Saturday, June 1, 1991

Rough Risers Make Money Selling Melons or Recycling Newspaper?

Spring, 1991 - Serving the community is not limited to building shelters or reading books to students in schools. We have always been on the search for ways to raise money that we can then donate to programs/projects in the Cedar Valley.

One of the founders, Lynn Schwandt, always had ideas on fundraising; some good and some a disaster!  One of these ideas involved selling watermelon by the slice during the Sturgis Falls Celebration. This was a good idea on the surface but it took a lot of manpower. Cutting and selling the melons wasn't too difficult, but watermelons were not too portable. Someone had to keep watch over the huge water tank full of melons all night to keep them from being stolen. Even after we figured out how to handle all of the logistical problems, the actual sales of watermelon slices were also in the tank!

The best idea that Lynn Schwandt ever came up for fundraising was recycling newspapers for making attic insulation and at a highly lucrative price of $10 a ton. Fellow members had drawn plan permits and all pitched in to build a newspaper receptacle to gather the forthcoming windfall. 

It garnered much local media attention and was it extremely successful. We even had the newspaper bin as our float at the Sturgis Falls Celebration. We put it on John Deery’s Car Lot on the corner of University and Main in Cedar Falls. It was such a gigantic hit, that we were even considering building another one to double our efforts! 

But, all good things run their course of longevity; the price for used newspaper started to decline in recycled newspapers due to oversupply. We decided to retire newspaper booths and turn our attention towards other fundraisers like selling Kettlecorn.