Successful Fundraiser by Gate City

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Here’s a post by Michael Wade of the Gate City Striders. Michael won a pair of Dion 121’s from a contest we had recently and instead of keeping them for himself used them to raise money through his club. Here’s a recap by Michael that goes into more detail about what they did, how much they raised and who it benefited.

Snowshoe Karmageddon

By Michael Wade

Late in December of last year, Eric at Level Renner put out the call for winter running action shots as part of an on-line contest. Tag a few of your favorite Facebook selfies with the #levelrenner hashtag and get a chance to win a brand new pair of Dion #121 Racing Snowshoes. Always being up for a good, healthy competition (and a free pair of anything) I jumped at it. Tagging every running picture of myself that I could find.

A few days later, while picking up my daughter at the airport after her semester abroad, I found out that I’d won. And before I could even finish responding to Eric’s text message I thought, “Crap! What am I going to do with ANOTHER pair of Dions?” So, rather than have them collecting dust in my basement as a back-up pair for the indestructible #121’s I already owned, or selling them to a friend, I decided to do something fun with them. I decided to raffle them off.

I picked up some raffle tickets, made a few posters, grabbed a bunch of Dion brochures and started to advertise. And, by the time the shoes arrived in the mail, we were set and ready to go. I sold tickets at the Gate City Striders awards banquet and at the first two Freeze Your Buns 5k races. With all the proceeds going directly to benefit our club’s Youth Program.

And, let me tell you, it was a very easy sell. Despite the fact that there was ZERO inches of  snow on the ground at the time, people snapped up those tickets like crazy. A $5 chance to win a pair of top-of-the-line snowshoes valued at almost $300?! Why not? Especially when told that fellow strider, and 2-time National Snowshoe Champion, Amber Cullen-Ferreira wore them!

We held the raffle at the second FYB race on January 18th and the winning ticket (drawn by club president Tom Cassetty) ended up belonging to my GCS friend (and current training partner) Stephen Rouleau – who is one of our clubs most active volunteers and who was very excited to receive them.

So what was accomplished by doing all of this?

1.       I reduced the potential clutter in my basement.
2.      We got a few more eyeballs onto levelrenner.com
3.      We gave out a couple dozen Dion Snowshoe brochures.
4.      We put a spotlight on a great running program for kids.
5.      We got a few more people to show up to Freeze Your Buns.
6.      We filled a few more seats at our club’s awards dinner.
7.      We gave a very deserving person a great pair of snowshoes.
8.     We inspired a few of the non-winners to buy a pair of their own.
9.     We unintentionally sparked the best snowshoe season in 20 years.
10.   And, we raised $840 for the GCS Youth Program.

Not bad for the cost of a couple selfies and a few minutes on Facebook.

Postscript:   A few people have asked me if I saw any of the raffle money that came in, and my answer is YES. I saw every penny of it…     …get donated to an awesome (and woefully under-publicized) GCS youth program. The bottom line is not the finish line, people. It’s the beginning of something better. Pay it (and keep moving) forward.

Special thanks to Eric & Kevin at Level Renner for having the contest and to Bob Dion for providing the prize. Running community for the win!

Note: We were more than happy to help facilitate something as wonderful as this. Check out the the Gate City website for more info on their youth program!

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