During college, my sorority was involved in the annual city-wide Relay for a Life fundraising event. Each year groups from around town met together to raise money in the effort to support cancer research. The event was a big hit each year, and a portion of the success could probably be attributed to the entertainment that participants got when they were at the event. Of course, the event is not about being entertained, but those that ran the event saw to it that everyone had a fun experience with lots of great Relay for Life fundraising ideas, in hopes that they would return to help the following year.
The first year I participated, the Relay for Life fundraiser was held at a track. Groups set up tents and camped out along the edge of the track. In the middle of the track, there were various activities happening. There were games for kids, a place for face painting, tables set up with information about the Relay for Life foundation, t-shirts, and door prizes to sign up for while participating. As the sun starts to set the tables were moved in lieu of a large projection screen. As volunteers circled the track during the late hours they also enjoyed watching movies.
In the second year, due to unpredictable weather, the event was moved inside a college gymnasium. Local groups still camped out along the edge of the basketball court, and rubber mats were put down to create a track that protected the gym floor, and walker?s joints against the hardwood floors. Off to the side, in the bleacher’s area there was a make-shift stage set up. Throughout the contest, a local DJ announced several rounds of “Relay Idol”? a mock singing contest. A representative from each group was chosen to sing in several rounds of competition. The winner was chosen at the end of the night by the amount of money they had collected. Each contestant had a bucket with their name on it, and instead of voting through texts or cheers money was put in the buckets. All of the money went toward Relay for Life.
The last year that I participated with my sorority we were inside again and also had “Relay Idol.” In between rounds of singing, there were games and contests for non-singers to participate in. The games were usually silly and included lots of eating and lots of trash cans nearby. It was fun to see the president of the bank, and the city hall members spin around in circles with blindfolds.
Each of the events served two purposes. Each year we raised money for cancer research. And each year we got to have fun and fellowship together while doing Relay for Life fundraising. We obviously would have participated without the fun games and silly contests, but those who were planning the events wanted to make sure that everyone had a good time, and that is precisely why we went back every year!