Walkathons in San Luis Obispo

I found this bulletin board today in Chinos Rock & Tacos, San Luis Obispo (great soup too).  They have four walkathons coming up in the near term – very impressive.  Go SLO!

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One Kid, One Bike, Big Success

Check this out from today’s ABC News:

“A young British schoolboy has raised more than 100,000 pounds ($160,000) Monday for Haiti’s relief effort by cycling round his local park.”

Two thoughts for even the smallest walkathons (or bikeathons):

  1. Yes, you can do this!
  2. He took donations via a web page.  Go online to maximize your fundraising and also so your walkathon can catch on “virally”, where friends tell friends who tell friends.

Read more…  UK 7-Year-Old Raises Tens of Thousands for Haiti – ABC News.

Nominate a Top Walkathon Volunteer for Cash, Sweat and Tears Award

Cash Sweat and TearsDo you have a walkathon volunteer who stands out in deserving recognition? Check out Run Walk Ride’s “Cash, Sweat and Tears” award opportunity. It’s free to apply, and applications are due tomorrow.

Just by applying you will honor your volunteer. Every nominee will be honored with a Cash, Sweat and Tears Certificate of Merit and recognition on http://www.runwalkride.com. One outstanding nominee will be recognized at the opening dinner of the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Conference. They’ll be honored with a trophy, a $500 donation to the charity of their choice from Blackbaud and a wardrobe of athletic footwear and apparel donated by New Balance.

Walkathon Concessions Tips

ConcessionsIf your walkathon event lasts more than an hour or two, you can make a bundle from concessions!  A couple tips:

  • Get donations from local vendors as part of your sponsors program, in exchange for plenty of publicity.  You may be able to get much of your walkathon concessions inventory for free.
  • Be sure to keep an exact tally of what you purchased and how much of it you actually sold.  If you have a walkathon every year, you can use those records to vastly reduce wasted food.   You can even keep your records in a spreadsheet on Google Docs so that any new concessions chair can easily have access to all the old info.
  • If you offer freebie items like popsicles or hot dogs, you can use the walkathon lap card to keep track of what the walker has already received and what they still have coming.

For Walkathon Publicity, Make One or Two T Shirts Early

Consider creating a stir about your walkathon with a great unveiling of your walkathon logo and T shirt. Create a couple of T Shirts prior to the major shipment, to wear when you speak to the group. Alternatively, you could have your group’s mascot model the shirt. At our school, my co-chair Lynne created an XXXL walkathon shirt for our Bear mascot to model, and the kids were so excited when he made his appearance.  It certainly put the walkathon at front and center  in their minds.

Option A: Print your own

Here is how. You need a color inkjet printer.

1. Purchase cheap T Shirts and iron on transfer(s). You can find them at local drug stores, Target, Walmart. I’ve seen the transfers online as well.

2. Get the finalized T Shirt design (logo and slogan) from the T Shirt Team.

3. Print the T Shirt design onto the iron on transfer, then follow the directions that come with the transfer to iron it onto your shirt.

Option B: Order a single T Shirt from your supplier.

This has the side benefit of letting you see a single shirt prior to ordering mass quantities. Go to my Useful Stuff page for a few good T Shirt suppliers.

Learn more about The Walkathon Guide book.

Learn more about Lap Cards.

Great Walk-a-thon Publicity by Booksin Elementary

Booksin's Amazing RaceHere is a nice, inexpensive publicity idea.  Booksin Elementary has set up a very professional looking blog  (click here to see it). It uses WordPress, which I can attest to as being easy and fun.  They’ve purchased their own web address, which costs just $15.

Notice how they use the right column to give their sponsors extra publicity.

Plan your Walk-a-thon Celebration Up Front

If you’re just starting to organize a walk-a-thon, it may seem strange to think about how you will celebrate.  But planning now lets you make the celebration more meaningful because you can easily cover the details if you’re aware of them.

Four Ways to Celebrateasnci

  1. Have a slide show.  Line up some photographers for the day of the event, and have them get shots of as many participants as possible.  Check out the inspiring slide show put together as part of the Autism Awareness Walk-a-thon in North Central Indiana.
  2. Have awards for longest distance or most funds raised.  Tell participants ahead of time to get their competitive juices going, and be sure to track the info you’ll need.
  3. Give every walker a certificate of participation that also denotes distance walked.  Line up a volunteer to create the certificates and be sure your organizers have the records available.  That way they will get started right away even if you personally are still recovering from walk-a-thon day.
  4. Publicy thank your volunteers.

Schedule your after -walkathon celebration up front to get it on everyone’s calendars right along with the walkathon itself.  Then when it’s ready, send me a link to your slideshow!  I’ll be celebrating too.