One School Puts the “Fun” in Fundraising

From time to time, we like to share feedback from successful fundraisers and the people behind those events, to offer insight on how to approach planning such a fundraiser should you wish to initiate something similar in your school or community.

004761-DSC03006_GamingForEB2 Recently, a first-grade class at St. Anne Catholic School in Tomball, Texas, took an opportunity to create their own service project to recognize and honor one of their fellow students through an innovative fundraiser called “Gaming for EB.” Students were asked to find sponsors so they could play video games (win) so they might raise awareness and funds for DebRA (win) and show their classmate Daniel who has EB that they care about him and will do whatever possible to help find a cure for EB (win!) A win-win-win for everybody… The result: kids had fun, parents had fun, faculty had fun and DebRA has funds soon to be on their way. Hear how it all came about from Elaina, one of the service project’s coordinators and first-grade room moms. (At the request of the classroom mom and Daniel’s family, we are not including last names in this piece.)

Could this be an event your school or community would be receptive to supporting? Find out what was involved to put all of it together in less than two months’ time!

EB Resource (EBR): Can you explain how the idea for this service project first came about?

Elaina: Each grade level at St. Anne is asked to do a service project for their community. We figured what better way for the first graders to have a great understanding of their service project than to help their own classmate? Daniel has been in class with the same kids for two years and they know and love him dearly. Even though they know they need to be careful because he has delicate skin, he is very much one of the group. By Gaming for EB, they would know and understand who they were helping and also see before their eyes what kindness does.

EBR: How long did it take to plan the whole event?

Elaina: We began planning in mid-September 2010, and the event was held November 10, 2010.

EBR: How many first graders took part in the gaming, and was Daniel among them?

Elaina: We had about 98% participation from the first graders – for two classes, 44 children. The only ones who could not make it were children who had prior engagements that could not be missed. We opened the event to all first graders from St. Anne and their siblings so the total number there was 75! Daniel was definitely among the group, along with his own siblings.

EBR: So how did Gaming for EB Work – did the kids raise funds through their gaming? Were players sponsored?

Elaina: All children were asked to pay a "cover charge to game” of $5. Along with that, each first grader was asked (voluntarily) to004760-DSC03025_GamingForEB1 be sponsored by one or two close family members or friends. Each child was given 30 minutes to play inside the gaming truck from While the others were waiting, CiCi’s Pizza sponsored pizza for the kids to snack on and a local Tomball drilling company donated a cotton candy machine. Along with that, we had other games to play like hopscotch, ring toss (with DebRA bracelets that they got to take home), beanbag toss, hula hoops and a big field to play kickball.

EBR: How much money was raised altogether?

Elaina: At this time, we have raised right around $2,000 with money still coming in. We had our event posted in the local Tomball Tribune, the church bulletin and the St. Anne Newsletter. Many generous people, who did not even have a part in the gaming event, stepped forward to sponsor Daniel.

EBR: What kind of feedback did you get from the kids after the event? And how about feedback from the faculty and parents?

Elaina: The kids had a blast and so did the parents. The event lasted two hours, and we were able to get everyone involved. Some of the parents helped with the extra games, passed out pizza and cotton candy, gathered the children for their turn in the truck, and some parents even gamed a little with their children. The faculty was very supportive, from helping with handouts and taking pictures at the event, to sponsoring Daniel to play.

EBR: What about Daniel and his family – what kind of thoughts did they share about the event?

Elaina: The family said they had a great time and were so glad to have this event in Daniel’s honor. Daniel’s mother was a huge help throughout the whole planning process, in addition to helping during the event.

EBR: Has there been talk about making this an annual tradition?

Elaina: We have definitely talked about it. What a great way to bring awareness to the community and for the children to actually know who they are helping. First graders get that concept!

EBR: What did being involved in this event mean to you personally?

Elaina: It was amazing to see the event come together and to witness the unbelievable support from the parents, the school and throughout the community. Everyone was so willing to help and donate, whether it was equipment, games, food, and/or money! Every step of the way, there was a small sign (and sometimes a very big sign), letting us know we were doing the right thing, in honor of Daniel, in God’s love.


St. Anne Catholic School (Tomball, TX)

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