Every parent who has a child on a sports team can relate to the frustration of having to constantly fundraise. It’s hard on friends and neighbours who get bombarded with requests to buy chocolates and cookies, especially when they are watching their waistlines.
The reality is, it takes money to participate in tournaments, even more so when you live on Vancouver Island and throw ferry costs into travel budgets.
Fifteen-year-old Ballenas Secondary School student Caitlyn, aka Cookie, Shworan has been involved with several clubs and teams over the years and has done her share of fundraising.
As a member of the Parksville Volleyball Club she knew they would need to raise a lot of money to pay for the tournaments they would be attending this year, including the upcoming Nationals in Calgary over the May long weekend.
Shworan knows fundraising can be tough on parents and the thought of yet another bottle drive and selling chocolates was enough to make the savvy teen think of a more painless fundraising process that would benefit the community as well as local athletes.
After some brainstorming with her dad back in January, she came up with the Parksville Youth Fundraising Booklet.
“I thought it would be cool to create a coupon book. Businesses are always marketing to get more customers, and what better way than to have the kids be the marketers.
“If several businesses would donate coupons, the local teams and clubs could sell the books to raise money, and at the same time, provide marketing for the local businesses.”
Shworan hit the streets and met with a few business owners. She admitted she was a bit nervous at first, but everyone she talked to was positive and said “I’m in.”
“To get some feedback I met with several businesses regarding my project, and the response was fantastic. Every business owner I spoke to was incredibly enthusiastic about my idea, and anxious to donate coupons towards the booklet. This was very encouraging and everyone agreed this will be a huge success for the Parksville youth.”
The concept of the fundraising project is that local teams and clubs (made up of students only, no adult teams), will be able to sell the booklets and, aside from expenses, keep all of the money raised for their group activities.
The $20 booklets are now being sold and offer a variety of discounts and from a large number of Oceanside businesses.
Shworan said it has been a good learning experience taking on the project and while it has taken up a lot of her time it has been worth it.
“I’m excited to watch the project grow and I am thankful to the sponsors in the community,” she said.
If the booklets are successful, Shworan said she will consider putting together another booklet in the fall.
How Shworan finds the time to organize the booklets and keep up with her busy schedule is a testament to her determined work ethic.
The Grade 10 honour roll student completed her Bronze Cross in February, is currently doing Spanish 11 online and has her sights set on challenging Grade 10 Spanish.
She has been selected to participate in a Rotary Club exchange program this summer with a student from Spain.
“My only challenge is keeping up. I do have to do my school work too!”
For more information on where to purchase the coupon booklets go to www.ParksvilleYouth.com.
List of businesses
included in the
Boston Pizza Parksville
Bravenet Web Services
Cha Ch’a Java
Dairy Queen Parksville
Fairwinds Golf Club
Flix ‘n’ Pix Video
Jigsy Website Builder
Life ‘n Balance
Rod & Gun