Area residents should have their cash ready this Labour Day — Rotarians and Queen’s University Engineering Frosh will together blitz the region to raise money, as part of Orientation Week at Queen’s.
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson (a proud Honorary Rotarian, according to the Club) and Kingston City Council have proclaimed Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, as Go Nuts Day. A staple event of September in Kingston, the Rotary Nut Drive is an annual tradition, and area residents have come to expect the yearly knock on their doors from purple-skinned students with funky hair.
According to a release from the Rotary Club of Kingston, other than the pandemic blips, the Rotary Nut Drive has run every year since 1965, bringing together local Rotarians and Queen’s University Engineering Frosh to blitz the region to raise money. In fact, it is the longest-running Queen’s Orientation Week event.
This year, the Engineering Frosh will not be selling nuts, and will instead be selling Laura Secord chocolate bars. The bars are available in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, French mint, puffed rice, and toffee crunch bars — and they don’t contain a single nut.
The Rotary Club added that the “nuttiness of it all” doesn’t end there. This year, for everyone who is not home to meet students knocking on their doors, these chocolate bars are available for sale online (https://kingstonrotary.square.site) individually ($5) or by the case (30 bars for $150). For anyone who’s not a fan of chocolate (apparently that’s a thing), the Rotary Clubs of Kingston would also graciously accept a donation of any amount.
“We found that too many people had nut allergies, so wanted to offer nut-free options,” Marci McMullen, Nut Drive Co-Chair shared with Kingstonist. “And, Laura Secord is a high-end product.”
This door-to-door campaign is crucial to the fundraising efforts of local Rotary clubs, according to the release. Proceeds are split between the local clubs, which designate funds for programs, services, and projects. The Rotary Club said that, since its inception, the Rotary Nut Drive has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support numerous organizations that focus on children, youth, seniors, food security, etc., such as:
- Rotary Youth Exchange
- Martha’s Table
- Youth Adventure Programs (RYLA, Citizenship, History, Environment)
- Rotaract & Interact Clubs
- BGC Southeast
- Saint Vincent de Paul
- Pathways to Education
- Frontenac Council on Aging
“The Rotary Nut Drive is steeped in tradition in Kingston and its success would not be possible without the incredible support of area residents,” said McMullen. “It also helps students take part in a fun, well-known, and successful fundraising event. They meet so many people at the doors, get a glimpse of life off campus, and learn more about Rotary and what we do in our community and around the world.”
The Rotary Nut Drive will take place on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. The Queen’s engineering students will be knocking on doors from 4 to 9 p.m.
For more information on the Rotary Club of Kingston, visit their website.