By Justin Seward
The Redcliff scouts annual Santa’s Gone Toonie has been put on hiatus for this year.
The decision on this year’s event-which takes place on the first Saturday in December every year- was made back in January.
“The committee decided to not hold Santa’s Gone Toonie for 2020 to attempt one of these alternative community service efforts (and) evaluate again this year whether we would resume Santa’s Gone Toonie,” said Michael Lukacs, contract lead scouter for the Redcliff scouts.
“ Subsequent to that COVID-19 has kicked in and off the top of my head, personally I don’t know how we would be able to hold Santa’s Gone Toonie in the current COVID-aware environment.”
The event served as a small fundraiser and a community service project every year for the scouts.
Items are donated and kids pick out a gift for $2 for their parents or grandparents.
Less and less participation prompted the decision to not hold the event this year, he added.
“Certainly considering the amount of effort that went into it, it was not a profitable fundraiser,” he said.
“We thought (of it) much more as a community service activity and it was successful- the first year we had in excess of 100 youth who got to benefit from it- and in subsequent years, that number has gone down and down. This past year, the numbers were the lowest participation that we had seen.”
Any community projects are put on hold because none of the scout groups can meet in person due to COVID-19.
“We would love to get back on track with community outreach,” he said.
“But at this point in time, I can’t say anything definitive because of much uncertainty there is.”
The Redcliff scouts encompasses four different age ranges including beavers, cubs and ventures.