Preparing, Planning, and Bowling

So we had more than a busy weekend preparing for our event, hammering out the details, and finally throwing the First Annual Bowling for Wishes event.  Our day started at about 1 o’clock on Saturday when we started our drive down to Warwick.  We met up with Chris at his house and began putting together the gift baskets which we wanted to give away as raffle prizes.  We organized the prizes in a manner that we thought would make the most sense to be put together and gave the baskets creative names, but we weren’t even close to done yet.  Then we went to the dollar store with Chris to pick out decorations, another couple baskets, along with glow sticks and other essentials for the event.  We also went on a mission to find stamps, raffle tickets, and cellophane to wrap the baskets which was actually harder to find than anyone expected.  After we got all of the essentials we went to Chris’s shop to use his supplies and tools to put together the sponsorship boards and the raffle prizes board.  We each had our own tasks such as typing what needed to be printed, cutting the pieces of paper, gluing the pieces to the poster board, and laminating flyers.  Everything ended up looking great, but once again we were amazed by how much time was consumed.  Through all of this we made jokes, talked about the event, and generally had a good time.  When we finished at the shop, we went to Chris’s house again, put the finishing touches on the baskets and then ordered a feast of pizzas from one of our sponsors.  All in all, a good, fun, and productive day.

The next day we left for Warwick at 10:45 to pick up balloons for the event and gift cards for Chris and Dana.  We then went to Chris’s house to pick up the rest of the decorations and gift baskets we needed.  We then went to bowling alley and put up those decorations.  This included putting paper up on the glass doors to block the daylight, making a few last minute signs, hanging balloons at the entrances, setting up tables for the raffle and DJ, and speaking with the employees of the bowling alley so we could have the entire operation run smoothly.

Once the event started, time really began to fly.  People seemed to show up all at once buying their lanes and raffle tickets.  This time went by like a blur.  We did give away prizes for certain bowling competitions, we did an interview with a local newspaper, took pictures, attempted to video tape the important parts of the event and everyone seemed to have a fun time.  We did the raffle towards the end of the event and I think the prizes we had were definitely something the people at the event wanted.  After the raffle we had about another half hour of bowling and then cleaned up all the decorations we had put up and went out with our group for a Rhode Island specialty.  Hot wieners all the way, mousetraps, and coffee milk.  We went with Chris, his family, and some of the guys he works with at Tech 911 and had a good time with them.

Finishing the event has a bittersweet feeling.  We worked really hard and put a lot hours into this event so we are all delighted that it was a success, but at the same time now its over.  We all agreed to keep in touch and I look forward to seeing everyone again in the future.  It’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll see you later.

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Event Completed Updated “What We’ve Raised Page”

Our event has come and gone and we thought yesterday was a great success! It was great to finally see our hard work go into action and finally realize the fruits of our labor over the entire semester! After our event we have made $1005! That has brought us to a grand total of $3,330.73 donated to Children’s Wishes this semester. It was a great feeling finally handing all that money over to Dana and Children’s Wishes and we were really happy with the outcome of our event. More details to come.

Check out the final “What We’ve Raised Page” to see a full breakdown of our progress throughout the semester!

What We’ve Raised Link

 

10 Hours of Planning & Hanging Out Together in Warwick

Mike, Pat, and I just returned from a ten hour, all-day outing to put everything together for our event tomorrow. Since we already have done all of the hardest work of getting the sponsors and raffle items, we thought today might be a few hours, but it ended up turning into the whole day. Yet, we got so much done and had a lot of fun hanging out together with Chris.

We went to Chris’s house and organized all of our raffle prizes to be grouped together to see how many more raffle baskets, clear wrap, and ribbons to buy. We typed up what each basket includes, typed up all of our sponsors (Platinum, Gold, and Silver), and typed up all of our sponsors’ logos for the table.

We piled in Chris’s truck and went store to store getting raffle tickets, decorations, presentation boards, raffle baskets, cellophane, ribbon, stamps, etc. After our shopping was done, we went to Chris’s office to use his printer and set up our boards. We had a blast taking turns printing, using the paper-cutter, and the laminator to make some amazing sponsor’s boards and a board that had a list of all 8 of our raffle baskets. We spent several hours there.

