door-knocking to ask if anyone had scrap metal they wanted to get rid of.
“In his backyard he always kept the scrap metal. So it was just a matter of going from a back yard to a business,” she said.
Clarence’s Recycling opened April 1, 2002, and it just so happens that the business’s 13th anniversary is the day the fundraising drive ends.
The drive started Sept. 1, and Harmer said they’ve already reached 60,000 pounds, which is $600 toward Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.
As a Korean War veteran, the organization was close to Clarence’s heart.
“He was very much involved in what they’re all about. He really enjoyed being able to give back to veterans, but he’d give to anybody if you’d asked,” Harmer said. “We really wanted to do something in honor of and remembrance of Clarence. We really wanted to be able to remember him and to donate to a cause that he truly loved. This seemed like the right thing to do.”
If Clarence were with the family today, Mike said, he would tell his family not to do the fundraiser in his honor, but just to do it out of the goodness of their hearts.
“He didn’t like gratitude for what he does,” Mike said. “I look for it to be a huge success. Dad will be looking down on us smiling.”
Clarence’s Recycling is located at 27973 Hwy. 65 NE in Isanti. For more information, call 763-444-9901 or find them on Facebook by searching for Clarence’s Recycling.