April 21. 2013 11:35PM

Scrap metal proves a ready source of cash


My youngest son has just started walking, which means I finally have to put a pair of shoes on the kid. One of the great things about having three sons is that I rarely have to buy anything new for the younger two. But the baby's feet are so fat that he won't fit into any of the hand-me-down shoes. I finally realized I was going to have to scrape together some quick cash and buy him some extra-wide baby shoes.

The previous owners of our home left a box of old, copper roofing materials and other items in the garage. I knew the metal was worth some money. A Google search returned a couple of options in the South Willow Street area. I randomly chose to bring my metal to Manchester Recycling Corp. at 87 Union St.

The whole experience felt shady, but exciting. I stood in line with my box of scrap next to several men who were clearly old pros. I imagined some of these were the same guys who had magically made my worn set of metal lawn furniture disappear from my garbage pile at the curb last week.

One man informed me a copper bucket I had could be sold on Ebay for $100 and said he could help me sell it. But since I was after fast cash, I declined his offer.

The company wants to make sure all the metal brought in has been obtained legally. I wasn't asked where I got the materials, but like everyone else, I had to provide my license for a photograph, and the make, model and license plate of my car. They also took pictures of the materials I brought in.

I left with about $65 in cash and drove straight to the Merrimack Premium Outlets to spend it. Now I'm wondering how much I could make from all the metal I've been putting out in the trash all these years. I found a website called ScrapMetalJunkie.com that gives great tips on how to properly identify and sort scrap metals from all kinds of materials, and how to get the most money from businesses like Manchester Recycling.

I can't believe how much money I've been throwing away all these years. And don't be surprised if you see me poking through your garbage looking for metal one day soon. My baby's fat feet are growing fast.

Moore Dancing with the Stars

After my exciting "Dancing With the Stars" experience at a recent Manchester Community Music School fundraiser, I was excited to learn about the upcoming "Dancing With The Rising Stars and Friends" event presented by The Moore Center.

Many local businesses have come forward to make this fun evening happen for The Rising Stars, a group of clients of The Moore Center, an organization that provides services to citizens with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

The Rising Stars meet regularly for social activities, and have recently been preparing for this dance competition with the help of longtime Queen City dance instructor Sally Addison. Sixteen couples will compete for awards such as "Best Use of the Dance Floor," "Best Costumes" and "Best Overall Performance."

The Wednesday, May 15, event is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Amoskeag Bingo Center, with space provided free of charge by Brady Sullivan.

The Rising Stars are looking for donations of food (pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, chips and soda) to sell at a concession stand.

Admission is free, though donations will be gladly accepted. For more information or to donate food and prizes, please contact Chet Bobola Jr. at 206-2838 or chet.bobola@moorecenter.org.

Free money

Our city and state charitable organizations are always giving away money. But if people don't know about them, they can't apply. That's just one reason why local newspapers are so important. Below are two "free money" opportunities I recently learned about.

The Manchester Rotary Club is offering grants of up to $2,000 to non-profits that cater to our city's youth. The guidelines, which are very broad, can be found at www.ManchesterRotary.org. The deadline for applications is May 7.

If you know someone planning to pursue an associate's degree or attend certificate programs in science, technology, engineering or math? The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation may have a scholarship for you. NHCF distributes more than $5 million in grant aid and loans each year and is now offering special help for students in the STEM fields.

The deadline for students enrolling in a bachelor or graduate degree program has passed for this year, but students enrolling in an associate degree or certificate program have until June 28 to apply.

STEM fields include advanced manufacturing, high school chemistry, physics or math teacher, information systems manager, video game designer and automotive technician. See www.NHCF.org.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

I think this finally may be the year I get to try one of the city's Open Doors Arts and Cultural Tours. The first of several scheduled for 2013 is this Thursday. From 5 to 8 p.m. two trolleys will circulate between downtown cultural stops. The event is described as a celebration of "the amazing diversity of artistic expression and dynamic museum experiences that the city has to offer."

The trolley rides, organized by The Majestic Theatre, are free and will stop at each venue about every 30 minutes. They include Langer Place, Millyard Museum and SEE Science Center, E.W. Poore Framing, Inc., Framer's Market, New Hampshire Institute of Art and Studio 550 at 550 Elm St. Most have something special planned for the evening and you could even win prizes if you participate in the evening's theme, Crazy Hat Night.

For more information and map of the trolley route, visit www.opendoorsmanchester.com.

If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to Scene@unionleader.com.