BY EMILY GRAHAM

POTTSVILLE — The Pottsville Kiwanis Club’s seventh annual blueberry sale is on this week to raise money for the organization’s community and youth services.

Henry Beaver, the club’s treasurer, said the blueberry sale is an important fundraiser for the club, especially this year.

“Because of the pandemic, we lost all of our fundraisers, with the exception of this blueberry sale,” Beaver said. “We’re down to one fundraiser, so this is very important for us.”

The club works to serve the local community, with an emphasis on children and youth. Beaver said the club provides scholarships, grants and awards throughout the year, including awards for music, scholastic achievement, community service, business and nursing.

The Kiwanis Club typically holds four fundraisers during the year to raise money for the scholarships and awards, but Beaver said the other three fundraisers had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

However, the blueberry sales have grown each year, which Beaver said provides something healthy for the buyers and helps the club continue its work in the community.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Beaver said.

The blueberries will be picked the day before the sale and delivered fresh from New Jersey. Along with the 10-pound box of blueberries, Beaver said, the club includes instructions on how to freeze them.

“The nice thing about blueberries compared to other things is that they can be frozen and enjoyed throughout the year,” Beaver said.

He said the club has also compiled recipes that buyers have shared with them in the past to include with the orders.

Orders can be made through Tuesday, and pickup will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 10 at Boyer’s Food Market on West Market Street in Pottsville. Beaver said pickup will be done in a safe drive-thru method.

The 10-pound box of blueberries, or 14 pints, costs $32, and checks can be made payable to the Pottsville Kiwanis Foundation and mailed to Beaver at 1401 Mahantongo St., Pottsville PA 17901. Beaver said to include the name, address and email of the buyer.

Orders can also be placed over the phone by calling Beaver at 570-985-7262 or William Pugh, club secretary, at 570-573-1773. Beaver can also be reached by email at hbeaver@voicenet.com.

Beaver also said anyone interested in joining the Kiwanis Club can contact him.

“It’s difficult to get new, younger members,” Beaver said. “We’ve been serving Pottsville for over 100 years. We’re always looking for new members.”

The Kiwanis Club celebrated its centennial in 2019, Beaver said, and they hope to continue despite the difficulties of the past year.

“We want to keep doing all the fine things that we do for the community,” Beaver said. “We’re not going to let the pandemic get us down.”