Then we went to pick up our last raffle item, which was a gift card to Chill-out-Loud, a frozen yogurt place. Of course, we also had to try out the flavors and toppings ourselves while we were there too ;). Then, we went back to Chris’s house to assemble all of our baskets and sit down for a nice meal of pizza and wings with he and his family.

I think I can speak for the entire group when I say that after all of the time and work we have put into the event, it is going to be bittersweet to see it end. We have become really close to each other and to Chris throughout this whole process. However, we also will be excited to have the stress and nerves of it behind us because we hope that after everything we have done, we have a full house tomorrow and bring Children’s Wishes lots and lots of money! Fingers crossed.

After a long day today, we only have another 12 hours before we get back together tomorrow at 10:45 a.m. to pick up balloons, some gifts that we want to buy Dana and Chris, and then head over to Chris’s to fill up the car with all the raffle items, decorations, and boards. Then we are going to be at the alley early to start setting up for our event, which starts at 3 and lasts until 7.

Busy weekend, we can only hope this work pays off!

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Group Meeting and Updated “What We’ve Raised Page”

Today we met to create a schedule for the following week. Our event is scheduled for this Sunday, so we are definitely feeling a sense of urgency. We are planing on taking shifts outside P.F. Changs on Wednesday handing out flyers/coupons for our event. People who use our coupons at P.F. Changs for dinner Wednesday night will have 20% of their bill donated directly to Childrens Wishes.

We are planning on getting final decorations and other supplies for our event on Friday and Saturday. We are also planning on making our own sponsor board, so supplies for that will need to be purchased as well.

Finally, Liz was able to secure $85 of pure donations to Childrens Wishes so our “What We’ve Raised” page has been updated to reflect a total amount of $2,202.50 donated to Childrens Wishes thus far. We are very excited about our event coming up this week and can’t wait to finally see the results of our labor over the entire semester.

On Campus Progress!

Last week, we wrote that Dean Sears helped us out by organizing a bus from campus to the event. Then, we needed to go through SAIL to see if we could advertise the event through the SAIL digest (table tents and emails). After going to the SAIL office a few times this week and then filling out several approval forms, we have solidified that our event will be featured in the SAIL mail!

Better yet, I asked Sharon Hay if we could sell the tickets at the Slavin Info Desk and she put me in touch with Todd, who had me fill out another form, but okayed our event and our ticket sales! We are excited now that we will have the opportunity to not only get locals involved, but hope to have many PC students take advantage of the free transportation and come to our event!

We have also been updating our Facebook page frequently and checking our bowling for wishes e-mail account. Through the e-mail account, we have had one lane reserved, and three people enquiring about the event and asking for more details. We hope these keep on coming.

Over this coming weekend, we are aiming to talk up the online donation possibility with friends and family at home.

Getting The Word Out

Today we went around in Warwick, starting as close as possible to our bowling alley and posted flyers. Our goal was to get rid of all fifty flyers and post as many as possible. We are hoping to continue to get the word around by advertising way more. Simply blasting emails and getting the word out is what will hopefully get bodies at our event. We are going to go into overdrive meeting every day leading up to our event the week we get back from break. Last stretch, keep on going!

Bus for the event!

Over the past couple of months, we have been in contact with Dean Sears about seeing if we can get a bus from PC to our event. Today I finally met with him to formally confirm that this was still a viable option. He is going help us by having the bus co-sponsored with Student Affairs; therefore, we are able to order a bus and have the funds to pay it! It pays to ask!!!

I am going to stop by to speak again with Sue, his secretary, on Monday, after she orders the bus to get more details and ask if we could possibly still send out e-mails and be included in the SAIL digest, despite the fact that SAIL hasn’t “approved” our event (because it’s off campus).

We are so excited that some PC students will be able to be at our event and that they have the means to get there!

