Oregon girl won’t give up on mistletoe enterprise

PORTLAND, Ore. — An 11-year-old Lake Oswego girl who went into the holiday greenery business to help pay for her braces but ran into a legal roadblock got some orders and a big donation. Now she has the top row of her braces.

Madison Root cut and bagged mistletoe last week at her uncle’s farm in Newberg and took it to Portland’s arts and crafts bazaar, the Saturday Market, to sell at $4 a bag, The Oregonian reported.

She was doing OK, having sold seven bags in half an hour. Then a private security guard for the market told Madison and her father, Ashton Root, that the city code requires a sales permit.

Ashton Root said the guard told them that his daughter could beg for money, but she couldn’t sell the mistletoe or even give it away and ask for a donation. The father said there ought to be “some sort of exception.”

“We totally understand the rule,” Root said. “But here she was selling mistletoe, and all around her were people playing music for money, or asking for money for pot, or just spare change.”

Once word of the sixth-grader’s effort got out, one man ordered 30 bags mistletoe, and the owner of a Christmas tree farm in Estacada, Ken Cook, donated $1,000 to the dental fund.

So, she went to the orthodontist Monday.

On Dec. 14, she plans to return to the market with plenty of mistletoe for what she’s calling “The Great Kissoff.” The mistletoe may be sold or given away on a “donations accepted” basis, said her father. She said she plans to give a speech.

“I feel that I can make a statement and possibly make a difference,” she said. “The city laws are supporting begging and are against working.”

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