Buchanan Scarecrow Charities begins season

BUCHANAN — For some, scarecrows are a spooky harbinger that Halloween is around the corner. However, in the city of Buchanan, the smiling faces of scarecrows are a symbol of both the fall season and the spirit of community giving.

Last week, the Buchanan Scarecrow Charities began its fall season by placing scarecrows, sponsored by area businesses and individuals, around the downtown. All the money that comes from selling the scarecrows to businesses stays within the community, as the nonprofit organization gives to the local causes such as the Buchanan Art Center, the library, Tin Shop Theatre and Redbud Area Ministries, among other efforts. In its more than a decade of existence, Buchanan Scarecrow Charities has donated more than $95,000 to local causes.

“It just keeps growing every year,” said Mary Fisher, co-founder of Buchanan Scarecrow Charities. “I’m just amazed at how it’s grown. It started just as an idea we had, but it’s become a kind of tradition here.”

When Buchanan Scarecrow Charities began selling its scarecrows this year, Fisher said the organization was concerned that businesses would not be able to donate due to COVID-19 related cutbacks. In anticipation of this, the organization decided to make the cost of scarecrows an open donation. However, Fisher said nearly every business involved chose to pay the full, typical amount, and the organization sold almost as many scarecrows as last year. This year, the organization placed 210 scarecrows around Buchanan.

“If they could only afford $20, that would have been fine,” Fisher said. “However, hardly anybody turned us down. … The local businesses have been so supportive.”

The only major challenge the Buchanan Scarecrow Charities faced this year due to COVID-19 is that it could not host its typical scarecrow workshops due to social distancing guidelines. To help make up for the loss of funds related to those workshops, the organization will be hosting a fall gnome and craft sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 19. The event will take place on Front Street in the Barker parking lot by the duck pond. A rain date has been set for Sept. 26.

Fisher said she is hopeful the Buchanan community will turn out to support the event, as the community has always supported the Buchanan Scarecrow Charities.

As she waits for the event, Fisher said she hopes that residents and people passing through the city of Buchanan will see the scarecrows and smile.

“For [the volunteers], this is about the fun we have and friendships we make,” Fisher said. “The community benefits from this, and we do too.”

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