Sara Scott says sale success seems sweet, sentimental, supportive
PROVIDENCE BAY – This year’s Dewar Family Maple Syrup Shack virtual auction of the first litre of the 2020 syrup run drew strong support from Islanders, netting a donation total of $2,000 for the Northern Cancer Foundation at Health Sciences North in Sudbury and keeping the title of the winning bidder within the Scott family for the second straight year.
“It was so exciting to hear I won,” said Sara Scott, winner of this year’s first litre of maple syrup with a $500 donation bid.
For the last six years, the Dewar Family has auctioned off the precious first litre of syrup in each year’s spring production run. The winning bidder’s amount gets sent to Northern Cancer Foundation and they walk away with a sweet victory prize.
The auctions have always been held on the family’s maple syrup Facebook page, meaning they were well positioned to transition to the newly enforced physical distancing directives.
“Our family was pretty excited considering all the stuff that was going on. We didn’t expect the same sort of turnout but everybody pulled together in the end,” said organizer Travis Dewar.
Last year’s record winning bid of $1,000 by Karlene, Rob and Sara Scott was untouchable for this year but the latter Ms. Scott came out fighting and stole the competition away with her $500 winning bid.
“We’re a competitive family,” said Ms. Scott with a laugh.
The auction has taken on a new sentimental meaning for the Scott family. Last year Adam MacDonald, a cousin of Ms. Scott’s father, Rob, was undergoing cancer treatments and put out a call to the public to out-bid him for this cause that directly impacted his life.
That led the Scott family to pool their resources together and lodge a record-setting $1,000 bid to win the prize last year. They later took their winning syrup to the hospital for a visit and shared some with Mr. McDonald over a pancake breakfast.
“The Northern Cancer Foundation is very near and dear to our family,” Ms. Scott said. “This year was similar to last year when we wanted to win it for him. I spent a lot of time with him this past year, especially when he got sick.”
“It’s great to know that somebody who truly appreciates where the dollars go is putting money forward for it. Adam was a good friend of mine and (the Scott) family as well, so it’s good to see that somebody is giving back in that sort of way,” said Mr. Dewar.
Ms. Scott said she had already made a plan for this year’s syrupy prize winnings, but she chose to keep it a surprise at this time.
There were also non-bid donations this year of $750, $500, $200 and $50, bringing this year’s total contribution to the cancer organization to an even $2,000.
Special bonus side-prizes were also available to bidders who brought the highest bid past a certain amount. The late Mr. McDonald’s wife Angela McDonald took the first milestone prize for bringing the bids over $157, Kevin Haines won the next milestone for passing $232, Nicole Sykes took the next one by passing $316 and Julie Girard took the final milestone when her bid exceeded $409.
This year’s production run totalled 139 litres of maple syrup for the Dewar family. It was down a bit from last year’s total of 175 litres, though that might be expected given the back-to-back remarkable winters from opposite ends of the weather spectrum.
“Our entire family is looking forward to next year already. We really get excited about it; it’s such a small donation on our behalf but makes such a massive impact in the end. We appreciate everybody who bids and follows along to watch,” said Mr. Dewar.