Anthony Sumlin essay

I served as class president during my sophomore year of high school. The student council advisor told me at the time of election that the primary goal of the newly elected officers was to raise money to fund prom the following year. So, I met with my fellow officers to discuss fundraising ideas. After hours of brainstorming, I recalled something a student had said at a convention I attended a few months prior; “We had a 50/50 raffle. It worked great.” The group loved the idea once I shared the details. It was quickly adopted by our group and a goal of $1000 was set.

The group decided that the best place to host the fundraiser would be at home football and basketball games, so that we were able to capitalize on the presence of students and alumni. This strategy gave us fifteen fundraising opportunities. A Sophomore Action Committee (SMAC) of about twenty members was assembled to work the games, with each member working a minimum of three times. Also, SMAC assisted in the production of media for the events, including tickets, posters, and flyers. On game days, workers arrived fifteen minutes early to distribute materials and station themselves throughout the stadium.

Initially, a group of at least three SMAC members stood just outside the gate. Two SMAC members carried posters with details about the fundraiser to inform people entering the stadium about our goal. When a person made the decision to donate, they were directed to me. I sold raffle tickets and placed the ticket stubs in an empty cheese ball bucket. The price of each ticket was one dollar. A person could also purchase five tickets for a discounted price of three dollars. Tickets were sold until halftime, at which point I would give the ticket bucket and all monies to one of two adult SMAC advisors. The winning ticket was drawn and announced over the loud speaker during halftime.

The first football game provided a venue in which operational kinks could be worked out. We quickly realized that having one person responsible for both ticket distribution and sales was illogical as it almost always resulted in the formation of a line. To counteract this, the two SMAC members traversing the entrance were each given 25 tickets to sell. They were required to return to me every 10 minutes to turn in any money made and place sold tickets into the bucket. I kept $20 in change on my person and turned excess money into one of the advisors. This method of operation kept lines from forming at the bucket, allowing it to be seen by all entering the stadium. It also allowed for faster ticket sales.

Football games turned out to be more profitable than basketball games. We attributed this to higher attendance and more space in which to interact with the public. At the end of our fundraising efforts, we found that we had more than surpassed our goal. Averaging about $110 per game, were able to raise over $1700. Our advisors were so pleased with the results, they allowed us to allocate $200 towards an ice cream social for the entire sophomore class.

The fundraising ideas SMAC created have been used in subsequent years. Additionally, the community feels more inclined to make financial donations to the school to help with budget shortfalls. Up until this point in my life, I had never been tasked with raising money, let alone such a large amount. This experience strengthened my ability to work efficiently and taught me that great leaders are great learners. I gained new insight on planning and coordination and the importance of being open to change. Lessons learned from this experience have been carried throughout my life, whether as a student or an employee, and assisted in my growth as a man.

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