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boy scouts, popcorn, owatonna
Scouts in Owatonna are ready to sell popcorn as one of their main fundraisers of the year. Those unpacking boxes of popcorn last week at Gandy included, from left: Tricia David, Dalton David, Thomas Gandrud, Nikola Gandrud, Loren David, Brady Geary, Steve Droog, Jenny Richter, and Logan David (kneeling). Submitted photo
Area Scouts begin popcorn fundraiser
Rick Bussler, Publisher

Scouts from around Owatonna are ready to get the community popping with a favorite snack.

Beginning last week, four Scout groups launched their annual fundraiser of selling popcorn, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Scouts. By the time they wrap up their popping venture later this fall, they hope to have sold $11,000 of various varieties of popcorn.

“We order what we think we can sell,” said Mike Gandrud, the father of twin Scout boys, Thomas and Nikola, who is assisting with the fundraiser.

He said a group of Scouts and parent volunteers unloaded a half semi full of popcorn at Gandy’s last week in anticipation of the fundraiser.

Scouts will be hitting the neighborhoods over the next several weeks selling various kinds of snacks, including regular, microwave, cheese, and caramel corn, and trail mix. Some of the varieties even come in collector cans. Prices start $12 and go up depending on the treat.

The Gandrud twins, 12, began canvassing their neighborhood on Oakwood Lane last weekend. They are part of Troop 351, which is made up of nine scouts. There are four troops in Owatonna.

Mike Gandrud said his sons loaded up their twin stroller with popcorn and pushed it around making sales. By the time they wrap up sales, he expects his boys alone will take in around $2,000.

Gandrud said while the popcorn is more expensive than what can be purchased at Walmart, it benefits the Scouts.

“It’s a great product, and it’s a fundraiser,” he said.  
Proceeds from the popcorn sales, Gandrud said, are split equally in cost of product, the local Scout council, and individual scouts for camping and other scouting registration fees.

This past summer, the Gandruds went to a week-long Scout camp near Park Rapids. The cost was $400 per scout.

When asked how long the Gandruds have been involved in Scouting, Mike Gandrud knew precisely.

“They have been in it for 2,084 days. It is listed on the Scout website, and I had just logged off last night,” he said Saturday morning just before going out to make popcorn sales.

In addition to raising money, the elder Gandrud pointed out how the fundraiser produces life skills for the scouts.

“They learn how to go up to someone they don’t know and explain what they are selling,” he said, adding they pick up great communication skills.

Gandrud noted that the organization has changed in recent years to Scouts BSA in which both boys and girls can participate.  

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