This school year’s main fundraiser is the Merrymount Fun Run! This is our first Fun Run and it’s generating a lot of excitement and enthusiasm – and questions. Hopefully we can answer those questions here for you:
- What is a Fun Run?
It’s a two-week program that kicked off with a Pep Rally on November 5th. Families will then gather pledges from friends and family. Sponsors can pledge a per-lap amount (avg. 30-35 laps) or give a flat donation toward that student’s Fun Run. Students will run and celebrate at the Fun/Glow Run event on Thursday, November 15th. To make our fundraising easier, more profitable, and more fun, we’ve asked the experts at Boosterthon to power our entire 9-day program.
- What are you raising money for?
To buy Chromebooks to be used by all students
- How do I register my child?
First, log in or sign up on funrun.com. Then, you can register your child as a participant by entering the school name “Merrymount” or using the code 554-895.
- How does this work / what’s happening each day at school?
- There was a kick-off pep rally on Monday, 11/5 to introduce the team, the program, and the activities for the next two weeks.
- Every day, between Tuesday 11/6 and Thursday 11/15, the Boosterthon team joins the children during lunch and provides a high energy, fun character lesson aligned with the Mindspark character topics and help the kids prepare for the upcoming Fun Run.
- On Thursday 11/15, the students will participate in the Fun Run/Glow Run. It’s way too cool to describe, so check out the Glow Run video to see for yourself. The students will have 30 minutes to run as many laps as they can on gym’s “glow track”. Students will run between 30 and 35 laps. Parents are encouraged to attend and cheer on the kids during their scheduled time. See below:
- K-Grade 1: 8 – 8:55 am
- Grades 2-3: 9 – 9:55 am
- Grades 4-5: 10-10:55 am
- Do you need volunteers? Yes, we need help the day of the Fun Run to greet and usher parents to the event, help counting laps and directing other parents. Click here to Sign-up to help.
- How long is a lap?
1/16 of a mile (a lap inside the gym), students typically run 30-35 laps and are not allowed to run more than 35.
- Do I have to pay online?
We heard this was causing some confusion, so we worked with Boosterthon to change the pledging site. Sponsors now have the option to pay via credit card or “pay later” via cash or check. The site has detailed instructions, but if you have questions or experience issues, please contact the site Help desk.
- Do I have to pledge $1 per lap?
No, you may pledge or donate as much or as little as you want per lap or provide a flat donation. Flat donations are applied equally across all laps (ex. a $20 flat donation translates to ~.65 cents/lap).
- Why is there a $2 Service Charge for credit card transactions?
This is a merchant charge from the credit card processor, not from Fun Run/Boosterthon or the school. It’s no different than online ticket purchases. If you are uncomfortable with this charge, you have the option to pay via cash or check.
- Is my gift tax deductible or does it qualify for company matching programs?
The Merrymount PTO is a registered tax-exempt organization with 501(c) status. As an official charitable organization, it qualifies for most company/employer matching programs. Please contact us if you need the PTO Tax ID/EIN.
- What if I don’t wish to participate or am unable to get pledges, does my child still participate?
Yes! ALL students get to benefit from our program by participating in the Fun/Glow Run, earning classroom incentives on the Class Pledge-o-meter, as well as receiving the 5-pack of Mindspark Gears and Merrymount T-Shirt the day of the event.
- What if my child is physically unable to run 30-35 laps?
No big deal! They can run as many laps as they are able and will be cheered for each lap. If your child is unable to run or is uncomfortable in the Glow Run environment, your child’s teacher will find a way for them to participate in a way that meets your child’s needs.
- How are prizes awarded?
Rewards are given out based on the pledged per lap total of the student. Teachers are provided with prizes to distribute daily. They are awarded discretely so children are not made to feel left out. Pledges entered after 7:30 am that day will not be awarded prizes until the next school day. If your student has not received prizes in error or if you have concerns with how they are being distributed, please contact us.
- What is MindSpark Mystery Lab:
It’s Boosterthon’s newest character theme. It combines S.T.E.A.M. skills with character-building, and was developed in collaboration with CHARACTER COUNTS!©, the nation’s most reputable character ed organization. In this fun, science-infused character theme, students will help a team of brainy kids solve problems using a super-lab hidden inside a school. While they’re teaming up with the MindSpark Kids to solve mysteries, your students will learn five 21st-century character traits that will help strengthen themselves and our world: Citizenship, Growth Mindset, Zest, Integrity, and Teamwork. These are in alignment with the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) program at Merrymount.
