Local cub scouts and boy scouts officially kicked off their annual popcorn fundraiser on Tuesday at Citizens National Bank in Meridian. Ken Kercheval, Executive Director for the Choctaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, was on hand to give an overview of the popcorn sale during a press conference which was held at Citizens National Bank's Downtown Banking Centre in Meridian.
"This fundraiser is vital to our Scouting program," Kercheval said. "The popcorn sale supports our local scouting units in east Mississippi, which include Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba, Newton, and Clarke counties, as well as Choctaw County in West Alabama. Our goal this year is to sell $205,000 in popcorn,” he said, and “the funds are used to help area boys pay for scouting uniforms, attend camp and purchase the equipment they need,” he added.
While the tradition of popcorn sales has been going on for many years now, the Council’s partnership with the Trail’s End brand of popcorn is new this year. This year’s flavors include White Chocolate Pretzels, Classic Trail Mix, and Unbelievable Butter as well as their Premium Caramel Corn which includes almonds, cashews, and pecans – just to name a few of the flavors.
“When our Scouts ask you to buy their popcorn, we want everybody to know that there’s a lot more to it than just enjoying great popcorn,” Kercheval said. “Your popcorn purchase is a vote of confidence for local boys who are training to become our leaders of tomorrow,” he said, adding that the fundraiser is important because it teaches Scouts to set a goal, develop their selling techniques, and learn to interact with people.
Kercheval also said Citizens National Bank’s support of the popcorn sale has been a huge asset to the council’s fundraising success over the years. The bank promotes the popcorn sale in a number of ways, including digital billboard messages, and radio commercials. “We are truly grateful for our partnership with Citizens National Bank over the years to help us get the word out,” Kercheval added.
Archie McDonnell, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens National Bank, agrees that the partnership between the Bank and the Scout Council has been a great one over the years as the bank believes in supporting local youth. “Area youth have a much greater chance of being successful when they know that local community leaders support their efforts to make the right choices and develop leadership skills that last a lifetime. As a locally owned, community bank, we truly believe it is our civic responsibility to make a difference, and we refer to it as the Power of Local,” McDonnell added.
The Choctaw Area Council is still in the process of signing up new Scouts for the 2016-2017 school year. The Cub Scout program is offered to boys between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, while boys between the ages of 11 and 17 are eligible to participate in the Boy Scout program.
To learn more about the Choctaw Area Council’s popcorn fundraiser, or to sign up your child for scouting, call 601-693-6757 or visit their office in person at 4818 North Park Drive. You can also visit the Choctaw Area Council’s website, www.cacbsa.org, to find the scout unit nearest you.