Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 5/12/2016 (1392 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
For the past 50 years, hundreds of Winnipeggers have relied on the Scouts to carry on a Christmas tradition.
The 67th Winnipeg Scout Group is hosting its 52nd annual Christmas tree lot at the Corydon Community Centre in River Heights (1370 Grosvenor Ave.). Open until Dec. 22 (for all the last minute shoppers out there), the scouts will send around 1,500 trees home with families this Christmas season.
Tim McManus, treasurer, registrar, Beaver leader and a 25-year member of the 67th Scouts, said many of the people who come to the tree lot return year after year. After half a century in the community, the tree lot is as important to Christmas as milk and cookies or mistletoe.
"We have people who have been coming to this tree lot for 52 years," McManus said. "We have a client base that’s probably next to none. I like to say that we don’t sell Christmas trees — people come here and they get their Christmas tree to support the Scout group."
The 67th Winnipeg Scout Group serves the communities in southwest Winnipeg and has 69 youth registered in programming run by volunteers. The annual tree lot raises between $23,000 and $25,000 annually, McManus said, to cover equipment (tents, supplies) trips, and registration costs.
"People love coming here, are always in a good mood and we love doing this," he said. "Very rarely do you find someone who’s a Scrooge or a Grinch."
Scouts and their families are also scheduled to volunteer for two shifts during the sale, helping community members pick the perfect tree for the holidays. The lot carries everything from the traditional Christmas spruce, to wreaths, to the ever-charming "Charlie Brown" tree. All trees are farmed in Canada by RBM Gardens.
Jack Button, 17, has been volunteering at the tree lot for about seven years and said the atmosphere is a joyous one with Christmas songs on repeat, a dusting of snow on the trees, and scouts always ready to serve.
It’s fun. People are coming in to get a Christmas tree which is a pretty happy occasion and it’s a festive event," Button said. "There’s new people and there’s people who come every year, but it really is a tradition."
In addition to serving the community, scouts also work on skills, Button said, finalizing a sale, cutting trunks, and learning about the different types of trees.
"There’s something here for all the volunteers. If you’re personable you get to meet a bunch of people, and they bring their kids and their dogs which is always fun," Button said. "But if you’re less personable, you’re still going to enjoy yourself because you’re keeping busy."
The 67th Winnipeg Scout Group’s 52nd annual Christmas tree lot is open weeknights 4:30 to 9 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Prices for trees range from $20 to $78. A $10 tax receipt can be issued on request.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.
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