Blueberries ripe for the picking up

cmccracken@centredaily.comJune 25, 2014 

— Jane Krumrine, of State College, carried out one 10-pound box of blueberries from the Snider Agricultural Arena, leaving a mountain of more than 5,000 boxes in the arena behind her.

Krumrine plans to save some of her blueberries for the off-season.

“I will freeze a lot of them so that I have blueberries all winter for pancakes, muffins, cereal,” Krumrine said, “anything I can think of.”

The Kiwanis Club of State College hosted its eighth annual blueberry sale Wednesday, raising more than $150,000. The club donates all of the proceeds to various organizations, including Young Children Priority One, scholarships for State College Area High School students and the Eliminate Project with UNICEF.

“All the money we make, we give away; we don’t hoard anything,” Bill Nichol, chairman of the blueberry sale, said. “That’s the purpose of a service club, to take care of the community, to take care of the people internationally and locally.”

To date, the Kiwanis Club has donated $39,149 of its $50,000 goal to the Eliminate Project, which is focused on eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide.

The blueberry sale is the club’s largest fundraiser of the year, and a large portion of this year’s proceeds will go to the Eliminate Project.

“If we vaccinate the mother, we save the child,” Nichol said. “You know, that’s the most important thing.”

The Kiwanis Club began advertising the sale April 1, and Lilly Nichol, Kiwanis Club member, started entering the orders May 1. Since then, she has put in many hours of work organizing the list of more than 2,000 customers.

“I think it’s important because the Kiwanis Club gives to children and youth, and they give it all away,” Nichol said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s for a good cause and it’s worth it in the end.”

The blueberries are shipped from central New Jersey in two trailers in the early morning before the sale. Nichol advised buyers to let the blueberries ripen in the box for four or five days before freezing them, due to a late spring in New Jersey.

Despite the slightly smaller size of the berries this year, State College resident Madeline Cantu vouched for their quality.

“I’m getting blueberries for my mother, my aunt and for a co-worker,” Cantu said. “I’m going to freeze them and we’ll be eating a lot of blueberries in the next couple of days. They are by far the best blueberries I have ever eaten in my life. They’re so good and everybody knows it.”

For those who forgot to pick up their blueberries or didn’t pre-order blueberries, extra boxes will be available Thursday at Bill Nichol’s house, 467 Nimitz Ave., State College.

“We’ll have a certain number of people who will forget, or people who want to increase their order,” Nichol said. “If we run out of blueberries, there’s a truck leaving New Jersey at 1 a.m. tomorrow and we’ll get some on that truck if we need them.”

To place an order, call the Kiwanis hotline at 238-2485.

 

Casey McCracken can be reached at 231-4646.

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