Each fall along with changing leaves and cooler weather, people can expect another constant: the Boy Scout Popcorn Fundraiser. This year is no exception, and with thousands of boxes ready to go, storing that popcorn is a huge undertaking that would not be possible without community help.
Von Tobel Lumber and Hardware of Valparaiso is proud to help the Potawatomi and Dunes Moraine Districts of the Boy Scouts and to donate space in their “Area B” warehouse each year for storage and processing of thousands of boxes of popcorn.
“The Boy Scouts are such a strong organization. They needed an area, and we were able to provide it,” said Bill Kaye, Director of Marketing for Von Tobel Lumber and Hardware. “People would never guess how much popcorn these guys sell; it’s a huge project for these kids.”
Providing this space allows the Boy Scout volunteers to unpack, stack and sort their large orders into manageable units, which are then distributed to troop leaders. Boy Scout Leaders are thankful for the large amount of space they are given to use.
“We rely on our community. We couldn’t house all of this especially over the course of a couple of months, and definitely not where we could organize it,” said Jeff Smith, District Executive for the Dunes Moraine Council.
Jeff Wiatrowski, Council Commissioner for the Potawatomi District, appreciates not only the warehouse itself, but all the extras that Von Tobel allows the troop volunteers to utilize when bringing in the large order.
“Even if we had our own warehouse, the hand carts, the pallet jacks, the employee help, we’d have to buy all of that and have it sit all year doing nothing,” said Wiatrowski.
Von Tobel equipment and staff has been instrumental in not only the storage of the popcorn, but with some unexpected hiccups this year too. While staff at many organizations may have viewed this as another task they need to accomplish, the Von Tobel team sees it as an opportunity to serve.
“Yesterday the truck was supposed to be here at 8am, the truck showed up at 6:30. The Von Tobel staff was kind enough to unload the truck so the truck driver didn’t have to wait an hour and a half, helped us out, and checked all the boxes and packing slips for us. It’s huge what they do for us,” said Smith.
Assisting the Boy Scouts is an obvious choice to Tim Ault, General Manager of the Valparaiso Von Tobel. With a desire to support their mission, Ault says they’ve worked with both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for the last three to four years to assist in storage.
“The Boy Scouts have a good mission, and when we can do things to make it easier for them to get their things done, there’s no reason not to,” said Ault. “We have a lot of employees who have either worked with or been in scouting who continue to maintain some involvement. It’s a good opportunity to do something simple that helps them out, so we’re happy to do it.”
The generosity of Von Tobel is a testament to their community centered goals. Each year, events are held to show appreciation for the community and those in it. Aiding the local Boy Scouts is just one of many wonderful ways they reach out to their community to show their appreciation.
For more information on Von Tobel Lumber and Hardware, visit http://vontobels.com/