Cheerleading for the Win!

1 Oct

After months of perfecting your routine and building your skills, you’re finally ready to take on the year’s big competitions! In our final installment of our Cheerleading Series, we will be looking at two of the most prestigious competitions in cheerleading – Cheerleading Worlds Championship and The Summit Championship.

Time to Show Off your Hard Work

Committing to hours of hard work leads to a beautiful display of mastery and skill. Pushing for a championship earns your more than a title, it invites you into selective group of peers who share your same drive and passion. Major championships allow squads a chance to go head-to-head with the best in a challenge of heart.

At the top of cheerleading competitions, two stand out as being the most sought after – The Cheerleading Worlds Championship and The Summit. The two competitions are the most competitive in cheerleading because they only invite squads who have already won championships.

Cheerleading Worlds Championship

Cheerleading Worlds Championship is hosted by the United States All Star Federation (USASF) in the spring as one of the premier international championships in cheerleading. USASF is a non-profit, founded in 2003 with the core principle of creating standards for safety rules, competition rules, and sportsmanship to dance and cheerleading.

The annual Cheerleading Worlds Championship is one of the largest of its kind. The tournament invites over 40 countries around the world to qualify their top squads with over 100 squads in competition. Only level 5 and 6 squads who have won accredited national competitions will receive a bid to qualify.

The tournament is a weeklong at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and is broadcasted LIVE by ESPN. The competition is divided into size classes and skill levels.

Building a Legacy

Historically, the majority of squads competing in the Cheerleading Worlds Championship have been American, but that number has been changing. Previous tournaments have seen a growing number of international cheerleading squads join the competition.

Each year, countries such as the Netherlands, Columbia, China, New Zealand, and Canada have bring talented squads that have won championships. Canada has been particularly dominant in the international classes with the United States and New Zealand standing not too far behind.

The Summit – Varsity All Star Cheerleading Championship

The Summit is a newer tournament hosted by Varsity All Star as the definitive all-level national cheerleading championship. Varsity All Star is one of the largest cheerleading companies in the United States. Along with The Summit, they hosts over 250 tournaments and sponsors more than 800 gyms that range a multitude of divisions across the country.

The Summit is a summer 3-day event that also takes place at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and it will be broadcasted LIVE by ESPN. Competition at The Summit is fierce, qualifying only the top 10% of all squads in the United States.

Bids to compete are given to squads who participate and win Varsity sponsored cheerleading competitions, including a Wild Card round for entry into The Summit. Winners of the Wild Card round will advance to the Finals with second place advancing to the Semi-Final competition.

The spirit of competition brings out the best in everyone. Cheerleading championships are an exciting opportunity to meet other squads who are fueled by the same love for the sport as you, and it all starts with the first step. For information about fundraising to start your pursuit for a championship, visit our fundraising page or fill out our contact form below!



Fundraising for Cheerleading

24 Sep

Like most other sports and physical activities, the cost associated with being a cheerleader depends on the fervor of cheerleading program. Naturally, more prestigious cheerleading programs will be more expensive with specialized trainers and gym equipment. Cheerleaders Cheering at Game 5

Paying for fees and equipment isn’t only for club-sponsored squads. The majority of school districts don’t have cheerleading as an official sport and is instead recognized as a school-hosted extracurricular activity. This means cheerleaders have to get creative and work together to find ways of raising money.

How Much Would I Need?

The start of any good fundraising campaign start with understanding how much you need. According to Cincy Magazine, parents can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 a year in tuition and competition fees for an all-star club program. This doesn’t include the cost of uniforms and other accessories that come with cheerleading.  For most programs, the cost of uniforms, megaphones, shoes and pom poms can reach into the hundreds.

Competition fees vary with the level of competition. Larger events are more expensive to participate in than smaller community events. However, the level of competition and prestige is higher at the large events, giving your squad the chance to earn greater bragging rights. It’s also important to consider the amount of competitions the cheerleading squad will have as this can lead to more expenses, like travel and hotels. Fortunately, there are many fundraising opportunities available to take help pay for uniforms and fees.

