Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIERScouts preparing for the Transformers-themed popcorn sale are flanked by Bumblebee (left) and Megatron (right) at Moravian College August 1. The vehicles were provided courtesy of Scott Chevrolet and Mack Truck. Copyright - © Ed Courrier PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIERScouts preparing for the Transformers-themed popcorn sale are flanked by Bumblebee (left) and Megatron (right) at Moravian College August 1. The vehicles were provided courtesy of Scott Chevrolet and Mack Truck. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Karen Strobino representing the BSA national organization, shows Thomas Fairbairn of Pack 359 how one of the sales prizes work. Strobino, who has a brother in the military, said that packages of popcorn can be purchased and donated to men and women in the service. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Karen Strobino representing the BSA national organization, shows Thomas Fairbairn of Pack 359 how one of the sales prizes work. Strobino, who has a brother in the military, said that packages of popcorn can be purchased and donated to men and women in the service. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
“Kernel Dave” (David Landis) and his “Popcorn Machine” with Cub Scout Nolan Trapp from Pack 50 in the North Valley District. Copyright - © Ed Courrier “Kernel Dave” (David Landis) and his “Popcorn Machine” with Cub Scout Nolan Trapp from Pack 50 in the North Valley District. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Boy Scouts ham it up at the kickoff’s photo booth. From left, Jacob Schierer and Hunter Smith from Troop 329 with Justin Gichiengo and Massimo Piscitello from Troop 362. Both Scout troops are based in Bethlehem. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Boy Scouts ham it up at the kickoff’s photo booth. From left, Jacob Schierer and Hunter Smith from Troop 329 with Justin Gichiengo and Massimo Piscitello from Troop 362. Both Scout troops are based in Bethlehem. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Hoping to win a $50 gift certificate to Buca di Beppo, Evan Stitt attempts to estimate the number of kernels in the jar for his contest entry. Evan is a member of Bethlehem-based Cub Pack 306. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Hoping to win a $50 gift certificate to Buca di Beppo, Evan Stitt attempts to estimate the number of kernels in the jar for his contest entry. Evan is a member of Bethlehem-based Cub Pack 306. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Senior Exploring executive Lori Wehr introduces a packed auditorium to the Transformers-themed 2017 Scouting fundraiser. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Senior Exploring executive Lori Wehr introduces a packed auditorium to the Transformers-themed 2017 Scouting fundraiser. Copyright - © Ed Courrier

Bumblebee, Megatron kick off sale

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Ed Courrier Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

The Minsi Trails Council launched its annual Boy Scout Popcorn Fundraiser with a little assistance from Bumblebee and his arch enemy Megatron at the Aug. 1 kickoff event at Moravian College. More than 250 adults and 150 Scouts, representing 180 Scouting units, turned out for the event.

“Megatron,” the actual Deceptacon Mack truck from the movie “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” courtesy of Mack Trucks, was kept in line by the series’ hero “Bumblebee,” a yellow Chevy Camaro sponsored by Scott Chevrolet.

“It is the largest fundraiser that the Boy Scouts do,” said Minsi Trails Council marketing manager Alista Blose. Profits from the popcorn sale are split between the district, the troop or pack the boy belongs to, and the Scout himself. Funds can be applied toward activities like adventure camp, summer camp and the National Jamboree. Some use the money for equipment or a new uniform. On the council level, camperships for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts belonging to low-income families benefit from the sales.

The partnership with Trail’s End has lasted more than 30 years. 73 percent of the price of a pack of popcorn goes to local scouting and Trail’s End also sponsors a scholarship program. Having raised nearly $900,000 last year, the goal for 2017 is set at $1M. The door-to-door sales and “show and sells” in front of area stores ends in early November. Friends and relatives who live out-of-state can support a Scout by ordering online.

Among various prize levels for individual sales goals, a jump party at Sky Zone Trampoline Park will be awarded to the 50 top-performing junior salesmen.

Lori Wehr, senior Exploring executive, led the “Aim High with Popcorn” group orientation to rally the troops and provide them, their parents and leaders information on how to be safe while fundraising. Afterward, everyone had a chance to sample the product and enjoy activities centered around the popcorn and Transformers theme. These included remote control car races, games, and crafting “popcorn cup” neckerchief slides.

“They’re not selling popcorn, they’re selling Scouting,” Blose said, “They are asking for the community’s help and support in achieving what goals they set for themselves.”