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Handmade scarecrows raise thousands for charity in Buchanan

Dozens of handmade scarecrows now line the streets of downtown Buchanan, and it’s all for a good cause.

“They’re personalities…they’re not just scarecrows,” Judy Colpetzer, a Buchanan Scarecrows volunteer, said.

It’s the tenth year scarecrows have popped up in Buchanan, and between Labor Day and Halloween, you’ll see some “on a yellow submarine,” others swinging in the park, and even a few heading home after a long day’s work.

More than 150 handmade scarecrows are on display throughout downtown Buchanan.

“I think the people really like it and it draws people in,” Colpetzer said. “And I think us being a charity really has helped, too, because they know the money is outreached within the Buchanan area.”

What started as a hobby in the city’s art center 10 years ago has become a full-fledged non-profit organization.

Buchanan Scarecrow Charities sells each custom crow to local businesses. The group then uses the money raised to give back to the community in the form of scholarships, clothing donations, purchasing new equipment for city officials, and more.

About two dozen volunteers craft the scarecrows from start to finish.

“It’s a year-round job,” Colpetzer said.

The scarecrows’ faces and hair are made in the winter.

By April, the custom crows start to take shape, as supplies donated or purchased at yard sales complete the ensemble.

Colpetzer is volunteering with the group for her fifth year.

“It’s a stress reliever for me,” she said. “I really enjoy the company of everybody and producing something that I know other people are gonna like.”

One of those people is Virginia Reed, who has owned Guys & Dolls Styling in Buchanan for 39 years.

“I think it’s wonderful that we have this in our town,” Reed said.

She has purchased a scarecrow every year for the last decade, and she displays it in her front window.

This year, she’s even holding a contest to name her custom companion.

Reed said the scarecrows spruce up the city, and she is dedicated to supporting them.

“Got my order in for next year,” Reed said.

The group is also hosting workshops throughout September if you and your family are interested in making a scarecrow of your own.

There will be a workshop on Saturday, September 10 and Saturday, September 24. The cost to make a scarecrow is $25, and all the proceeds will go to charity.

For more details, you can visit the group’s Facebook page or call 269-845-6072.

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