Start Fundraising

Get Organized

After your squad has an idea of how much money they need you can begin fundraising. It is always a good idea to have a balance sheet to help your squad stay organized about how much money you’re making compared to the cost of fundraising. We wrote a blog with more tips for a successful fundraiser here.

All good fundraisers start with well-planned ideas. You wouldn’t want to sell hot chocolate during the summer or have an out-door talent show during the winter. Brainstorm with your squad for fundraising ideas that are interesting for your customers and ways to use your individual talents.

For example, does your squad have good singers and musicians? Consider starting a singing telegram for your neighborhood. Does your squad like to bake? The traditional bake sale is a time tested fundraiser that has worked well for many cheerleading squads. Thinking of ways to use what you have will help you save on costs as you fundraise.

Fundraising Ideas

Fundraisers tend to come in two types – selling a good or service and selling an event. Both of them have their strengths and risks. If it’s within your squad’s budget, doing both will help you spread your risk to maximize your fundraising.

  1. Selling a good or service: carwashes, bake sales, merchandise, calendars, hotdogs, candy bars, coupon books and gourmet popcorn have always been a successful fundraising strategy. Your squad will see money made with each item sold allowing you to better control your budget and expand operations. However, this will require you to keep track of inventory and interest in the good or service tends to wain overtime. Keep a list of fresh ideas to keep your squad’s fundraising momentum.
  2. Fundraising Events: fashion or talent shows, pep rallies, walk-a-thons, garage sales, spaghetti dinners, bloc parties, raffles and sport tournaments can fundraise a lot of money. You can either charge admission, set an entry fee, or ask for donations. But be warned, events take a lot of time and resources to organize. It also asks that people attend or participate for them to be successful. If too few people are interested in the event you run the risk of spending over budget.

Look for Partnerships

Partnering with a local business is a great way to get the community involved in your squad’s pursuit for a championship. Local businesses can grant you access to resources that you many not otherwise have, such as a venue, sound systems, tables and chairs. Having access to resources allows you to try larger ventures for your fundraising campaign, raising more money in less time.

Fundraising allows your team to get creative and practice entrepreneurship. The time spent earning your way to a championship makes the spirit of competition all the better, bringing your squad closer together to reach your goals. If you’re interested in more information about fundraising in your area, fill out our contact form below! For more information on popcorn fundraising, visit our popcorn fundraising page. We help cheerleading organizations raise 50% of profit on each item sold.

The Road to Championship

18 Sep

Winning is never easy, the pursuit of a championship is an ambition shared by many talented cheerleaders who have worked hard to get where they are. For our second part of the series, we will be looking at what it takes to be a competitive cheerleader!

Squads from all over the country spend hours training together perfecting their routines and building their strength to shine above the rest of the competition. Competitive cheerleading has multiple divisions and tournaments for cheerleaders of every age, skill level, and region. Squads that do well at their local competitions can advance for State and National titles against the best!

The will to win

­­­At competition, squads will have 2 ½ minutes to impress the judges, putting everything they have into that one performance. To stay in top shape, squads spend hours training at gyms together to work on their routines for weeks. With so much effort and dedication on the line, it’s no wonder that cheerleading has seen some of the most hardworking athletes in the world.

A spirit of dedication

One such athlete is Macy Hoyler of Cheer Elite gym in Amarillo, Texas. Macy is one of her gym’s top athletes who spends more than six-hours, every day, and training to better her skills and inspire her team.

Macy’s dedication is not something her coaches take lightly. Macy’s dedication will stop at nothing to reach her goals. Her skill, talent, and heart help drive her squad as they compete around the State of Texas to win.

The power of teamwork

Many athletes dream of competing on a world stage. For cheerleading, this is the Cheerleading Worlds Championship in Orlando, Florida. The 2015 competition proved to be another exciting year for cheerleading as Cheer Extreme All-Stars Coed Elite from Kernersville, North Carolina earned their first championship.

At first, Cheer Extreme’s chances at winning a championship seemed lost as two of their best tumblers had to draw from competition due to injuries. But Cheer Extreme didn’t give up. In true squad fashion, Cheer Extreme pulled off a flawless routine to win their world championship.

