Thursday, 19 January 2017 08:00

Scouts spread Christmas cheer and raise some funds at the same time

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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For more than 40 years, the First Nanton Scouts have been raising money by selling Christmas trees to the community. This past year’s sales were lower than previous years due to Alberta’s economy. For more than 40 years, the First Nanton Scouts have been raising money by selling Christmas trees to the community. This past year’s sales were lower than previous years due to Alberta’s economy. Photo contributed

For more than 40 years, the first Nanton Scouts have been selling and collecting Christmas trees as a fundraiser.


The First Nanton Scouts order trees every year from a supplier and resell them to the community in the month of December.
“Parent volunteers organize everything, from tree pick up, lot set up and take down,” says Kimberly Williamson, a section leader for the Beaver Scout Group, in an e-mail. She is also a tree lot organizer.
Each Beaver, Cub and Scout works a shift at the tree lot throughout the month of December.
“We love being able to provide a local tree option for Nantonites. For a lot of the long time scouting families, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until you’ve worked a tree lot shift,” adds Williamson.
In recent years, Williamson says they began offering firewood for sale as well. The firewood is donated by a scouting family and then chopped and bundled by the children. They sell the firewood to the community as part of their tree lot.
“Additionally, this year, First Nanton Scout Association ran a Coat and Clothing Drive. Community members were encouraged to drop off linens, towels, winter gear and toys. This was a huge success, as we were able to fill a horse trailer with donation items,” adds Williamson.
Each year, the funds that are raised from the tree sales go towards the Scout hall building maintenance.
Williamson explains the programming and activity expenses are generally covered by their popcorn sales, which is an annual fundraiser they run earlier in the fall.
In previous years, the Scouts have raised anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 selling trees.
“We are very appreciative to the families who support both fundraisers,” she adds. “Without that community support, we would not be able to run our amazing youth programs. Without a hall to meet in, we could be drastically limited.”
Following Christmas every year, the scouts also provide a free service where they go around the community and collect everyone’s real Christmas trees and discard them for the community members. Williamson says this is a follow-up to their tree lot sales.
This year, the tree collection took place Jan. 6.
“The Scouts tree pick up ensures that trees end up properly disposed of in the branch recycling spot in town and we are happy to help our town with that process, as a thank-you for supporting our fundraisers,” points out Williamson.
This year, after expenses, the Scouts made $1,622 from the tree sales. The annual amount raised can vary, but Williamson says they have experienced a reduction in profits over the last few years — likely due to the economy.
In the past, the Scouts would sell around 120 trees and profit close to $4,000, but in recent years, it’s been more like 75-85 trees with profits in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
The First Nanton Scouts are thankful to the community members who have supported them.

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