A Rotary Club of Yellowknife wreath sales desk in 2020. Photo: James O'Connor
The Rotary Club of Yellowknife won’t sell wreaths this holiday season, saying cost increases have almost entirely eroded the fundraiser’s worth.
Club officials said selling wreaths used to bring in $10,000 to $12,000 in revenue each year.
However, those officials said, a southern manufacturer almost doubled the wreaths’ prices last year – a price that has risen again this year – and the cost of transporting the wreaths has gone up.
The manufacturer is understood to be facing cost increases of its own and a labour shortage.
“Since the cost of wreaths increased significantly last year, we raised the price of wreaths to $75. This was challenging for many of our longtime Rotary supporters,” club president Lydia Bardak told Cabin Radio by email on Thursday.
“Another increase would have been needed to really make this fundraiser viable for Rotary projects.
“The wreath committee looked into other suppliers, but there are few farms that do this sort of work. Farms that used to sell wreaths only sell a few and are not able to make the quantity we are looking for. The farms that still make wreaths all charge the same or a bit more that our current supplier.”
Bardak said the cost to the club of each wreath increased by 75 percent last year and was due to rise by a further 16 percent this year.
Last year, the club raised just $3,000 from wreath sales.
This year, Bardak said the fundraising focus will shift to a Jingle and Mingle event being held at Yellowknife Elks Lodge on December 16.
That dinner and dance costs $100 per person to attend.
“Funds raised will go to supporting local youth programs,” Bardak wrote.