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'A feel-good thing': Winnipeg couple’s popular wood pallet snowmen fundraiser back again

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A Winnipeg couple who transform unassuming wooden pallets with a little holiday magic is back to raise more money for local charities, one snowman at a time.

Val Ruth and Blaine Wall started creating snowmen out of recycled pallets in the throes of the pandemic in 2020. They decided to sell them and donate the proceeds to charity.

“It was something for us to do, and it turned out to be more popular than we thought it would be,” recalled Ruth in an interview with CTV News Winnipeg.

In the first year, the couple sold about 150 snowmen.

Blown away by the success, they broke out their saw and paintbrushes again in 2021. That year, they sold about 300, donating around $7,600 to a number of local charities and shelters.

This year, they hope to surpass that and have set a $10,000 fundraising goal.

“We’ve made over 300 so far and I still have some time to make more if they start to sell,” Wall said.

Selling for $30 a pop, the snowmen are a joint effort by the pair. Together, they have to find the used pallets, cut them, clean them, and then paint and decorate them.

It’s a process the duo has refined over the years.

“We've become more efficient, and I started in the summer which made a hell of a difference on how it worked,” Wall explained.

The couple says the snowmen are their way of giving back, as they would not be able to donate this amount of money alone.

“We've helped a lot of people with it, and people seem to have appreciated when we've donated to them. Mostly we pick smaller places to send it because they get less, they're unnoticed or not even known about. It's a feel-good thing,” Ruth said.

The snowmen can be purchased by email.

- With files from CTV’s Scott Andersson

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