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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fundraising Campaign Has Begun

During break I worked on the letters to be sent out asking for donations for Bike the US for MS. I tailored each one to the specific person I was sending it to, and after much tinkering and rewording, was satisfied enough to print them off, seal them in the envelopes, and slip them in the mailbox yesterday. Now I have to wait and see what happens. I'm trying not to constantly check my fundraising total, and have declared I will only check it once a day. I have nearly five months to raise the rest of the money, so I have time, but part of me is worried I'm not going to make my goal.

Because of this worry, I've started brainstorming other ways to raise the funds. One idea struck me Saturday as I rode out to the lake. Alongside the rural roads I observed energy drink cans, pop cans, and of course beer cans (which is very scary--the only way a beer can can get into the grassy ditch is to be thrown out after it's emptied by the drinker, meaning someone is drinking and driving). This weekend, I'm planning to go back out with garbage bags and pick up the cans then take them to the recycling center. Though the return will most likely be minimal, every penny counts and in the process I'll be cleaning up our ditches.

Another thought that occurred to me is to go to one of our larger stores and ask if I can set up outside much like the Salvation Army bell ringers do during the holidays, and the Girl Scouts do when selling cookies. Maybe a table with pictures of Mom, the Bike the US for MS logo, and a jar for change will entice patrons to donate. I do think people like getting something in return, so I'm trying to come up with something connected to MS research and cycling, like a rubber bracelet with MS on it and an imprint of a bicycle. I just haven't found a place where I can get exactly what I'm envisioning.

The last idea I came up with is a cycling time trial event in April, when the weather is warming. I know of a cycle shop in town that offers time trails regularly through the summer. I was thinking of approaching the owner to see if he might be interested in scheduling a benefit time trial, with part of the proceeds going to the ride and part of the proceeds going to the top five places. This could be marketed as a way for area athletes to prepare for the upcoming sprint triathlon season which begins in late April.

Hopefully the letters will do the trick and get me to my goal so I won't have to resort to other fundraising projects. If anyone has other suggestions for raising the funds, please, pass them along. I'm open to any and all reasonable ideas. It never hurts to have a backup plan.

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