What is your favorite unit fundraising activity?
My favorite fundraising experience is Wreaths Across America. Kona Composite Squadron has done the event for more than 10 years.
Why is it your favorite fundraiser?
WAA gives cadets a chance to do something great for the community and honor past veterans. The community and the squadron come together for a ceremony one day a year.
How do you measure if you are successful?
Through support of the Mayor’s office and the County Council and our members, as well as various organizations within the community, we are able to cover all of the graves at our local veteran’s cemetery with wreaths. We are also able to memorialize veteran’s graves around the island. The results of the fundraising enable the squadron to send our cadets to Encampment and other Cadet Activities.
What logistical considerations did you have to take into account? i.e. personnel, location, cost, etc.
The Logistical side is receiving all the wreaths and putting together the ceremony. The Squadron members make the time to help receive over 600 wreaths and to get things set up. Everyone supports the arrival and are often on stand-by due to the irregularities of shipping to an island. The WAA handles all the shipping arrangements to locations we designate. The squadron arranges to unload and arrange them for the ceremony. The cadet leadership runs the ceremony with oversight from the senior Cadet Programs Officers (CPOs). The cadets organize the speeches, special guests, color guard preparation, snacks, etc.
Do you have any fundraising lessons learned that you want to share?
Working with one’s County Council or the Mayor of the City brings in the community. Work hard to develop and maintain these relationships by inviting them to attend your open house events, special promotion ceremonies and fly-ins. This gives them the opportunity to see all the awesome things Civil Air Patrol is doing for their community while continuing to connect with them on a personal level.
What recommendations do you have for others who might want to try this?
This is a simple fundraiser. You can sign up via the button below. WAA helps with advertising by providing templates to submit to newspaper/radio/tv outlets. WAA provides the script and everything you need to start the fundraising sale of the wreaths. How big an event you make it is based on how much time and effort you have/want to put into it. Your greatest asset will be the relationships you have established in the community.
>>Note from NHQ Field Fundraising Team - Many units start fundraising for Wreaths Across America in July. Start your plan now for early success!<<