The cost of competition

Like most athletic programs, there are costs – traveling, competition fees, membership fees, equipment – associated with the activity. Competitions are held across the country with winning squads gaining entry to larger, more prestigious events. Squads that are looking to compete will need to go on tour for local, regional, and national competitions. On average, club-sponsored squads attend 8 to 10 competitions per-year with at least one major trip.

Joining an elite cheerleading program at a gym can average between $2,000 to $3,000 a year, not including the cost of uniforms, shoes, and makeup. Since cheerleading is extremely physical, most gyms require a certain level of health insurance before cheerleaders are allowed to practice. Luckily, cheerleading has a long tradition of raising money through community fundraisers and events.

Raise money with fundraising

There are many fundraising opportunities that pair well with cheerleading. Squads can partner with pep rallies, walk-a-thons, block parties, talent and fashion shows, and ticketed sporting events to raise money by charging admission. Squads can also host their own events, such as bake sales, car washes, penny drives, and other events to help cover the cost of expenses.

To help squads reach their competition goals, we’ve compiled a list of fundraising ideas and other resources, such as permission slips, to get you started on your road to a championship! If you’re interested in more information about fundraising in your area, fill out our contact form below!

Contact Popcorn Palace with any fundraising questions you may have, and visit us at our Popcorn Palace fundraising page.

Pumped-up For Cheerleading

15 Sep

Popcorn Palace is pumped to welcome back school athletic programs for another exciting year! To rev things up, we’re writing a series about the spirit of cheerleading. At Popcorn Palace, we understand that cheerleading is more than synchronized dance and routine — it’s about leaders inspiring other to believe.

Why Cheerlead?

Cheerleaders rely on the hard work of their squad to take their routines to the next level to combine a series of acrobatic gymnastics, to the intrinsic beat of cheers. Squads spend hours together training on their athleticism and cohesion for routines that require a high level of coordination and ability. Although most routines last two minutes, it can take weeks of training raw-talented members into a squad that move as one.

While cheerleading has earned its place as spirit leaders for sporting events, it wouldn’t be the same without competition. Tournaments allow squads to showcase their athleticism, as well as earn spots to greater events and awards. There are also private scholarship opportunities available to squad members who present an extraordinary talent for leadership and dedication to success.

Join a Squad

There are two main branches of cheerleading that youth can get involved in — school and club squads. Both branches host wonderful athletic programs that are challenging and exciting. However, each branch is different in their approach.

High School Squads

Students can join their school’s cheerleading squad and travel with their teams. Practices are often times held after school with conditioning camps during the summer to keep squad members in shape when school is out. Traditionally, schools hold cheerleading tryouts for squad hopefuls to join.

Most tryouts ask that participants learn a routine that they provide and one other that is created by the participant. This allows the judges to see how well a participant can learn the squads’ routines, as well as giving an opportunity to express creativity for fresh and new routines.

Club Squads

One of the noticeable differences between club squads and high school squads is in their priorities. Cheerleading at a club puts greater emphasis on athleticism than they do on the cheer itself. The aim of high school cheerleading is to bring energy into the school’s athletic program. This shapes routines to have more focus on visibility and dance. While dance is a major part of all cheerleading routines, cheerleading at a club puts greater emphasis on gymnastics and shows of strength (flipping, stacking, speed and stability).

Club squads have practice all-year long to keep themselves in prime condition for several tournaments throughout the year. Tournaments are a major part of cheerleading at a club because they bring recognition and local sponsorships to their programs. Although club squads can cheer for other athletic clubs during their events, club participation varies from club-to-club.


School and club squads have the opportunity to compete in tournaments throughout the nation. Like many other athletic organizations, tournaments are multi-tiered dependent on age, locality, and skill. School districts sponsor the majority of their tournaments with winners advancing to State, region, and national competitions.

Club squads have their own tiers of competition where winning one gains entry into another for more fierce competition. Two of the most prestigious cheerleading competitions are The Summit and The Cheerleading Worlds Championship. The Summit invites 10% of the best teams from around the United States to compete at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Cheerleading Worlds Competition is a world-wide competition, inviting the best squads throughout the world to compete.

