Host a Pints for Polio Event
World Polio Day is quickly approaching! During the 2017-2018 Rotary Year, District 7570 challenged areas to host Pints for Polio events to raise awareness and raise funds for PolioPlus. While this served as a district wide competition during DG Dick Ray’s year, the concept can be used as blueprint for a fun “World’s Greatest Meal” or World Polio Day event. This blog post will walk you through how I organized our event in Area 5. I will also provide some files and documents to help you duplicate this event where you live. Best wishes and don’t forget “We’re This Close!”.
Choose a date, time & location
This year World Polio Day is on Thursday, October 24th. Pints for Polio lends itself to a Happy Hour style event so consider hosting your event from 5:30-7:30 pm. Our event was hosted at a brewery however at the time they did not have a restaurant attached. When looking for a venue, try to find a place that offers both beer and food to simplify your event. This is a great opportunity for them to gain new customers so see if they will offer you a deal on the pint. We partnered with Centra Health’s food truck Code Fresh for our event. The pints cost $4, the entrees cost $5 so we were able to donate $11 per $20 ticket to PolioPlus. We also sold commemorative pint glasses at the door for $10 each. If an attendee purchased a glass, they received a wristband which granted them a discount on their pints all night long. The pint glasses were also sold during a Lynchburg-Morning Rotary club meeting so even folks who could not attend were able to be a part of the event. Apocalypse Ale Works and Code Fresh were paid at the end of the event and Apocalypse donated some money back to Rotary as well.
We did have sponsors for the event to cover all our costs but they were members of our club. We had a banner created for the event which was placed in the ground at the entrance to Apocalypse the day of the event to thank our sponsors. We also thanked them throughout the event as well. We had small flyers printed to advertise our event and visited the clubs in the area to spread the word. Those flyers were printed for free thanks to a member of our club.
I created our event poster and my husband animated the poster, turning it into a commercial. The video was played on Facebook and a member of our club that is in charge of our local minor league baseball team also played the commercial on the scoreboard during Rotary night at the Hillcats stadium.
We sold tickets in advance on our club website and also sold them at the door. When people purchased they told us if they were Rotarians and if so, what club. This allowed us to give people individual credit for their tickets ($11 donation/per ticket). Making sure people got credit for their contributions really helped encourage area wide participation. If you would like to sell tickets at the door as well, make sure your club has a Square so you can process credit cards, cash to make change and a sign for those who want to write a check so they know who to make the check payable to. A simple spreadsheet at the door with “Name” & “Club” fields should give you everything you need to do the accounting post event.
We had a small silent auction, 50/50 raffle and cupcakes for donations to help generate more funds. If your event is outside, you may want to bring a tent for registration. Have a separate table for the auction and raffle as people come in and you’ll get the most participation. Once people entered the event it was hard to rally them for announcements. Apocalypse just happened to have a band that night so that also was a nice touch. Don’t forget an event photographer. I wish we had more photos from the event but I’m grateful for the video. Event photos and a hashtag for the event will help boost awareness for days after it’s over.
We made sure it was family friendly with plenty of room to run and corn hole for the kids. Some folks even bought their dogs! These fun Rotary glasses for the children were also a hit and parents loved to take photos of their little ones wearing them. When people checked in they received a red ticket for a pint and a blue ticket for food. Parents were grateful for this because the kids could go up to the food truck when they were ready to eat and they didn’t have to have cash on hand to make purchases. At the end of the event, we counted the tickets for food and drinks and that’s how we knew how much to pay Code Fresh and Apocalypse. This kept everything simple and eliminated waste.
If people didn’t show, their entire $20 ticket went to PolioPlus ;)
Documents & Helpful Resources
End Polio Now Poster Order Free Copies from RI
Top 5 Reasons to Eradicate Polio Poster and Flyer for FREE from RI
End Polio Now Pins 100 for $50 from RI
World Polio Day Resource Center has invitations, social media posts, sample press releases, etc. available for free. Click here to check that out.
D7570 Event Instructions This is the document that was sent out district wide to encourage folks to host an event and it’s a concise way to explain what it is.
Event Fundraising Kit I created this to help folks secure sponsors for their event. Feel free to click here and download this as a resource.
Silent Auction Form in case you need one you can download mine :)
Event Poster if you have Photoshop capabilities you can just edit this. If not, use the image above as inspiration and create your own.