Queen’s engineering frosh ready to ‘Go Nuts’ this Labour Day

Queen’s engineering frosh ready to sell their nuts in the community in 2017. Photo via Rotary Club of Kingston.

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.

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.

“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 Peter Burrell, Nut Drive Co-Chair.

“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.”

This year marks the return of this event — the last door-to-door fundraiser was held in 2019, and the event was put on hold throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Kingstonist asked if a different style of fundraiser took place over the last two years, Marci McMullen, Director of Fundraising for the Rotary Club of Kingston, said that Queens had the first-year engineering students make videos, and Rotarians made donations and voted on the best videos.

“The [Rotary Nut Drive] event typically made over $10,000, and during COVID we made around $500 on the event,” she noted.

This year, more than 500 Engineering frosh, with Rotarian volunteers, will blitz the city on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, from 5 to 8 p.m. selling boxes of chocolate-covered almonds with a (bonus) Rotary pen for $5.

This door-to-door campaign is crucial to the fundraising efforts of local Rotary clubs, according to a press release from the Rotary Club of Kingston. Proceeds are split between the local clubs, which then designate the 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
  • Youth Adventure Programs (RYLA, Citizenship, History, Environment)
  • Rotaract & Interact Clubs
  • Helen Tufts Nursery School
  • Dictionaries 4 Life
  • RKY Camp Camperships
  • Easter Seals
  • Boys & Girls Club of Kingston & Area
  • Loving Spoonful
  • Southern Frontenac Community Services
  • Pathways to Education
  • Frontenac 4H
  • Frontenac Council on Aging

The Rotary Nut Drive will begin at the Tindall Field Parking Lot (at the corner of Union and Albert Streets). The Town Crier will be introducing the event and Mayor Paterson, a proud Honorary Rotarian himself, to the Queen’s engineering students at 4 p.m. at the south end of the Tindall Parking lot before the group ‘Goes Nuts’ for Rotary.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Kingston, visit their website.

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