Merrill's Scarecrow Contest Raises Money for Food Pantries

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

They're usually placed in gardens, used to keep the birds away, but in Merrill scarecrows are in downtown store front windows.

It's part of a contest meant to drive in customers, and help those in need.

Downtown Merrill is embracing the fall season with the annual Ultimate Scarecrow Contest.

"We have groups like the humane society and the library and different places like that that have scarecrows that they have made that are set up in the windows," said Linda Bergh, who works at Johnson Gifts and is involved with the contest.

Groups, businesses, even kids built the scarecrows which are making a festive scene in several store fronts.

It's part of the Discover Downtown Merrill Association's initiative to get people to see what the downtown has to offer.

People are encouraged to come downtown, check out the stores, and vote for their favorite scarecrow by donating at least a quarter.

"We have cash gifts that are given away. The first prize is $100, the second prize is $75 and the third is $50," Bergh said.

The rest will go to the Community Food Pantry, and the food pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church.

"I've seen a big change since we've been here, of people in need," said Violet Woller, a volunteer at the Community Food Pantry.

She says the timing is right, and that those who receive the groceries will be thankful.

"We've had people come through here they had tears in their eyes, they didn't realize there was so much here," Woller said.

So while people are crossing off items on their shopping list downtown, they can also help make sure nobody in the community goes hungry.

Last year the contest raised $700.

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