In a previous article I outlined the background for the Secondary School Gym and Music Room fundraising initiative. Since the initiative includes lots of fun activities we should appropriately call it “fun-draising.” It is important that the community understand the various aspects of the fun-draising, that it is a cohesive effort, and that cuts across the entire community.
In case you missed the other article, the upshot is that the Secondary School gym and music room got pushed into a subsequent phase of the long-term building plan due to cost escalations. So now the community is pulling together to improve physical and musical education through a fun-draising initiative in order to have the facilities completed in 2008.
The first thrust of fun-draising will be the students themselves. They have come up with some very creative ways to put the fun in fun-draising. They will be selling special “pink flamingo” lawn ornaments and T-shirts as well as working together as athletic and musical groups. If you see some kids playing ball in the streets in the middle of downtown Ridgway it will be an attempt to underscore their need for a place to play and to provide some entertainment for your contribution.
The next is through local merchants and businesses, both large and small. A number of advertising and loyalty marketing programs are already underway. We hope that Ridgway locals and visitors will patronize those who support a place to play.
And of course there will be various ways for individuals to contribute. It wouldn’t be a fun-draiser without the raffles, auctions and recognitions. However, since the new gym and music facilities belong to the community there will be more than bricks for contributors – there will be a plaque and a possibility to be recognized on bleachers, basketball hoops, locker rooms, and a whole host of other places.
A fourth and very promising aspect of the funding is through grants. This is an excellent option available to a small community like Ridgway. We have already contracted with a professional grant writer to pursue all viable public and private grant options. The results of these activities won’t manifest themselves until next spring but our research shows that our ability to obtain grant funding is considerable.
It is noteworthy that the Fundraising Committee has adopted the practice of “100 percent pass through.” This means that none of the funds received through any of these fun-draising means will be used for anything but the project itself. None will be used for administrative costs (because we aren’t incurring any incremental personnel costs), mailings or materials. We will either have these items donated or else use some funds left over from the previous school building project.
And so the march begins. By now you should be able to imagine the sound of the music or the fans in a 600-plus person capacity facility that unites the Ridgway community. It gives us an indoor place to meet. It gives us a place to appreciate music, athletics and community events. The march is gaining momentum. We have already raised over $300,000 and funds are coming in every day. If you want to get involved in the fun-draising call Kelly at 626-4444. Feel free to drop by the Secondary School and see a rendering of what the new gym and music facilities will look like. You will find all sorts of drawings in information in the library. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation you can send your check to: Ridgway School District R-2, Attn: Building Fund, 1115 West Clinton St., Ridgway, CO 81432.
In the next column I’ll update you on activities and publicity activities happening or soon to happen in the community. Watch for banners going up soon.
Build a gym, build harmony in our community!
Dale Hagemeyer is a member of the Communications Committee for the Ridgway Secondary School Gym/Music Room Funding Committee. He lives in the