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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trenton's Trotters Family Team Sponsorship Success!

I have walked in the March of Dimes walk since I was in middle school.  I walked on teams and as an individual.  I took a break from the walk during my college years and never really got back into until I experienced the effects of the March of Dimes fundraising efforts first hand.  In 2008, I gave birth to my first child, Trenton, 7 weeks before his due date.  Doctors tried to hold off my labor, but it was too late.  I was transferred to Christiana Hospital to give birth since they were equipped with a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  For a premature baby, he was large weighing 5 pounds 6 ounces.  Doctors and nurses assured me that he would be leaving the hospital with me within 3 days. However, Trenton was unable to maintain his temperature and he was not released from the NICU for 23 days.  My story of premature birth is much less intense than others that I know or have the pleasure of meeting along the way.  I grew close to many families during my stay, one of which had a baby girl in the NICU who had been there for 4 months, weighing just a little over one pound at birth.  
We were over 1 hour and 30 minutes away from home, but did not want to leave our baby boy.  We stayed in near by hotels for the entire duration of Trenton's stay in the NICU and spent most of our time by his side.  During our stay, March of Dimes representatives were in and out of the NICU on a daily basis, offering training sessions on how to care for your premature baby, dinners for parents and families of infants in the NICU and support groups where parents could share their stories with each other.  I saw the March of Dimes fundraising efforts put to great use as a support for families suffering through the worries and fears that come with having a child born prematurely or with birth defects.  When Trenton was released from the hospital in March, I decided that I wanted to help this great organization more than I have in the past.  I formed a team, Trenton's Trotters, in honor of our son.  Within a month, I had formed a small team who was able to raise over $5000.00 for this worthy cause.  We have been at it ever since!  In the meantime, I have given birth to two other beautiful children, who were also at risk for being born prematurely.  I took progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor. While researching this topic on the Internet, I found that the March of Dimes website had an informational page on the topic.  Yet another way our fundraising efforts are working to help ensure that all babies have a healthy start!  Last year, our team hit its highest fundraising mark yet, at over $7000.00 raised for the March of Dimes.  As an individual I would have never been able to make such an impact, however getting the word out there helps people get involved!  Getting a few people on your team will allow them to connect to several other people that you may not know.  Use your team members strengths to help think of other fundraising opportunities that your team can conduct.
Set your goals high!  Remember if you aim for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars!  

What made you participate in the Family Team Sponsorship program for March for Babies?
Every year that we have participated in March for Babies, I have asked local businesses to sponsor our team. I always had the business names printed on our Trenton's Trotters shirts.  Therefore, this opportunity worked well for our team!  

What tyupes of companies did you ask to sponsor your Family Team?

We ask local businesses in our county, especially businesses that we frequently visit.  We also ask local non profit organizations like my church, the Ruritan and the American Legion.  

How did you ask potential sponsors? Personal visit, email, phone calls?
Most of the time we make a personal visit, however after the initial sponsorship, we usually send a thank you card with our total raised from last year and request a sponsor within that card.  

 How many potential sponsors did you approach and what were their reactions to the program?

We approached about 14 to 16 potential sponsors.  Most of the sponsors were very receptive to the program.  For businesses that seemed unsure or had to approach their owners, we just left a form that they could fill out and send in on their own time.  

What information besides the reply form (if any) did you supply to your sponsors?

I talked about our team and why it was created along with the mission of the March of Dimes.  

Did you get turned down from any potential sponsors and how did you handle it?

We did get turned down, but we just thanked the business for their time and consideration.  

How much did your team rais through the Family Team Spnosorship?
We sold 12 signs at $100.00 a piece, however some businesses donated more than $100.  So I would estimate that we made around $1700.00 from team sponsorship.  

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