Annual fundraiser could suffer
By Gord Bowes, News staff
A bad year for fruit farmers means slimmer margins for Scouts during this year’s apple drive.
It’s costing Hamilton-Wentworth Scouts about 60 per cent more this year to buy the apples, which they hand out as a thank-you during the annual fundraiser. The price has gone up because of a late spring frost and a drought in the summer.
Normally, Hamilton-Wentworth Scouts would order over 400 bushels of the fruit. This year, because of the price increase and a drop last year in the number of donors, the group’s order was for just 300 bushels.
Brian Johnston, public relations co-ordinator for the local Scouts, said he’s hoping the public will still give generously.
“We’re hoping people will dig a little deeper in the pocket,” he said.
Apple Day donations have been falling every year, said Debbie Napholc, co-chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth drive.
At one time, Apple Day was one of the few occasions where the public was met in front of stores by youth asking for money.
Scouts also, in days gone by, went door to door, but that practice was stopped because of safety concerns.Last year, the fundraiser brought in about $58,000. The apples cost about $20,000.
Most of the money from Apple Day goes to Mount Nemo Scout Camp located in Burlington along the escarpment.
It costs about $98,000 to operate the camp for water, propane and “other basics, said Napholc.
That’s not including any upgrades or additions to the camp, that’s just running it,” she said.
The camp runs year-round. Hamilton-Wentworth Scouts get to use it at no charge because of its support through Apple Day proceeds. Other Scouts groups and those not affiliated with Scouting can rent it for a fee.
“If we don’t reach our goal we either need to get private funds donated or we have to start paying to go to camp,” said Napholc, a member of the 13th Hamilton Scout Group, which meets at Barton Stone Church.
This year’s Apple Day begins the evening of Friday, Oct. 12, and runs through the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 13.