October 22, 2011

The Eagles' Flight (AKA: The Reason for The Recent Blog Backlog)

Some years ago I said "yes" when a friend and PTA president-elect invited me to be a fundraiser commissioner for Art City Elementary School.  Since that time I have been in charge of two theme basket auction fundraisers which were way too much work and required an uncomfortable amount of soliciting of companies for donations.  Sure they were successful to the tune of $3,000 + each, but I was not hesitant to jump on board when the current PTA president suggested something new. We would do a walk-a-thon instead.

I liked the idea of getting the students more involved in the fundraising efforts, and I felt we had hit a plateau with the theme baskets.  I just didn't know how much fun this walk-a-thon would turn out, nor how successful it would be.  Of course, none of that would have been possible without the efforts of an AMAZING committee and the tremendous support of the PTA board.

After I hyped-up the students in a pre-event assembly and enticed them with all the fabulous prizes for collecting the most money or running the most laps, they were off with their collection envelopes and "hitting the streets" in droves.  Brevin was particularly inspired by the promise of watching the principal sumo wrestle with the highest collecting class' teacher if the school goal of $3,500 was met. The students smashed that goal on the first day of donation collection, bringing in over $10,000.  We had this large donation collection poster with a thermometer that extended well beyond the top of the poster board.  In the end, our totals neared $14,600.  Yeah, I'd say that was a success.

Well, despite the amount of money the fundraiser brought in, the real delight was organizing and watching the actual walk-a-thon.  The children ran their hearts out during each of the two one-hour event periods.  I could not believe the pace they were setting and maintaining.  There was such an energy on that field as the students ran around one of three courses, and it was exhilarating to witness.  Eight laps was equal to one mile.  In total, the students ran enough combined laps to complete 1,628 miles!  That's enough miles to run 62 marathons.  That's enough miles to run from our town to Mexico City, Mexico (as the crow flies), or from here to Disneyland and back, and then more than halfway to Disneyland again.  I'll tell you what;  The Eagles' Flight Walk-a-thon was awesome!

I was very proud of Brevin and Spencer who both ran 27 laps each.  They also collected over $100 each, thus earning them an opportunity to select a prize from the $100 Club table during the awards assembly.  They both chose a ride in a limousine to get an ice-cream treat.  After shuttling all the children back and forth to the school, there was some extra time on our limo time contract, so I was able to squeeze in a ride for myself, Ella, and Garrett to get an ice-cream treat, too.  (Garrett totally deserved it.  He suffered through many a PTA meeting and hours of money collecting and counting.  I have also learned that a Magic Eraser will remove red permanent marker off nearly every surface in the school's faculty lounge.)

In the end, I clocked a total of 135 volunteer hours to get this project "off the ground."  I was pleased to see that my efforts were equivalent to a $108 per hour amount.  When I told Jason that, he said I should go get a job.  I had to remind him that there a very few respectable jobs that I could take that would pay $108 per hour.  I think I'll stick to volunteer fundraising....at least for one more year....maybe...

This post was authored by Amber


Arryn said...

You are AMAZING! I was floored when I heard how much money Art City made with the walk-a-thon. Way to go, Amber! I think we can leave the theme basket fundraiser in the rearview mirror. Hallelujah!

CJ said...

WOW! That is so amazing, I need details on how this works. I am sure that one day I will be asked to do fundraising, and I would love to do one that is so successful. Congrats!

Pickle said...

Way to go. I'm sure you would have a job at any school you wanted! Down here is really nice this time of year. I enjoyed your other posts as well. Ella is so cute!

Noell said...

That is awesome Amber! Way to go :) And I wouldn't mind a ride in a limo either! How fun!