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Delivering Christmas cheer
Dec. 2, 2013
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Lester Prairie Cub Scout wreath sales are a pre-Christmas tradition year after year

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Take a December stroll through Lester Prairie, and you may notice one Christmas decoration quite a few homes have in common – fresh wreaths.

This year, the Lester Prairie Cub Scouts sold a total of 564 of them (shaped like circles, swags, and crescents), plus more than 500 feet of garland.

“It’s a fundraiser for the Cub Scouts, but it’s almost like a community-service project, too. The wreaths are delivered right to people’s doors,” said Lori Ehrke of Lester Prairie.

Wreath sales start after the Cub Scouts’ September meeting, when each participant is given a block of homes to visit by the end of October.

“We try to make sure we get to every house in Lester Prairie, without overlapping,” Jane Holasek said.

The town (and bordering countryside) is divided into 46 maps, each one covering about a one-block radius.

Some Scouts – like Lester Prairie fifth-grader Landon Groff – are willing to take on more than one block.

“He did six blocks this year,” said Landon’s dad, Dave Groff. “He sold almost $1,200 worth.”

“My dad drove me around,” Landon said. “And I went up to each house and said, ‘Hi. My name is Landon Groff. I am selling wreaths for Cub Scouts. Would you like to buy one?”

Wreaths are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most homeowners choose the 25-inch size, while businesses often purchase a 48-inch wreath, Dave said.

“The smallest wreath is $15, so I think it’s affordable for people, too,” Ehrke said.

The proceeds help cover Cub Scout expenses throughout the year, such as the Blue and Gold Advancement Banquet, sledding at Powder Ridge, the Pinewood Derby race, and more.

“It helps us go bowling. It helps us do fun activities, like camping trips. And it helps us get pizza,” Landon said. “It’s the only fundraiser the Cub Scouts does.”

This year, Landon sold 67 wreaths, plus 50 feet of garland.

One reason he decided to sell so many was to help younger Cub Scouts.

“We had a lot of boys join this year,” Ehrke said, adding that there are currently about 30 members in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Selling Christmas wreaths is also an opportunity for Landon to spend time with his family.

Landon, his dad, and his brother, Logan (a seventh-grader at Lester Prairie Schools), picked up their wreaths from Holasek Flower Power Garden Center in Lester Prairie the week before Thanksgiving.

The wreaths arrive in large stacks, with a box of red bows on the side.

“I have to put the bows on them,” Landon said.

When the wreaths are ready, the Cub Scouts deliver them to each person’s home or business.

“It’s a good learning experience,” Dave said.

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