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Top Scouts Sell First Bag of Popcorn to Successful Businessman Najim

Alamo Area Council’s Top Popcorn Sellers Open Scouting’s Popcorn Season with Community Support

by Angel Zuniga Martinez for the Alamo Area BSA: September 9, 2016

The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council kicked off their annual Trail’s End Popcorn Fall fundraiser on September 8, 2016, with standout Cub Scout salesmen, Benjamin Schechter, Nathaniel Schechter, and Evan Simmons, ages seven, ten, and ten, respectively. The brothers and Scouting friend made the first sale of the season to successful businessman and philanthropist, Harvey E. Najim.  Fox News 29, was on hand to witness the Scouts knock on the door at the Najim Family Foundation.

“Selling Popcorn is hard, requiring public speaking, salesmanship, and persistence.  Like camping and outdoor adventuring, selling a quality product like Trail's End Popcorn, prepares our youth to face a challenging world with a heart for service, commitment, and leadership; equaling success,” said Michael de los Santos, Scout Executive/CEO, Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.

Cub Scouts, Benjamin, Nathaniel, and Evan found success helping their Pack 109 raise over $53,257 last year in overall sales; each selling an average of $8,305 of the golden corn. Seventy-three percent of the funds raised from the Popcorn Fall Fundraiser goes to support Scouting programs council-wide, such as Project Aguila. Project Aquila is a local initiative striving to create long-standing units in areas where the Council has identified the need for a program that prepares boys for life.

"I was a Scout and a successful salesman, and it is an honor to continue this tradition to help kick off this year's Boy Scouts sales campaign that supports Scouting Programs...I see the strong work ethic from the Boy Scouts, and I want to help them continue doing good for the community,” said Harvey Najim, founder of the Harvey E Najim Family Foundation.

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“We learned that Mr. Najim sold his computer company and now gives back to kids to help the community...So, do your best and help others,” said Nathan when asked what he learned from talking to the philanthropist. 

“He's a very nice man, and he just gives money to everybody...If you work hard, you can be a billionaire...So, work hard, get out there, and do your best,” said brother Ben.

"If you work hard enough, you may be able to give something back to the people that gave something to you," shared Evan. 

Starting Saturday, September 10, 2016, communities should be on the lookout for Scouts selling popcorn in front of various local businesses and in their neighborhood. Sales extend through Tuesday, November 1, 2016.  Scouts will have traditional favorites such as the Classic Caramel Corn priced at $10.00 and new additions like the tasty Jalapeno Cheddar that sells for $15.00.

“Besides being grateful to Harvey Najim for buying popcorn from our Scouts, we value the unified focus on youth we have with the Najim Family Foundation, in giving back to our community.  We look forward to continuing this partnership in serving our kids,” said Angel Martinez, PR Director with the local Boy Scouts. 

More than 18,000 youth in the Alamo Area Council supported sales of over $1.5 million worth of popcorn during the Trail’s End Popcorn Fall Fundraiser in 2015.  Over $545,481 of those funds supported an ideal year of scouting for kids and families.

“It’s not about selling popcorn…it’s about our youth looking someone in the eye and being able to talk to people. A lot of kids are missing out on this skillset. It’s important to build up our future leaders,” said Michael Simmons, Scouting father and leader.

"Scouting is about being nice, doing good, and we are really not selling popcorn for you to just buy popcorn...Basically, it's for you to give us a donation.  The popcorn is just like saying thank you for doing a donation," said Ben.

For more information on how you can support your local Boy Scouts through purchasing Trail’s End popcorn, contact the Alamo Area Council’s Unit Fundraising Team by email at Popcorn@AlamoAreaBSA.org or visit www.AlamoAreaBSA.org/Popcorn

About the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council

The Alamo Area Council, BSA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, serves a 13 county area imparting the Scouting program to over 18,000 youth and 6,500 volunteer adults in South Texas. With Learning for Life, an in-school character education subsidiary of Boy Scouts of America, the Council serves over 25,876 youth.  The Boy Scouts of America continues to prepare young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, utilizing outdoor activity, citizenship, and sports fitness.  Learn more at http://www.AlamoAreaBSA.orgExternal Link