Secondary Fundraiser and More Event Progress

After talking about fundraising with a few friends, I was given a suggestion to call PF Changs to see if they would be willing to have a weeknight that they give some of their proceeds to Children’s Wishes. I have been calling over the past couple of weeks, and today I finally was able to reach the manager I needed to speak with. I explained the cause and our mission and she agreed to help out by having one night in which anyone who comes in with a voucher for Children’s Wishes will have 20% of their bill put towards the organization. She told me she had to set the date at least 4 weeks out and I pleaded that we have it earlier so that we could put our best efforts in before our final’s week and she agreed. We settled on Wednesday, April 23rd. We should be getting an email to fill out some tax forms within a day or two and then we will be able to begin talking up this night a well. We want to advertise our bowling event as we pass out vouchers for PF Changs.

EXCITING NEWS: We have had our first group contact us to reserve a lane. We are unsure how many people will opt to reserve lanes prior, but we hope that lots do. We hope that this trend continues. It has been helpful that we created our very own gmail account just for this event so that we can have a more official/universal address amongst us.

Today, Mike, Pat, and I did our weekly drive around Warwick to advertise our event and get some sponsorships. We picked up a gift card from Competitor’s Closet, a small dance and cheering uniform store. They also took some flyers to help us spread the word. We also stopped by other kid-friendly locations. One of them was a trampoline park. They were very interested in donating gift cards and they plan to even send a mascot to our event; however, the manager in charge of donations will have to contact us within the next few days. We tried at Chuck-e-Cheese, but it seems like it will be a pain to go through corporate.

After, we met with Chris, Dana, and one of Chris’s coworkers to talk more about the event and plan our next few weeks of what needs to get done. We feel like we are really in control, but there is still a lot we can do to keep spreading the word. We got a facepainter on board for donating her time to helping us at the event. We also decided it might be a good idea to incorporate both the raffle and a silent auction, in hopes of getting some more money at the event.

Dana, the director of Children’s Wishes, has her really big fundraiser, the Date Auction tomorrow. She is giving a speech and also going to have some media there. We used what we learned in Networked and asked if she could please help us by sharing our event with those there. She plans to talk up our event and have a few flyers there to hopefully gain some more interest in Bowling for Wishes.

Less than three weeks! 🙂

Today’s Update

I called some contacts that Chris had provided at our last meeting and had great success today.  The first person I spoke with told me “you caught me off guard, but email me and I’m sure we can do something to help.”  So I called the next place and received their voice mail so I will give them another call tomorrow.  The next person I called is the one I am most excited about.  I called Dave who owns a snow cone truck and asked if he was available to come to Providence College and sell snow cones to the students during the day on Saturday.  There is a large event going on off-campus this Saturday and Dave said he was available on Saturday and that he would be happy to cut his profits with our organization 20%.  He also said he would check his calendar to see if he was available on the 26th as well.  I was amazed by quickly and easily I was able to establish this contact and how ready he was to help.  I emailed both of the contacts I spoke with today and I hope to hear back from them soon and continue to keep in touch with them.  I hope everyone is craving a snow cone this weekend as much as I am.

Utilizing Contacts

At our meeting on Wednesday, Chris gave us the names of some of his clients who he thinks may be willing to help by donating raffle items for our event. We were able to write down about 15 names and we have begun to call them. It is really nice to have Chris as a reference because once we mention who told us to call them, they’re mood changes and they are eager to listen and help! So far, we’ve received a lot of voicemails, so have been taking notes to call those individuals back another day. However, from these connections so far, we’ve been able to get a few free hours from a limousine company and a gift card from a kid’s pottery shop for raffle items. We will continue trying to get in touch with the other clients Chris suggested.

I also have a connection at the aquarium in Boston and am still awaiting a response to see if free passes could possibly be arranged as another raffle item.

While we’ve been lucky to have some good connections, we can’t stop there. As Mike’s post said, we need to double our efforts to spread the word and to get sponsors and donors over the next week. Therefore, we will continue cold-calling and stopping by other locations to see if other businesses would be willing to help out our cause.

We’ve been learning how beneficial it is to keep our contacts that we have been making so far. We try to take a business card from most every place we stop by. In doing so, I have followed the pages of these businesses on Facebook and have sent messages to them, thanking them for their donation and sharing our event page. We’ve been posting on our Facebook page shout-outs to thank some local businesses. In return, a couple of these shops have shared our event on their page, so our event is being spread beyond our networks!! We plan to continue this to gain more awareness for our event and to show our appreciation to these donors.