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EMSF collectible truck will still be sold in fundraising effort

[Joe Merlihan]

Despite the cancellation of the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival this year, the organizing committee is still hoping to raise funds for the charitable groups that benefit each year.

Doug McLean is the chair of the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival [Joe Merlihan]

One of the ways the group will be doing that is continuing with sale of the collectible created to mark each year’s festival, said committee chair Doug McLean.

The latest limited-edition collectible to commemorate the event is a red 1948 Ford pickup truck.

The collectible is part of a tradition that dates back to 1987. The truck is the third in a line of new collectibles started by the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival committee.

In 2018, the organization switched to 1:43 scale with a 1934 Ford BB-157 truck, shifting gears from the 1:25 scale in place for some 30 years. That truck was followed by last year’s burgundy 1950 GMC pickup truck.

The shift was made in response to the wishes of collectors, as the new collectibles take up much less space, says long-time toy show organizer Doug McLean, who this year is chair of the entire Elmira Maple Syrup Festival committee.

“The very first truck was a little wee one, and then we had 30 vehicles, though they weren’t all trucks. There were cars and there were horse-and-wagons, quite a variety, that were in the 1:25 scale. And we had some people were saying they were starting to have trouble with space to display them all.”

The toy vehicles typically sell quickly – there are a few from past years available to those looking to fill in their collections, though some years sell out completely, as was the case when the new format was rolled out in 2018. It’s always a good idea to get in early, says McLean.

This year’s 1948 Ford pickup truck is emblazoned with the 2020 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival logo.

“There’s already been some calls about it.”

Typically sold at the festival’s toy show, the collectible will be sold through the committee this time around. The commemorative item will also be available at the Township of Woolwich administration office.

Over its 55 years, the festival has raised more than $1.8 million for a variety of organizations. Last year, $65,000 was disbursed to 30 groups. Traditionally, 40 per cent of the profits are allocated annually to Elmira District Community Living, with the remaining amounts shared among selected organizations. That list includes the Elmira Theatre Company, the Maple Syrup Museum, Woolwich sledge hockey, Woman’s Crisis Services Waterloo Region and 1st Elmira Scout.

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