Getting a team to a competition requires consistent fundraising from its members. While most schools and clubs sponsor their squads, travelling and other personal expenses are high and squad members must find their own way to get to competitions. For fundraising ideas and other resources, such as permission slips, read our blog or fill out our contact form below!

If you have any questions about fundraising, please visit our popcorn fundraising page.


Helping the Saint Florian Center Raise Money to Help At-Risk Youth

2 Sep

Saint Florian LogoThe Saint Florian Center is a not-for-profit youth leadership organization that was developed in 1992 by Indianapolis Firefighters who wanted to make a difference in their community. The mission of the organization is to “provide at-risk Indianapolis youth an opportunity to foster leadership skills, develop problem solving methods, and survival tactics through a variety of programming and opportunities in the community in order to create leaders of tomorrow.”

The center runs a wide variety of programs including after-school programs, tobacco free programs, college preparation workshops, and more. As the summer of 2015 comes to a close, Popcorn Palace is highlighting the Saint Florian summer camp. We spoke with Anthony Williamson, the executive director of the Saint Florian Center and a 30 year veteran firefighter. He explained all about the summer camp and his experience with Popcorn Palace fundraising.

The Saint Florian summer camp brings together Indianapolis youth from all different backgrounds to bond and work on important leadership skills. There are three age groups: the junior cadets ages 6-9, the core cadets ages 10-13, and the cash club ages 14-17.

Over a seven week period, the camp focuses on the following topics: art, computer and tech, philanthropy, business, STEM, and law Saint Florian Center Participantsand government. Students are selected to fill leadership roles each week including mayor, deputy, and conduct officer. The roles are changed at the end of the week, and the goal is to have each student hold at least one leadership role during camp.

Parents in the Indianapolis community aren’t always able to pay for the summer camp, and the summer camp provides everything for its participants including food, transportation, and supplies. Although they have volunteers that help, the center needs paid staff to run a daily seven week long camp. So, in order to continue helping the youth of Indianapolis, the center raises money through donations and multiple fundraisers.

Popcorn Palace has been helping the Saint Florian Leadership Center raise money for their summer camp for three years. The funds help cover costs of supplies and the trips at the end of the camp. So what does the process look like?

Before the camp starts, the center hosts a parents’ night to introduce families to the fundraisers and distribute relevant information. Anthony remarked that he’s happy with how quickly the information from Popcorn Palace comes. The center passes out two brochures for each family, so multiple people can help with the fundraiser, and they set a two week deadline for orders.

Anthony’s favorite part of the process is the online ordering spreadsheet from Popcorn Palace. He says that they don’t have to create individual spreadsheets anymore, and this makes it much easier to check his and the student parents’ math.

We are proud that they have chosen us to help their organization, and we look forward to helping the Saint Florian Center raise money for their upcoming programs and workshops for years to come. If you are interested in donating to this amazing organization, they do collect donations here. They are a wonderful organization!

If you have any questions about fundraising opportunities for your own organization or event, then you can request a free fundraising information kit from Popcorn Palace today.

Welcome Back to School!

28 Aug

Many schools throughout the United States are either preparing for their first week of school or are wrapping up their first week back.  We, here at Popcorn Palace, would like to say “Welcome back!” to faculty, students, and staff.

We love the start of school; it’s full of hope, plans, and excitement! The heat of summer has mostly passed, and everyone is reacquainting with friends they might not have seen for months. The start of school is also a perfect opportunity to set the school year up for success. Now is the time to start planning ahead and get started early on projects that will ultimately come to fruition further on in the year. We have 5 recommendations to help teachers and staff prepare for the 2015/2016 school year.

Re-Establish Your School Rhythm

This is the same advice I’d give students as well as faculty: jump back into a schedule immediately. The first weeks of school are going to be overwhelming, but make absolutely sure you’re getting into a set rhythm early on. Set aside structured time to sit down and focus, make sure you complete your homework prep, and if possible, avoid procrastinating because your “finish-it-later-pile” will quickly grow out of control.

Stock Up on Supplies

Everything is on sale for back to school, so think about what you might need well into the school year and stock up now, if possible. This might include school supplies, club supplies, and party supplies. Just an added tip, but we also recommend that you keep track of these supplies because we do have an educator expense deduction for qualified expenses as a teacher, counselor, principle, or aide. You might have heard it before… but have too much and too many of everything. You almost always need it.

