Monday, April 25, 2011

How To Take A Thoudand Kids Fishing On The 4th Of July #2

     You get what you think is a perfectly marvelous idea. Happens all the time you say. Why, I had a marvelous idea just yesterday.
      I wrote in a previous blog the very beginnings of the story of  taking a thousand kids fishing on the morning of the 4th of July, between the hours of 7am and noon, and loving every minute of it. You can see that I've shortened the title of the story.  I should warn you that the lessons learned from this adventure would later be applied to an Annual Father's Day Car Show, just a few craft and Art shows,  a few big wheel races, a couple whole town promotions and even some major fund raising efforts for Muscular Dystrophy. I'm getting ahead of myself. I do want you to understand. This is about taking a thousand kids fishing on the morning of the 4th of July, loving every minute of it and so very much more.
     I'd like to say that this part of the story happened the day after the first fishing contest we attended. It probably didn't. I'd like you to understand the sense of urgency we felt to organize the next contest. I am sure that this part of the story happened while it was still July. We came to the conclusion that if we wanted to do a big contest it was going to take some capital. We didn't have any. We could have put our own money into the pot. That wouldn't have amounted to much. We set out with one major rule. "I can not do this by myself"
We needed $100.00 to get things rolling for a contest a year away.  It was going to take money to ask fishing tackle manufacturers for donations!
     My little town had two banks, a S@L.and a new comer large bank, from the big city, had just opened a branch bank. Banks and bankers were in the news. Since there were four of them I decided I could raise the $100 in four trips. My promise to them was that they would appear on all of our advertising as sponsors of the event. This represented a bargain signature ad for them. I went to the S@L first because they had plenty of free parking. Ten minutes later $25.00. I next went to my bank..Another $25.00..The hardest ones were to come. I stood in old skin flint bank waiting to talk to the old skinflint himself. The man from behind the walnut desk listened as I explained the fishing contest. He understood the value of the offer to his advertising and of the event to the community..He made this deal with me. He would double any donation I received from the new comer bank. I asked a vice president of the bank to witness the dare and agreed that if I got nothing from the new upstart I wouldn't be asking for any of skinflints money.
     I trudged down the street. I dusted off my blue jeans, straightened my collar and opened the door to the branch bank. It was all or nothing at this point, I might have even straightened my hair. I met the branch manager, nice young all business lady. I told the of the marvelous fishing contest idea. She liked it. She liked the value of the advertising concept. She thought her kids would love the contest next year. As she was writing the check I told her of the dare from the other banker. Her eyebrows raised. She said this is her community, too. We are here to stay!  She wrote the check for $100.00  without telling me. I really didn't look at the check.  I was back in skinflint bank handing the check to Mr. Skin himself.  He called me a SOB but did write the check for $200.00 I was in shock!
      The president of my bank beckoned me to his office when he saw me opening a new account for the fishing contest. Seems my story of the fishing contest interested him..He had a good laugh about my mornings fund raising activities. He had something on his mind. At that time dues to the state, national and local Chapter of our he Izaak Walton League were $25.00.  He signed up all of his employees as members right on the spot.  We had just doubled our chapter membership! That morning we went from having zero in the bank to $600 in the bank. The first monthly news letter came out about a week later. But that's another story.
     You get what you think is a marvelous idea. Other people may think it's a marvelous idea., Ask them for their help. Always remember to say thank you...even if they call you a Oh there's so much more to the story. Notice how other people caught the vision, the marvelous idea, then proceeded to contribute far more than I was asking. I hadn't fully convinced myself of the power of the marvelous idea , yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment