Brother carriers say goodbye to Mukilteo Beacon
Every Wednesday, brothers Ben and Calvin Hunter would race to deliver the Mukilteo Beacon as fast as they could.
After four years of delivering their hometown newspaper once a week, the Hunter kids are saying goodbye to the Beacon. July is Ben and Calvin’s last month as Beacon carriers.
Ben and Calvin started delivering The Beacon on their own routes when they were 12 and 11 years old. Ben had a route in Hidden Pointe; Calvin’s was in Puget Sound Hills.
The brothers liked having their own jobs and making their own money.
“I wanted to get working experience and money, and also my brother had a route,” Calvin said.
Ben, 16, is a junior at Kamiak High School. He plays select baseball almost year-round. He would run from doorstep to doorstep, delivering newspapers quickly after school so that he could get to baseball practice on time.
Calvin, 14, is a seventh grader at Explorer Middle School. He is involved in his church youth group, and plays baseball and basketball.
Both of them are members of the National Honor Society at their schools.
The Hunter family will be moving to Ohio this month. Ben said he’ll have to look for another part-time job as he finishes high school. Calvin said he might try babysitting to earn money.
As Beacon carriers, the Hunter kids’ biggest tips were $20 for the week or $40 for the year. When they couldn’t collect, they chalked it up as community service.
Once, one of Calvin’s customers paid him with candy. Another gave him a McDonald’s gift card as a thank you.
With his tips, Ben paid for a trip to Costa Rica, bought hunting gear and saved up for college. Calvin spent his earnings on birthday and Christmas gifts, and then put the rest in the bank.
The brothers said the Beacon routes taught them how to talk to customers, manage money and to have a good work ethic. They said it was a good first job.
“I learned that, in order to be successful, I needed to be fully committed to my goals of making money and providing good customer service,” Ben said.
Ben and Calvin both said they are going to miss their Beacon routes. Ben said he’ll miss chatting with his customers. Calvin said he’ll miss the money.
Although they don’t know who will take over their carrier jobs yet, the brothers said they hope theirs will go to kids who have never had a route before.
They also have some advice for kids who want to be Beacon carriers:
“Never give up after the first try,” when collecting tips, Ben said. “If a person isn’t home one week, try the next. Also, try collecting on Tuesday night if you know you’ll be busy Wednesday.
“In addition, the better you know your customers, the more likely they are to remember to leave a tip. Keep them informed on how you are spending your money and what you are up to.”
Calvin’s advice: “Do the route ASAP after school, knock on doors to collect and get to know your customers.”
If your child is interested in becoming a Beacon carrier, email Circulation Manager Carolyn Hart-Mylie at email@example.com. Carriers must be at least 10 years old.