As chronicled by a KOMO TV report Friday, funds painstakingly acquired and saved over months for summer camp for members of Key Peninsula’s Boy Scout Troop 220 went missing.
“The loss of over $10,000 could have been devastating to our scouts,” and, in the words of Troop Committee Chairman Spencer Wiklund, “very easily could have shattered the summer camp dreams of many of the 35 scouts who had their hearts and schedules set on the adventure. Nonetheless, with the determination of a true Boy Scout set on climbing a mountain, Troop 220 scouts, their parents, siblings, leaders, and supporters from as far away as England pulled off a fundraiser that was nothing short of epic.”
On May 19, at a special Troop 220 meeting, troop leadership informed everyone of the situation, Wiklund said.
“Everyone agreed we should make every effort to re-build the summer camp fund,” he said. “Someone suggested we have a car wash. Quickly, a bake sale was added on and then a rummage sale. Plans were made and we were off.”
By Monday, thanks to the KP Fire Department, the troop secured a place to hold the event.
“Thursday, the news was out,” said Wiklund, “and the story went TV-media viral. Friday, Marcia Gibbons started a GoFundMe account for Troop 220 at Sound Credit Union. That evening the community began bringing in donations for the rummage sale.”
At 7 a.m. Saturday, scouts and supporters met at the Key Center Fire Station, put out signs, and people started arriving.
“True magic started to happen,” Wiklund said. “By 9 a.m. the fire station meeting room was full, as were most of the outside parking spots with everything from thrift store finds to a player piano, and hardwood flooring — even some baby chicks were ready for sale. Lots of baked goods were for sale. Outside, the car wash was underway.”
With help, scouts washed more than 100 cars and trucks, a boat, a couple of trailers and a bus. For seven uninterrupted hours the scout team washed vehicles without stop.
Wiklund’s son, Alexander, commented, “What we thought was a light green car was bright white when we finished.”
The scouts were delighted that people from all over came to support them. Cub Pack 10 came from Tacoma, not only bringing a generous check but a trailer full of items for the rummage sale. People came from Edmonds, Olympia and everywhere in-between.
“By 4 p.m. the troop had not only made its goal, but surpassed it.
“There is enough money enough for every scout to go to camp and pay for transportation,” Wiklund said. “This was without counting the GoFundMe account. GoFundMe allowed people from as far away as England to help our cause. Joe Watt even pledged $20 for each of the 12 points of the Scout Law.”
The troop’s goal was to make $8,000, which would allow two-thirds of the troop to go to camp with help. It made more than $15,000 in one day, almost double the goal. Every scout who wants to, will go to camp.
As of Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe account had raised more than $5,000.
“This is more than any of us dreamed,” marveled Wiklund, adding, “I am truly thankful for everyone’s support. I am so proud to be part of our boy scouts and the best community to be found anywhere — the Key Peninsula. I could not have picked a better place to raise my boys. Thank you so much for restoring my faith, KP Veterans, Michael and Cathy Marino, Jon and Shirley Crane, the KP Lions Club, KP’s Cub Pack 222, Tacoma’s Cub Pack 10, the KP Fire Department, Joe Watt, The Bread Lady, the Boy Scouts Pacific Harbors Council, the Key Center Market, Susan Homan, Lia and Chad Burrington, Adam Christensen and everyone else who helped us!”
Wiklund didn’t mention that Troop 220 and Cub Pack 222 were at work at 7 a.m. the following morning assisting the KP Veterans instal 358 flags and their staffs at the annual KP Veterans’ Aisle of Honor ceremony at the Vaughn Cemetery. They also assisted in taking down, properly folding and storing the flags that evening.