Rotary Kingston announces successful sales following incident with Queen’s frosh partnership

The chocolate bars that were being sold by the Rotary Club of Kingston for the 2023 Nut Drive have now sold out. Photo via Rotary Club of Kingston on Facebook.

Despite the cancellation of the traditional ‘Go Nuts’ campaign, the Rotary Club of Kingston has announced the successful sales of all stock meant to be sold through the fundraising event.

As previously reported by Kingstonist, Rotary Kingston announced the cancellation of the Go Nuts campaign after the Queen’s University Engineering first-year students, or frosh, “rejected” the longstanding fundraising partnership, according to Rotary. The partnering students and Rotary volunteers were meant to drive door-to-door on the evening of Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, selling Laura Secord nut-free chocolate bars to fundraise for Rotary (this was a switch from the usual sales of nuts through the campaign, hence the name). However, the students opted not to participate. This left Rotary with hundreds of chocolate bars to sell, as the organization stood to lose money otherwise.

 The cancellation was announced on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023, and was quickly followed by the Engineering Society of Queen’s University issuing a statement on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. While the university itself did not comment on the matter, the Engineering Society stated it stood by the decisions made by the frosh students, and said they “hope to find new and mutually beneficial pathways to be unified with Rotary in their service to the Kingston community.”

In an email to Kingstonist, Queen’s Engineering Society President Aidan Shimizu explained that “there were some scheduling delays” during the orientation events for engineering frosh on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, which “caused the first years to be a bit late to our BBQ that we hold at GoNutz (sic), and subsequently late to the event.”

“Additionally, there was a heat warning that day, and as our event right before GoNutz is outside and quite active, many of the first years were extremely tired by the end of it,” Shimizu said.

“However, it is not our objective to provide reasoning at this point, we are working with Rotary to reinvent our relationship and look forward to continuing it.”

But regardless of those complications, now, all of those chocolate bars – which Rotary thanked Lionhearts Inc. for allowing them the use of their cold storage facilities for – have sold in the week since the unfortunate incident, according to the local charitable organization.

On Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, Rotary Kingston issued a celebratory press release entitled “That’s a Wrap!” which noted that the organization felt “humbled and overwhelmed by the astounding support shown by individuals and businesses in the greater Kingston community.”

“When the Rotary Nut Drive was cancelled for reasons beyond our control, we did the only thing we knew how to do,” said  Marci McMullen, 2023 Nut Drive Chair, in a statement.

“We reached out to everyone in the community and simply asked for their help. And support beyond our wildest expectations is exactly what we got!”

Rotary Kingston said that 300 cases of the Laura Secord chocolate bars “flew off the virtual shelves” over the course of three days.

In the press release, the organization also thanked the Engineering Society, which purchased “a significant number of cases to distribute at several events celebrating the positive impact of Rotary in the community.”

“We sincerely hope to forge a new path with the students to work together to help those in need in the Greater Kingston area,” the organization stated.

One thought on “Rotary Kingston announces successful sales following incident with Queen’s frosh partnership

  • So, it is the Community that rallied and supported the Rotary Club. The comments from the Engineering Society is disturbing. The excuses/rationales simply show that the Society failed. This event should have been on their program for months and they deliberately planned events such that the poor students were too tired! This story typifies the attitude of many students and Queen’s organizations.

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