One of the more clever fundraising ideas I’ve seen took place this past weekend to benefit the American Legion Post 95 building façade that crumbled to the sidewalk with a good deal of drama one Saturday morning back in August. Initially, the Legion members were comforted by the fact that they had insurance and that Peabody Main Street Director Shane Marler was able to get a promise of additional funding from the Kansas Main Street program that would cover the deductible. When Gov. Sam Brownback and Commerce Department head Pat George announced in late September that Kansas Main Street was a program of the past, one of the casualties was the brickwork repair to the front of the Legion building.
Things have moved slowly since then and several members of the Legion, Legion Auxiliary, and Sons of the American Legion began wondering if they needed to be raising some funds to contribute to the project. At a recent meeting of representatives of all three groups, ideas for fundraisers were discussed but most were discarded. However, in a moment of pure genius, Legion Auxiliary member Myrna Wood challenged Legion member Larry Watts to a battle he couldn’t refuse — a $500 challenge.
She told him she thought she could raise $500 for the building fund if he (a life-long Kansas City Chiefs fan) would promise to show up at the Legion in Raiders gear for the Oct. 28 contest between the Chiefs and the Raiders. He informed her brusquely that she could never raise that kind of money. She informed him brusquely that she not only could, but would. He took her bet. Silly boy!
Shortly thereafter, but before the Oct. 28 deadline, Myrna upped the ante and challenged him again. This time she promised to raise an additional $1,000 by the final regular season Chiefs-Raiders meeting Dec. 16th if he would sit through that game in a Raiders cheerleading uniform — at the Legion, of course! Once again he took the challenge.
Myrna made good on her $500 bet this past Sunday and Watts, as usual, was a good sport. She claims to be on target for her next $1,000, but it is still weeks away. We will see. I expect that if you send her a check, she would be thrilled to bank your contribution. The Legion is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax deductible.
In the meantime, this is one of the more clever fundraising ideas I’ve encountered and I wanted to share it with you. There are many good causes seeking money in Peabody these days and sometimes it is difficult to pick the ones you wish to support. The one with the “edge” that makes you sit up and take notice might be the one that gets your donation.
Recently, I signed up for quite a few dollars worth of candles, cookie dough, and other stuff from a grade school student I like and thought, “Oh my, how much of my money actually goes to the kids here in our district?” Not much, I found out. I would rather just write a check giving USD 398 the whole amount. Maybe there are some “edgy” ideas that would keep all the fundraising dollars in the district. Any applicants for that job?
Most fundraising workshop directors will tell you that 80 percent of people give because they are asked. However, I bet there are just as many who give because the method, the ploy, the hook is so clever they think it is fun to do so.
All six of my regular readers are so community minded I know that they help where they can and I appreciate their efforts. If the rest of you wish to jump on the band wagon and support a cause, go for it. And just for kicks, come to the American Legion Hall on Dec. 16 to see how this story turns out.
— SUSAN MARSHALL