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COUPONS

Arai Goes All Out To Sell Popcorn For Pack, Food Pantry

December 12, 2010 by John Rook

For three months, Norton School student and Cub Scout Parker Arai pounded the pavement all across Cheshire in the hopes of meeting a goal.
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A member of Cub Scout Pack 92, chartered by Norton, Arai had vowed to help his group place first when it came to Scout popcorn sales this year, having come just short of the top honor in 2009. He had sold more than $2,000 worth of popcorn that year, but felt that he needed to do more, so he decided to set his sites higher for this year. “I told my dad I wanted to sell $4,000 worth this year,” said Arai. “I asked him if I could tell my group and he said 'yeah, sure.' I started right around the end of summer vacation.” Popcorn sales are a staple for all Scout groups, and the money raised helps pay for a variety of the club's activities throughout the year. However, Arai was also interested in raising money and donating popcorn to a more local cause, the Cheshire Food Pantry. “He thought it would be great to donate to them and, when we talked to (the Food Pantry) they were thrilled because they said they never get snacks,” explained Karin Arai, Parker's mother. From September through November, Parker Arai and his parents would venture out to sell his popcorn. His goal wouldn't be accomplished by securing big purchases from one or two people but, rather, an accumulation of smaller purchases garnered from knocking on a lot of doors. During the week, Arai would finish his dinner, complete his homework, and then go out, sheets of purchasing forms in hand, to sell his product. Usually, Arai and his parents would spend about two hours going door to door in the evening, which allowed them to meet a lot of different people. “Some people bought $50 worth of popcorn,” remembered Arai. “Other people would buy like $15 worth. We had one guy who gave us $2 and then shut the door.” Most people bought popcorn, but some people decided that, instead of purchasing the product they would instead just give money that could be given directly to the Food Pantry. “It gave people a choice,” stated Karin Arai. “They could donate, even if they didn't want the popcorn.” Arai admitted that it wasn't always fun going out and selling each night, but that he knew he had to reach his goal. “Getting to $900 was easy,” admitted Arai. “But, getting to $3,000 took forever.” “He was a real trooper,” added Karin Arai. “We would go out in the cold, in the rain, and he never really complained about it.” When Arai reached $3,700 he thought he might have hit his limit and that he wouldn't ultimately reach his goal. However, he was told that the last $300 would be secured by his father, who had enough people at his company ready to buy. Arai's final total would be $4,065. “When I saw that I was the top seller I was really excited,” remembered Arai. “I said 'hooray, I'm the top one.'” Arai's total was almost double the amount sold by the second highest seller in the pack, Cody Leaman, who tallied $2,500, and helped push the group past $15,000 in total sales, the top amount for any pack or Boy Scout troop in the district. Arai will also be able to donate more than $500 in money and popcorn donations to the Food Pantry, helping to stock its shelves with snacks right before the holiday season. “I am really happy,” said Arai. “I wanted to hit my goal and I wanted us to be the top seller in the district, and we are.” “We are really proud of him,” said Karin Arai. “He set this goal a year ago, when he was only seven, and he stuck with it all the way through.”
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