Scouts selling popcorn for new meeting place

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The Airdrie Adventure Scouts are selling popcorn in support of Scouts Canada and for a new local meeting place.

Bonnie Ferguson, group administrator and Cub Scout, said when the group received a “surprising bill” last year of $2,000 for the use of the Town and Country Centre, they realized they needed to find a new space.

“(It) is a significant amount of money when you’re a non-profit and it just directly affects how much you can actually do with your youth,” she said.

The Scouts have renewed its contract with the Town and Country Centre until the end of December, but have been unable to secure a meeting place for 2018.

Ferguson said the group has two potential spots, but nothing is confirmed.

“If the public knows of any facilities that are fairly affordable, we would greatly appreciate any information,” she said.

The City of Airdrie manages the Town and Country Centre. Ferguson said the City has been great in accommodating them but the price tag is just too much.

Theresa Cochran, team lead at Town and Country Centre, said because the facility is supported through taxpayer dollars the City was unable to accommodate the scouts.

She added the Scouts had the option to plead its case directly to council and ask to have the fees waived.

“But then what’s to stop every other non-profit group, who works in the city, to ask for the same thing – which would make it impossible for the city to maintain the facility,” she said.

Ferguson said she hopes by gaining more publicity, the Scouts can find access to a more affordable alternative for the meetings.

Jenifer Roth, who has been involved with the Scouts for more than 13 years, said the money is essential to the group.

“It’s integral for our program for us to be able to do some of these outdoor activities which are pretty expensive,” she said.

She said this is the first year the Scouts asked parents to cover facility costs.

More than 50 per cent of profits from the popcorn sales will go to the local group.

Scouts will be at the Town and Country Centre until Oct. 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will accept cash or cheque for orders.

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