Create Your Yearly Calendar

Schedules get overwhelming quickly. We’re usually focused on those first few weeks because they can be truly jam-packed. We recommend looking ahead though and getting future events onto the calendar. You’ll gain more control and be less surprised with upcoming events. What and when are major after-school events you need to be aware of? What are administrative deadlines and functions you should consider? Calendars can absolutely give you a command center that helps you keep your busy life straight.

Think Fundraising Early

We are a fundraising company, so of course, we’re always thinking about fundraising. One of the questions or concerns we frequently get from clients is… I need to fundraise immediately, what can I do? We can help at the last minute because we try to make fundraising as easy as possible, but it’ll make you feel better if you plan ahead with your fundraising needs. Contact fundraising companies early for information, pick your plan, and have the events set up well ahead of time. Fundraisers typically can raise more money, if they have more time for each step. If you’d like fundraising information for the start of the school year, please contact us, we’d be happy to help!

Be Ready for Anything

And last but not least, you need to be ready for anything. Although this list is all about preparation… you need to be flexible and adaptable. No matter how much you prepare, something surprising will happen. Students and administration will be impressing if when something goes awry, you can handle it quickly and gracefully.

Good luck and have a wonderful 2015/2016 school year!!


Recognizing the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)

20 Aug

For this week’s showcase, we are honoring the World Wildlife Foundation, otherwise known as WWF. Their mission is to inspire communities to take action in conserving the environment for all to enjoy for generations!panda-bear

WWF started in 1961 as a small group of wildlife enthusiasts, growing into one of the largest independent conservation organizations in the world. WWF stays active in over 100 countries on 5 continents, working with world leaders to enact sustainable development programs, protection laws for endangered species, and habitat preservation. The organization focuses its efforts on two broad areas: biodiversity and ecological footprint.

They focus on biodiversity to ensure that nature stays healthy and vibrant through the conservation of key locations and critical species that play ecologically critical roles. WWF helps biodiversity by working with local businesses and land owners to find practical solutions to problems like overfishing, pesticides, and poaching.

Ecological footprints are the negative impacts of human activity left in nature that requires intervention. WWF works to fix our ecological footprint by conducting research and implementing better methods for growing crops, managing fisheries, gathering energy, and dealing with waste through the support of private donors and government funding.

WWF works tirelessly with the support of nature enthusiasts to conserve wildlife for future generations to enjoy.  One such enthusiast is nine year-old Sean Hutton from Guelph, Toronto, Canada who started the first Polar Bear Walk two years ago at his school. Sean Hutton fell in love with his favorite animal, the polar bear, after watching a documentary on climate change with his family.

After learning about the harmful effects of climate change, Sean asked his friends and school to walk to school to keep cars off the road and reduce carbon emission. His walk was a big success, raising $910 to support WWF’s work in the Arctic!

This year, the Polar Bear walk grew as more students from other schools joined Sean in his walk to save the polar bears. Inspired by the students, three schools have agreed to encourage their students to walk home from school to support the Polar Bear Walk.

Kids and teens can get involved in wildlife conservation by joining Panda Nation, a community where WWF supports can help protect wildlife. Panda Nation lets classrooms, sports teams, and passionate individuals create their own fundraising campaign to help conserve clean water, start sustainable farming projects, and protect the oceans and forests. Supporters can even create fundraising campaigns to protect their favorite animal. Whether its pandas, elephants or tigers, a Panda Nation campaign will help WWF protect your favorite animals around the world!

Stay posted for next week’s showcase another non-profit whose work inspires communities to join together to support a good cause. If you have any questions on how to start a fundraiser for a non-profit near you, feel free to contact us below!

Recognizing No Kid Hungry

13 Aug

Healthy breakfast. Bowl of yogurt with granola and berriesFor this week’s showcase, we are recognizing Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The No Kid Hungry campaign collaborates with local food banks, restaurants, and community leaders to create solutions for children in need.

