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How to Start a Fundraiser
The Cheer Guild is always looking for new and different fundraisers and we enjoy hearing creative ideas from the community. If you have a fundraising vision, please contact our Fundraising Chair at (317) 944-8705.
“A Young Boy’s Vision of a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament Fundraiser”
Cayman Jarvis was 10 years old when his Mom says he approached his parents about starting a basketball tournament. He already had a team of 5 and wanted to know how to proceed. His mom explained that he would need more then one team and the discussion ended at that. The next night, Cayman asked just what he needed to do to have a tournament. His parents suggested joining a 3 on 3 tournament. Again, end of discussion, until the next night! Cayman stated that he wanted to move forward with having a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. He knew he wanted to have each kid pay $5.00 and that he would have trophies and t-shirts. At this point, his Mom realized he was serious about this endeavor. She asked what he would do with the money raised and at that point, we was not sure. Then, one of his friends, Tyler Genneken, was diagnosed with Leukemia and was hospitalized at Riley. When Cayman was visiting Tyler in the hospital, he realized there were games, play stations, etc; but that a lot of toys were missing pieces and things were broken. At that moment, he decided that he wanted to donate money to Riley for games and toys.
Cayman’s parents, Cindy and Troy, have stated that they will support any dram their kids have as long as the kids are the ones making the effort to achieve the dream. So Cindy gave Cayman a list of things he needed to do in order to have a successful tournament. His parents assured him that they would get the basketball goals, water and balls. Then, Cindy reminded him, “you have twenty days to do this in”.
It was the first day out of school and Cayman spent the day with his Papa driving around to local businesses asking for donations. He raised an amazing $600 on his first day of asking for donations. Then he designed a logo for his flyers and t-shirts and his Grandma helped him order t-shirts and trophies. He didn’t know a lot of kids who played basketball because he played football and hockey, but he called all of his buddies to see if they wanted to participate. He spent the first week out of school on the phone trying to line up referees, players and family members who would volunteer for the event.
Cayman was nervous the night prior to the tournament as he asked his parents, “what if no one shows up?”. His parents tried to calm his nerves. They knew how much time and effort he had put into this and that his heart was set on doing it. As Cayman’s Mom shared with me, “the rest had to be left to God.”
Cindy said the next day parents drove in herds of kids. They were lined up and Cayman could not believe his eyes. That first year, Cayman’s 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament had 45 kids playing and it was all organized by a 10-year old boy! In the end, he had raised $1,500 for Riley.
The next two years had been carried out in the same manner, only each year brought more kids and they were getting bigger. For safety reasons, Cayman needed to go to the town council and ask to have the streets blocked off for the tournament. Each year, Cayman sets a goal and he has had no trouble achieving his vision and goals. This year, he even started giving presentations to the Elk’s Club, Rotary Clubs and the town council. His fundraising efforts for The Cheer Guild raised $3,300 in the second year and $5,600 this year!
I had the amazing opportunity to meet Cayman, his Mom and sister recently when they came in to donate the money from this year’s tournament. At that meeting, Cayman shared that he did not feel he was doing enough for the kids at Riley. At HIS request, we talked about his fundraising plan for 2009, his sponsorship packet and how he could potentially raise more money. When I asked him what his goal would be for 2009, he simply said, “Oh, it will be BIG!”
As a former event fundraiser, my meeting with Cayman has forever impacted my impressions on what one person can do to raise money for a non-profit organization, especially someone so young. There are many people who aspire to do all that young Cayman has actually accomplished in three short years. The Cheer Guild is very fortunate to have Cayman, and his family, fundraising on our behalf!