Optimist Club trying to stay optimistic

News

Not a big fan of wrapping your own gifts?

For the last four decades, the optimist club has been wrapping them for you and we decided to check in on the process.

“It’s just easier so you don’t have to waste paper,” said Layla Fricke, who’s getting her presents wrapped.

Every year, the Bismarck Optimist Club camps out in front of the old Herbergers in the Kirkwood Mall.

“Last year we did as well,” says Fricke.

It’s a holiday tradition.

Tom Miller leads this “wrap pack”, and the clubs biggest fundraiser of the year. But, this Christmas, they are trying to stay optimistic.

“It’s been a slow year, the Saturday after Black Friday was the first time we ever closed up because of the weather. Can we make it up?  I hope so,” said Miller, Chairman of the Optimist Club gift wrapping project.

Miller is passionate about the process and raising money for the cause, which is helping to bring optimism to mostly grade school-age kids.

“They seem to be the ones that need the most. We’re always short of money but never short of things to do,” said Miller.

So with every cut, and every wrap made here they’re are helping to give gifts to kids in the community not just a Christmas time, but throughout the year.

The Optimist Club will be wrapping gifts every day up until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Miller said that’s generally one of their biggest days.

Miller talked about the rising cost of wrapping gifts.

Each roll of wrapping paper costs about $280 plus shipping.

He said they order about 3,000 bows at 14 cents per bow. Plus, there’s mall rent.

He said on a good year the gift wrapping operation can gross $25,000 and while that sounds like a lot, Miller said the overhead costs certainly put a dent on the holiday efforts.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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