Founding siblings Bill and Debbie Shore started Share Our Strength in 1984 as a response to the ’84 – ’85 famine in Ethiopia and were highly in bringing awareness against world hunger. In 2004, they turned their focus to the hunger issues in the United States with the introduction of the No Kid Hungry campaign to help hungry children get access to meals when school was out during the summer months. Since then, the No Kid Hungry campaign has become the exclusive partner of the Food Network, won the 2009 Golden Halo Award, and helped congress pass the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

The No Kid Hungry campaign is made possible by the loving hearts of anti-hunger advocates like Bradley Wadas Blog Post, a boy who dedicated his 11th birthday to start a fundraising campaign. Bradley understood the pain of hunger when his friend’s family was going through hardship. He was deeply affected by the experience, and from it was inspired to take action against hunger. On his 11th birthday, he asked friends and family to share his fundraiser to help hungry children. Bradley started his fundraising goal was at $300 and managed to raise a total of $1,340 for No Kid Hungry!

The summer months are hardest for children living in poverty. For these children, schools provide more than an education. They help provide them with warm meals, sometimes the only meal they will have all day. The No Kid Hungry campaign works with cafeterias, food shelters, local governments, businesses, and top chefs to cook meals and offer solutions to help hungry children.

Although federal and state governments sponsor programs that help children in need, No Kid Hungry understands a one-size-fits-all system can’t meet the needs of children who live too far from government programs. To solve this problem, No Kid Hungry works to provide children with nutritious breakfasts, as well as access to government aid and private programs that feed children after school. No Kid Hungry also offers nutrition education for parents and children to help them make better food choices, as well as cooking classes to make nutritious meals on a limited budget.

No Kid Hungry has strong youth advocate programs that allow kids and teens to join the conversation against hunger. Kids and teens can be a member of Generation No Kid Hungry, a social network that connects youth to groups and resources to help them engage with an anti-hunger campaign. No Kid Hungry also has personal fundraiser tools where teams and youth groups can organize an event to raise money for food programs.

Stay tuned for next week’s showcase of another charity whose work inspires communities to help those in need. If you have any questions on how to start a fundraiser for a charity near you, feel free to contact us below!

Case Study: Helping Cheshire YMCA Raise Funds for Educational Tours

4 Aug

YMCALogoThe YMCA is a non-profit organization committed to bringing people together and mobilizing local communities for meaningful change. Popcorn Palace has been helping a few chapters of the YMCA raise money for important projects. We recently spoke with Kathy from Cheshire YMCA about her work with the Heritage Tours program, and how she has used Popcorn Palace fundraisers to help raise money for these educational and exciting youth trips.

Kathy has been volunteering with the YMCA for 14 years and running the Heritage Tour program for 7 years. The Heritage Tours make history alive for middle school students in surrounding areas. Kathy and other Heritage Tour leaders take the youth groups to important historical landmarks in order to show them the places they’re currently studying in their Social Studies classroom. The American Heritage Tour takes students to all of the historical sites in Philadelphia, PA, Washington D.C. and Gettysburg, PA. And the New England Heritage Tours visit a variety of locations in New England based on the student groups who attend.

Clearly the students are traveling to multiple historical sites in multiple locations, so they need to cover travel costs, but Kathy emphasized that there are additional costs.  “We want to learn about the kids,” she explained. “We want them to get to know us. So we meet for months prior, teach them about the places that we will go to, so they have a good idea about the history, honors, and respect of the sites.”

Kathy gave an example of the importance of setting the stage for the students.

On a spring tour to the Marine Corps War Memorial (the Iwo Jima Memorial), I had a small group of 8th graders with me, and while we were there, a group from the Honor Flight Program showed up. Honor Flight honors veterans who served in WW II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars by flying them up to see memorials built in their honor. Here they are, 90 year old veterans coming to see the memorial. Without even being prompted, our kids lined up and shook their hands. They knew what to do. It was very touching.

The New England heritage tour costs $500 per student, and the American Heritage Tour costs $900. There are some students whose parents pay for the program in full, but some of the kids have trouble financially. The Cheshire YMCA wants any student who wants to go to be able to go. They receive some funding from the community, and they also send kids home with packets about fundraising opportunities to give families a vehicle to earn the money themselves. Kathy says, “I prefer that a child has to work to earn a seat on the bus. I see a difference in the kids who helped work to come on the tour. They value it more.”

