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For the kids: fundraising tips for the Courage Classic
by John Racette
Every year, hundreds of cyclists suit up for the Alaska Airlines Courage Classic, a 173-mile bicycle tour over three of Western Washington’s most well-known mountain passes. It’s a challenging and fun event that raises money to support the Rotary Endowment for the Intervention and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect – which provides significant support for Mary Bridge’s Child Abuse Intervention Department (CAID).
This year’s ride less than 130 days away – if you’re not already registered, it’s time to make it official so you can begin fundraising in earnest. Not sure what to do? Don’t be afraid to get creative. Past ideas include hosting a casino night, cooking dinner for friends, and hosting a bake sale at the office. You might be surprised to learn what some people will pay for a chocolate chip cookie when they know it’s for a good cause. We asked John Racette, a Physician’s Assistant at Allenmore Hospital and Multicare’s fearless Courage Classic Team Leader, to share his fundraising ideas as he prepares for his sixth year riding the Courage Classic.
If you’re thinking, “What did I get myself into? How am I going to raise the money this year?” right now, you’re not alone.
Asking someone for money is not an easy thing to do, especially with the current economy. I’ve had past donors who still contribute, but with a smaller amount than they’ve given in years past. Now I have to think outside the box, and I’ve been able to increase my total dollars raised over the past three years.
This year, I have turned a hobby of mine into a sort of fundraising business: I love to bake granola, and people love to eat my granola!
I played around in the kitchen, massaging my recipe to get it just right. I designed packages and labels, and got to work. In just 10 days, I sold 130 $3 bags. People are more than happy to give me money when they get something in return. It’s a win-win situation: I am raising money, and they get tasty granola. My goal is to sell 1,000 bags by this year’s ride.
A few more ideas:
- Last year my daughter asked how she could help. She is an amazing artist, and designed a batik print of the Courage Classic logo. This was included in the main raffle, and some very lucky person now has it hanging in their home or office.
- Try setting up your bike on a trainer in front of your favorite coffee shop for a few hours on a Saturday with a sign explaining who you are, and why you are there. I know people who have collected several hundred dollars doing this in just one morning.
- I have a coin collection container at a coffee bar. This raised more than $450 for me last year alone.
- My youngest daughter came up with the idea of having a coin drive in her school during the month of April, which happens to be Child Abuse Awareness Month. On that note, that would be an awesome time to begin fundraising. What a perfect opening to broach the subject. Also, remember this: potential donors can’t say yes if you don’t ask!
- Participate in neighborhood/community garage sales, such as the Canterwood parking lot sale this July.
Posted on Mar 19, 2013 in Special Events