Airmen throughout Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and at deployed locations can now munch on a treat whose history goes back thousands of years – popcorn – thanks to a donation of four pallets of the popular snack by the Boy Scouts of America, Miami Valley Council, on Dec. 17.
Since August, scouts have been selling popcorn as a fundraiser at storefronts and door-to-door throughout the area. As a part of the sale a donation of popcorn to the military was available as an option to their popcorn-buying customers. More than $610,000 of popcorn was sold by Miami Valley scouts; $31,000-plus of that amount was designated for a military donation.
The military popcorn donation has been a long-standing tradition of service for the scouts in the Miami Valley, and 2019 marks the second consecutive year that more than $30,000 of popcorn product was donated. It also marks the 101st year anniversary of the Miami Valley Council, BSA.
“As we are now in our second-century of service, I am extremely proud of our scouts and so very thankful to our local community, who both again stepped up in a significant and meaningful way to support our military this year,” said Jeffrey Schiavone, scout executive of the Miami Valley Council, BSA.
Boys and girls from Cub Scout Pack 169, chartered by Saint Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights, joined base personnel to deliver nearly $20,290 dollars of popcorn for local servicemen and servicewomen; another $10,661 will be shipped to deployed troops. The popcorn flavors range from popping, kettle and butter to caramel, cheese and chocolate lovers’ and more.
“Supporting the military through the popcorn sale not only helps the Miami Valley Council operate our programs and camp facilities for nearly 5,000 young people, it also supports the incredible work of our military servicemen and servicewomen, and at the same time teaches a valuable lesson of service to our Scouts,” Schiavone said.
Cub Scout Pack 169 led this year’s popcorn sale by selling more than $46,000 of popcorn, of which $6,450 was raised to support the military.
“The popcorn sale is way more than a fundraiser. It’s one of the many ways a Scout learns lessons of leadership, character and service in our programs. It teaches a Scout how to communicate with a variety of different people – how to look someone in the eye, talk to them, and shake their hand. These are the soft skills that our young people so desperately need to grow into participating citizens and be prepared – for life,” said Schiavone.
Chief Master Sgt. Keith Erb Jr., U.S. Air Force Band of Flight chief enlisted manager, accepted the donation on behalf of Wright-Patterson AFB.
“Anytime you get something from home, it makes you feel good,” he said. “Especially at this time of the year, it gives people who are deployed a nice feeling. Airmen here who are away from family will feel appreciated. For the scouts to go out and do this for us shows what a great organization they are.”
The Band of Flight performed at the 24th World Jamboree Scout Mondial in West Virginia this summer, he added.
“It’s nice to have that relationship,” Erb said. “Thank you to the scouts for the popcorn.”
Parent of Boy Scouts Caitlyn and Connor Reinard and den leader for Pack 169, Master Sgt. Chad Reinard, Installation Contracting, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, said, “The donation is a wonderful symbolization of the relationship between the military and the Boy Scouts. Part of scouting is providing service to others; it’s great to see scouts thanking those who serve the country.”
To find out more information or to donate, visit www.miamivalleybsa.org.
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