Jaycees' Candy Cane Hunt set for Dec. 18 in Detroit Lakes
The Detroit Lakes Jaycees are hosting a Candy Cane Hunt for lakes-area families on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 18, with the proceeds to benefit Jaycees Christmas projects in the community. Families that would like Jaycees volunteers to come spread the colorful, tasty candies on their lawns, or around the outside of their homes for the kids to find in the morning must place their online-only orders no later than Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Egg hunts are a tradition for many local families at Easter time — and the Detroit Lakes Jaycees are hoping their second annual Candy Cane Hunt becomes just as inextricably linked with Christmas in the lakes area.
The Jaycees started the event last year, when COVID-19 either canceled or scaled back most of the holiday giving events they had planned, explained event organizer Mandie Tretbar.
"We still wanted to do something for the community that supports us," she said — so they came up with the idea of hosting a candy cane hunt.
"We had over 30 houses — I think for our first year that was pretty good," Tretbar added. So a second annual event was added to the Jaycees' calendar for December.
With a donation of just $10 for 20 candy canes, $20 for 40 canes or $50 for 100, local parents can ensure that Jaycees volunteers will come to their homes after dark on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 18 and carefully hide the colorful candies somewhere outside their homes or in the yard for the kids to find the following morning.
The families sent them back pictures from their hunts last year, Tretbar said, noting that it was pretty fun to see the reactions.
"Some even did the hunt in their PJs," she added.
The proceeds from this year's hunt will benefit Jaycees Christmas projects in the community, such as the annual Gifts for Kids distribution — in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes — and gifts of prepaid grocery cards for individuals in the community who are nominated by local residents for "having a positive impact on their lives" during the previous year.
"We just started doing that (the grocery cards) this year too," Tretbar said., noting that some of the cards were distributed prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. "We just put something up on Facebook (asking for nominations)."
Deadline to register for the Candy Cane Hunt is Wednesday, Dec. 15, Tretbar added.
Tretbar said that the Jaycees would also like to fill out their ranks a little bit this holiday season.
"We’re always short members," she said, adding that the organization is open to anyone between the ages of 21-40 who would like to join.
And even if they don't fall within the required age group, local residents can always volunteer to work at Jaycees-sponsored events like the annual Northwest Water Carnival.
"We welcome volunteers of all ages at our events ," Tretbar said.