Coupons may be best idea for fundraisers
November 3, 2010 9:54AM
The Game Truck sets up outside Meadow View School in far west Joliet. The kids who sold five or more Entertainment Books won the chance to play video games. Jean Dunning~For the Herald-News
Updated: April 19, 2011 5:06AM
I’ve written about fundraisers before. I’m really not a fan of the magazine, cookie-dough or candle-sales fundraisers.
It’s not that I think organizations should not have fundraisers; I understand that they need to. It’s just that I wish that they could do so in a way that didn’t force our friends and families to buy things that they would not normally buy at prices higher than if they went to a store and bought the items themselves.
In this economy, the last thing I want to do is try and sell my friend a candle when they are giving up the things they love just to make ends meet.
I’m all about the bake sales, the car washes, and even sales if it gets the “customer” something they couldn’t get elsewhere, or if they are getting a better price than they normally would.
And if a company is going to enlist kids (or, in most cases, the parents) as a “cheap” sales force, you should at least give them something in return — something better than those cheap toys that break practically as soon as they come out of the packages, and something they can’t (or wouldn’t) buy for themselves.
This year, Meadow View Elementary School in Joliet opted to forgo its annual magazine/gift wrap sale and instead sold Entertainment Books. It was a big hit, especially among parents, said Rosa Stachniak, co-president of Meadow View PTO.
“We really liked the Entertainment Book fundraiser idea,” Stachniak said. “We thought that this would be something people would be interested in. They can easily make their $25 back and more just by using the book’s coupons at places they would have gone to anyway. And it also benefits local establishments by bringing in customers. It is good for the economy.”
Not only did the “customers” and local establishments benefit from this sale, but it also benefited those doing the selling. Those that sold at least five books were invited to the “Ultimate Video Game Party” presented by Game Truck Party. And what could be cooler than playing video games with your friends in a truck that pulls up to your school?
Sixty-five kids earned the right to compete. Nine-year old Stephanie Anhalt earned her admittance by selling five books. Well, she admitted it was actually her mom who sold the books. “It’s a good prize,” Stephanie said. “It’s going to be fun. I like video games.”
The Game Truck is new to the Midwest, said Michael Correa, who ran the truck. “The Game Truck is a franchise that started in California. There are trucks all over ... right now this is the only one in the Midwest, but there will be a second one here soon.”
Because the truck could only accommodate 16 kids at a time (playing three different games), there was a bit of scheduling that had to be done. And kids did have to share; they couldn’t be in the truck for the full two hours. Everything went fairly smoothly and the kids seemed to have a good time.
The Game Truck does more than fundraisers — it can also be rented for birthday parties and corporate events. For information, visit www.gametruckparty.com.
To read more from Jean Dunning, visit www.morekidfriendlystuff.blogspot.com.