Walkathon has grown in recent years to become our biggest fundraiser, and one of our most fun events. Typically held in October, planning for the Walkathon usually starts before the end of the previous school year. For anyone who hasn’t volunteered for the Walkathon in the past, it can appear to be overwhelming. But, Walkathon is actually the culmination of several groups that cover different aspects of the event.
What is it?
The fundraising that comes from Walkathon comes from three main areas; pledges, raffles, and food/game tickets. But let me add this caveat, nothing is set in stone. Each year the Walkathon committees can create their own event with the support of Stanton staff and community.
- Pledges: This is the heart of the Walkathon. All Stanton Families are asked to seek out pledges from friends or family. These pledges can be in the form of a per lap donation (such as 25¢ per lap) or in a flat donation. We’ve used services like 99Pledges.com to manage these donations, and to allow donors to use their credit card for donations.
- Food & Games: In the past, we offered hot dogs, pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, popcorn, Rita’s Ice, juice, and water during the events. This is usually set up in a couple of booths. Families purchase tickets before hand, or at the event, that they then use for these food/drink items and games such as the “Dunk Tank” and “Hoops” competition. These tickets can also be used in the Cake Walk, which is an opportunity to win donated baked goods and pastries.
- Raffles: Local businesses and Stanton families have donated many exciting raffle items in the past, including Warriors gear, gift certificates, tickets and passes good for local venues and events. The same tickets that are used for food and drink can be used as entries for specific raffle items.
How is it done?
The Walkathon Committee is actually comprised of several sub-committees, taking advantage of the need to be very flexible with our volunteer’s time. Here is a list of some of these subcommittees
- Theme/Marketing: The better the theme, the better the excitement and participation during the event. These efforts traditionally start in the summer before the school year start. Once a good theme is chosen, so can the design for the T-shirts, the fliers, the sponsorship letters, etc.
- Sponsorships: Asking local businesses to Sponsor and offering to put their logo on the T-Shirt. This often means meeting with prospective business owners in person to ask for their support, collecting and turning in their donation, and ensuring that the donor gets recognized and thanked.
- Raffles & Prizes: Asking local businesses to donate prizes that can be raffled off during the event. This means reaching out to prospective donors, collecting their donated items, cataloging and organizing, and ensuring the donor gets recognized and thanked.
- T-Shirts: Designing the front of the shirt, arranging logos on the back of the shirt, selling and distribution.
- Decorating: In keeping with the chosen theme, this committee prepares as much of the decorations as possible before the event, to greater simplify set up during the event.
- Food Court/Cake Walk: Asking for food donations, organizing food booths and volunteers. This means reaching out to prospective donors, collecting their donated items, cataloging and organizing, and ensuring the donor gets recognized and thanked.
- Game Zone: Organizing games and volunteers to setup and monitor. In the past this has also included a “Game Truck”, and a “Dunk Tank”.
- Track: Designing the track in keeping with the theme of the event. One year the theme was Walka-walka-walkathon (A play on the videogame PacMan), so the track was laid out like the PacMan game. Last year the theme was Power Up with Stanton! (A play on the video game Mario Bros/Mario Kart), so the track was laid out like a racetrack, complete with car wash in the pit.
Who do we need?
All counted, the Walkathon needs to support and time of over 60 volunteers. These volunteers cover everything from pre-planning during the summer before the school year, to showing up the day of to help set up or tear down. Not everyone who volunteers needs to be able to commit a tremendous amount of time or resources, as we will gladly accept and appreciate every bit of help. As the famous quote used to say that people can do things more quickly and easily when they work together goes, “It’s a big job, but many hands make light work.”
Each subcommittee needs a chairperson, some one who will organize the rest of us. We also need a Walkathon Chairperson and Co-Chair, someone who will oversee the coordination between all of the subcommittees, the SPA Board, and the School Staff. The chairpersons do need to be able to commit to seeing their respective subcommittees all the way through to success, be organized, be willing to ask for help, and be willing to give updates to SPA.
Please reach out to anyone on the SPA Board, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any interest in Chairing/Co-Chairing/Volunteering for a Walkathon committee. To avoid any major last minute push, we’re hoping to have these the committee chairs identified before the end of the school year.