Friendly competition raises fierce funds

Samantha Wagner | Sep 23, 2019

Friendly competition raises fierce funds

Success doesn’t always follow success — but it’s how you respond that counts. That was a lesson aptly learned by an Indiana Kiwanis club after a promising project didn’t repeat its first-year success. But after the less-than-stellar finish, the club rose to the challenge to do better — and shattered its own expectations.

Each year, the Kiwanis Club of Winamac sponsors a variety of events in its community, including hosting families at Christmas time and providing scholarships to local high school graduates. Looking to bring in more funds to support their many projects, club members created a pedal car raffle in 2018. Through local sponsors and ticket sales, members were able to raise US$1,200.

After last year’s success, the club set its sights even higher for 2019, setting a fundraising goal of $2,500. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. Rain and the resulting low foot traffic at the event limited ticket sales.

So when club member and Pulaski Memorial Hospital CEO Tom Berry won the pedal tractor raffle, the Kiwanians decided to get creative by creating a little friendly competition. Club members would compete against hospital staff to raise additional donations. If the money came rolling in, Berry would go rolling out — right down Winamac’s main street on his new pedal tractor.

As an added incentive, whichever group raised the most funds would receive a party thrown by the opponents. What started out as a simple email quickly turned into a hot competition. Hospital employees — hoping to see their boss pedal furiously down the city street — emerged the winners.

This past August, members of the Winamac community gathered to watch Berry ride the pedal tractor down Market Street. The hospital staff enjoyed a festive party hosted by the Kiwanians. And, best of all, the friendly competition brought in an additional $10,000 for the club’s annual Kids Day in the Park, a Pack-a-Backpack project, a summer lunch program and other support for the community’s children. 


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