In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 50

In hindsight, this was probably the making or breaking of our event. For example, our Facebook promotions ended up reaching close to 50,000 potential competitors at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. If required for future events, I would definitely allocate funds in the budget for professional help in the marketing arena. Finally, we targeted the whole family by having a range of course lengths, plus a fun, 1.5km kids’ race. By expanding our potential field of competitors, we were able to reach much greater participant numbers than we’d dared dream, plus get a range of people active. In fact, the largest field ended up being the 5km run or walk, with over 100 entries! Most of these competitors hung around to watch the finishers of the longer races, creating a real atmosphere at the start-finish line. I believe the event has been great for getting the Rotary Club of Waimate’s brand out into the community. The fact that we are associated with a fun, professional event has certainly helped to dispel some of the ideas that we are a ‘group for old men that cook sausages’ (as my cousin would say.) The community buy-in and support has been huge. Sponsors, mainly local, contributed around $13,000 in cash and services-in-kind, which helped cover the costs of staging the event. On the day, we had more than 50 volunteers, including members from five different service clubs, lending a hand with the site and marshalling duties. Personally, I found the process challenging, but incredibly rewarding. My highlight was the uptake and support of the ‘Whitehorse Challenge’, the charity fundraising portion of the event. We had 20 teams enter, stretching from Invercargill to Christchurch. Some teams had absolutely no connection to Waimate, just loved the idea and were keen to test their mettle, which was amazing. They were challenged to raise $500 each, but many teams blew this out of the water, with the top pairing raising $1450. Overall, the teams raised a total of $14,569, to be donated to the Rotary Club of Waimate, South Canterbury Hospice, Waimate Centrecare Counselling, KidsCan, and the Waimate Whitehorse Mountainbike Club for further track development. We’re still awaiting our final figures, but estimate the total fundraising will reach around $25,000, after costs. A big thanks to the committee for a sterling job – in particular, Peter Bootsma (another volunteer) who had the attention to detail to sort the health and safety plan. Bring on next year! Page 50 | In Gear - Rotary in southern New Zealand - District 9980 | www.rotarydistrict9980.org