WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 26, 2011, 06:24 PM

Fergus Falls man turns in over 4 million pop tops

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A Fergus Falls man is leaving Fargo tonight with a generous heart and an empty trailer.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

A Fergus Falls man is leaving Fargo tonight with a generous heart and an empty trailer. For the last 20 years Daryl Johnson has been collecting pop tabs…and we are talking a serious hobby here. This afternoon, Daryl and a friend drove a trailer full of 4 million tabs to Fargo to cash in on the 2 decade long collection. But Daryl isn’t keeping the money.

Slowly and methodically, Daryl Johnson and workers from Gerdow Steel in Fargo, began unloading a string of pop tabs that would stretch across 47 football fields. For the last 20 years, Daryl has spent his evenings stringing pop tabs from cans he collected from trash during the day. And so when family came to help load the tabs overnight, they saw sunset and sunrise.

Dolly Wambach – Daryl’s Sister: “Took us about 12 hours started at 3 in the afternoon and got to bed at 4.”

Daryl has endured challenges in his life, butt all these years, he was set on collecting all these tabs in order to raise money for the children at the Ronald McDonald House in Fargo. Daryl counted and measured all these tabs. More than 6000 yards...that is almost four miles.

For more than an hour Daryl and Todd Harig from Gerdow unloaded the 4 million pop tabs. He was sad to part with the string of tabs that sat piled up in a bedroom all these years. But as the last handful was dragged to the box, some big time relief. It has been his hobby for two decades. Determined, dedicated, his heart set on helping others.

When everything was weighed, it came out to just over 1800 pounds of tabs. What a collector. What a gift. Someone who quietly saved these tabs for years knowing all along he wouldn't make a cent ....but left the recycling center with a heart of gold.

The money Daryl raised will generate just over $800 for the Ronald McDonald Houses in Fargo.