Central New York, Community

Can Man Chases One Million Cans

Laurence Segal has spent the last 14 years of his life funding cancer research, inspiring survivors and raising awareness. He does all of that by collecting bottles and cans.

Segal spends his days at Destiny USA Mall, tailgates on the Syracuse University Campus, and anywhere you can find volume in bottles and cans. He cashes the cans in at Bottles End in Solvay, and six cents per can goes to the Upstate Cancer Center, the American Cancer Society and the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.

On Saturday morning he held a Cans for a Cure drive at the mall, with the goal of collecting one million bottles and cans in one day. Donations came from all over Central New York, and Segal was thrilled with the event.

“I cried,” Segal said, “the line to donate never got backed up to the highway, but I was so happy with the amount of people that came out with bottles and cans.”

After the big event is was back to buisness for the 24/7 advocate and fundraiser. He says he will be the Can Man until he dies.

“Cancer is evil, and cruel, and insidious,” he said, ” I plan to be just as evil, and as cruel and as insidious right back to cancer as it is to everybody else.”

Segal’s inspiration to work up to 18 hours a day collecting bottles and cans comes from losing his good friend Rod Roddy. Roddy was the guy on The Price is Right who yelled out “Come on down!”

Roddy struggled with cancer and Segal was at his side until the end, he even held his hand as Roddy died. He said that Roddy gave him this wish on his death bed.

“You cant do anything about this,” Roddy said,  “You tried your best but go out there and do something for other people, raise money, raise awareness.”

So that is what Segal does every day. They are still counting the bottles at Bottles End