- What is a Pledge-o-Meter?
Each class has a Pledge-o-Meter with incentives. They are chosen by the teachers and are consistent by grade. Every child participates in the class incentives, regardless of individual performance. For example, if the class gets $5/lap as a class, every child gets to have crazy sock day. Check out some of the Pledge-o-Meters on the grade Facebook pages.
- Who is Colossal Chris?
He and Lucky Lydia are our onsite Boosterthon partners. They are both fingerprinted and CORId. They are onsite to provide the kids the experience of the program, including the Mindspark mysteries and character values and to build excitement. They do most of this during lunch, but are on campus all day (and before and after school) to engage the kids and support the staff in whatever way needed. Chris also happens be tall (hence the name) and, we’re told, can do all the Fortnight dances with zest.
- What if someone doesn’t have access to the Internet?
If a student’s family does not have Internet access, parents and families can use the pledgebook to record all pledges. If students turn their pledgebook into their teacher, please make sure student’s and class name are listed on the front.
- How much does Boosterthon get of our fundraising? Boosterthon has a sliding scale for fundraising. Based on our projected sales, Boosterthon will receive 50% of the gross amount. This has been factored into the calculation of our $12k goal. This percentage is equal to or less than most traditional fundraisers. Our payment to Boosterthon funds a tremendous amount: They provide us with an on-site team that manage the entire program and provide months of pre-planning assistance and expertise. They provide all the equipment and the entire set-up on Run day, all print materials, communication plans, signs, student and class prizes, teacher toolkits, lap stickers, subsidized T-shirts (remaining costs were covered by Quirk), and their online pledging platform (funrun.com), which allows us to reach family and friends from around the world to support our school! It also includes (which faculty especially appreciated) Boosterthon’s year-round character program – which is a Netflix-type, character lesson library with over 36 videos and activities that complement our PBIS program.
- Why did we choose to use Boosterthon?
We evaluated several fundraising options (50/50 raffle, selling goods, entertainment books, etc.). What we especially liked about Boosterthon is that it combines character education with fitness.
Another reason we chose Boosterthon was because of their management of the program and the minimal effort required on our end. While 50% may seem like a lot, keep in mind that all the fundraising options we mentioned above retain at least 50% (most keep more) of our fundraising dollars. Boosterthon’s percentages are very reasonable after reviewing our alternatives.
We’re also proud to partner with Boosterthon because of how they give back to our school and community. When Quincy experienced a devastating storm last winter, they not only allowed us to cancel and reschedule our Fun Run at no cost, they also offered aid for those impacted. They have provided complimentary DJ services for our Halloween Howl, are participating in our current food drive, and give a percentage of their profits to the Chidren’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They do not hesitate when they have ideas or suggestions in making the program a success.
- Couldn’t we do this ourselves, without Boosterthon?
Wouldn’t that be great? Unfortunately, we just don’t have the volunteers or the resources to pull off a large scale program like this. One of the aspects of Boosterthon that we appreciate is the daily time and effort they put into this two-week program, including the months of planning and communication leading up to the event with our planning team; it’s more than just a race or a money collection exercise; it’s a great program. We just don’t have the volunteer manpower to match what Boosterthon does.
- Is Boosterthon teaching our kids to hard-sell?
Boosterthon makes this event fun and gets the kids jazzed up to learn great lessons. I personally appreciate how my kids practice their abilities to articulate what they are doing to raise money for our school.
- Have other schools done this?
Yes, many other schools both locally and nationally have had Boosterthon Fun Runs, most recently Bernazzani and Squantum. Schools we talked with spoke highly of the Team and event and were most impressed with how much the kids loved it and how fundraising goals were achieved or exceeded. Most reported that Boosterthon is, by far, their most successful fundraiser and gives the most back to the school in the process.
I still have questions!
We would be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to reach out directly to our Fun Run Chairs, Alexis McLean and Stephanie Gallegos at [email protected]. We welcome your questions, feedback, and ideas!