by Pat Veitch
Leader/Activist Development Coordinator
Victoria Thacker, fundraising chair for the Mother Lode Chapter,
has turned its annual benefit auction into an innovative and
educational event that has raised awareness as well as funds for
conservation in Northern California. This year's event, titled
"Going, Going...Green," showcased products made from recycled
materials, including a CFC-free refrigerator and a sofa made in
part from recycled plastics. Over 200 items were auctioned off,
raising an estimated $12,000 for the chapter. "The array of
products proves that principles and profit are not mutually
exclusive," says Thacker. The event also drew local TV coverage.
For information on developing a successful fundraising auction,
contact Thacker at (916) 421-6609.
Outings events have proven one of the most successful aspects of
the Houston Group's fundraising program. The annual "Sierra Club
Spin" bike ride is one of its most popular. This year,
participants cycled through the Katy Prairie, winter home to the
largest concentration of migratory waterfowl in North America,
and raised over $2,300 toward its protection. The group also
raises about $5,000 each year holding outdoor-related training
classes -- topics this year included backpacking, fly fishing,
photography and native plants. Next year, the group is planning a
backpackers' cooking class and an introduction to camping.
Drusha Mayhue, Houston Group fundraising chair, attributes the
success of this program to "doing these things many times and
getting better each time we do them." She also highly recommends
the Grassroots Fundraising Road Show to any group or chapter that
wants to host it. Call Larry Sherwood at (303) 440-8985 to find
out how to bring the road show to your chapter.
"The Trail Guide to the Delta Country' has been one of our most
successful fundraising programs because we've given our customers
what they want," says Rene Maggio, New Orleans Group vice chair.
The guide, which highlights backpacking, bicycling and canoeing
in southern Louisiana and Mississippi, started as a collection of
information and trail maps. As demand for it grew, volunteer John
Sevenair edited and compiled the information into one
comprehensive book, which is now available at many outdoor stores
in the area. It has raised $12,000 for the group over the last
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