Archive | September, 2015

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.

Tournaments

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.