For some kids, this is the farthest they have ever gone in their life, and for other kids they are second generation to come through the program. It means a lot for everyone involved.

Students on a Heritage Tour with Cheshire YMCA

Students on a Heritage Tour with Cheshire YMCA

The Cheshire YMCA was introduced to Popcorn Palace fundraising a few years ago. They always try to offer a couple of different fundraising options, and they found the Popcorn Palace website as a potential opportunity. According to Kathy, they asked for a sample and loved the product. “Yum!” Her favorite flavor that we’ve offered is White Chocolate Peanut Butter.

The first time they ran the fundraiser, Kathy was a little more hands on to get used to the process, but now it runs really easily. They present the fundraiser to the kids and parents, send the orders out and get the popcorn back in boxes labelled with what is inside. She says, “It is a very simple process.”

Ultimately, kids that participate make a huge a dent in the cost of the tour. We here at Popcorn Palace are really happy that we’re helping kids participate in such an educational and fun opportunity. We look forward to working with Cheshire YMCA and similar programs in the future.

If you’re interested in more popcorn fundraising information, check out our Popcorn Palace fundraiser page. We’d love to hear from you.

Recognizing The Nature Conservancy

28 Jul

2179054732_fb1e5297d2_zThis summer, Popcorn Palace is recognizing amazing charities and fundraising efforts that are making an impact in their communities. This week, we are looking at The Nature Conservancy, an organization that emphasizes pragmatic scientific solutions to answer urgent bio-diverse issues!

The Nature Conservancy started as a small group of scientist with an interest in finding a way to use their ecological research to create positive environmental impact. Forming the Ecologist Union in 1946, they resolved to use their research and work with politicians and businesses to preserve threatened natural areas. The group later changed its name to The Nature Conservancy and grew to become the leader in nature preservation around the world.

Nature conservancy would not be possible without the heroic help of kind donors and passionate volunteers. One such hero was 13-year-old Dylan Bimka-Wintrob from Upstate New York who used his bar mitzvah to raise money to save the rare and elusive spirit bear in British Columbia, Canada. For his bar mitzvah, Dylan organized a presentation to talk about the endangered spirit bear and raised $867 dollars. This donation, along with many others, helped secure 19 million acres to be placed under strict land-use agreements to protect more than five million acres of the Great Bear Rainforest from commercial logging or extractive uses.

The Nature Conservancy’s work ranges from protecting the grasslands of North Australia to the marine parks across the Caribbean. They also guide preservation efforts through the use of intensive scientific research, partnering with indigenous communities, and non-confrontational solutions. They understood the key to land conservation was in using pragmatic science to bring a balance between extracting resources for human use and avoiding disruption within the natural landscape. The overall goal is to ensure the long term survival of all biodiversity on Earth by seeking solutions that will meet the needs of people as well as wildlife and ecosystems.

Effective conservation is achieved through the help of the people who live on those lands. Through The Nature Conservancy, indigenous peoples are positioned as conservation leaders to target urgent threats through securing land tenure and access, supporting indigenous rights and improving governance. For example, in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, four First Nation’s communities collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to create the Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards (SEAS) Community Initiative, a program that empowers young leaders to be stewards of their land.

Not only does The Nature Conservancy connect with the indigenous peoples, but they also help businesses, governments, and local organizations meet their resource conservation goals. The Nature Conservancy’s Amazon Program helped partner the Brazilian Government with indigenous peoples of the Amazon to create the country’s first ever National Policy on Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI).

The Nature Conservancy works with youth to explore learning and volunteer opportunities. has an interactive map that allows families and youth groups around the United States plan trips to state natural areas and wildlife sanctuaries. The Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program was founded in 1995 as an initiative to offer urban youth both career development and a hands-on environmental stewardship experience. Students take part in ecological research, restoration projects, and natural resource management. Since then, the LEAF program has activities in 28 states as well as a legacy of over 1,000 interns.

Next week, we’ll recognize another organization whose work is an inspiration for people to do good for their community. If you have any questions on how to find or start a fundraiser for an organization in need near you, please contact us below!


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