Boy Scout fundraiser Saturday supports trips, equipment, adventures

The phrase “something for everyone” may be overused.

But it’s hard to avoid when you describe Boy Scout Troop 194’s annual plant sale and auction.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Choose from a variety of flowers, shrubs and trees at the annual plant sale and silent auction Saturday. The Boy Scout fundraiser is supported by donations from local merchants and nurseries.From local business gift certificates and tickets for nearby attractions to adventure experiences racing cars or learning to fly a glider, nearly everyone will be tempted to place a bid when the one-day sale takes place Saturday.

If you’re not interested in placing a bid, it’s hard to say no to the plants. You’ll find plenty of flowers, shrubs and trees to browse through and buy at the sale, located across from city hall at 7965 SW Wilsonville Road.

The Boy Scout sale is an annual tradition in the Wilsonville community stretching back 28 years, and it begins with the support of local merchants and growers, who donate all the items for the sale and auction. The troop receives support from Wilsonville Rotary, too.

“We collect items from local businesses, everything from OMSI tickets to free classes, wine tastings, gift cards — anything that local businesses donate,” Scout parent Valia Eskandari said. “One hundred percent of everything (sold) goes back to our troop.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - A silent auction is a big part of the Boy Scout fundraiser. This year, a live auction will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until noon Saturday.It’s a significant fundraiser for the troop.

“Over the years, we hit our peak of bringing in over $24,000,” Troop 194 Scoutmaster John Budiao said. “Ever since then, donations to the Scouts have been going down.”

Budiao suspects that some potential donors may have changed their minds because of controversy surrounding the national Boy Scout organization. He drew a distinction between the local troop and the national organization, however.

“Here in Wilsonville, we welcome everybody, from every walk of life,” he said.

Still, though donations are down, the troop continues to grow. Adding more boys requires adding more equipment, Eskandari said.

“We have a pretty active troop,” she said. “We have an outing once a month: hiking, camporee, rafting, snow camping, canoeing, you name it.”

“It’s getting pretty exciting,” Budiao said. “We’re taking a trip to the capital; we’ve been snow caving. It’s amazing some of the things our Scouts come up with.”

One highlight in the troop each year is something called High Adventure. Boys 14 and older who have attained first-class rank have the opportunity to travel to Boy Scout locations around the United States. Previous trips have taken Wilsonville Scouts to Florida and to California’s Catalina Island. This year, the options again include Catalina as well as the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 194 are willing to work hard to earn those opportunities. The boys will start working on Thursday and Friday, picking up the plants and setting them up. They will also work during the sale, assisting customers and loading purchases into cars.

“We have a parent who makes vignettes,” Eskandari said. “Shade, sun, so you can see what goes together.”

Registration for the silent auction begins at 8:30 a.m. Both the sale and the auction begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. An auctioneer will conduct a live auction as well, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to noon.

And if you still aren’t convinced that there’s something for everyone at this event, you are underestimating these Scouts.

“This year, we decided to have nice cold bottled water to hand out,” Eskandari said. “If people want to make a donation, that’s great.”

By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 112
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