Most everyone knows the Minnesingers can sing and put on a great show. For years they have held concerts that enthrall. They also travel the world every other year, singing on the road and picking up cultural tidbits that often find their way into the performances.
But they can bring home the bacon, too.
Back in March a group got together to plan a fundraising effort for the 2015 spring trip to Spain. Karen Overtoom had been president of the Minnesingers board, but was taking a year off. Not so fast. The group, which included Paula O’Connor, Kara Merry and Esther Teves, brought her back to lend some muscle to the project.
Ms. Overtoom posed the question, “How much money do we need to raise, and then how do we do it?” The amount they needed to raise was $35,000 for the biannual trip, which this year will include 32 singers in the 10th through 12th grades. A tall order, and some might turn to large scale fundraisers that take a lot of planning and often use up more resources than they bring in.
Ms. O’Connor said she could get four Red Sox tickets. Evidently, the power of Red Sox fever to generate income should never be underestimated. As of July 30, when the raffle for the four tickets was held at the Field Gallery, the Minnesingers had raised $16,452. Can you say hola Espana?
The march to mucho dinero was methodical.
“Each singer got three books of tickets and parents got one book to sell,” said Ms. Overtoom.
Each book held 12 tickets, priced at $10 per raffle ticket, which came out to $120, or $100 if the book was sold as a whole. It definitely helps to have a large group of singers and their parents participating, but the simplicity and directness of the project was perhaps the real genius.
The winners were Alfred and Mardell Francis. They will watch the Red Sox play the Mariners on August 23, from their seats at the State Street Pavilion Club at Fenway. Oh, and they will get free parking, too.
Now, how much would a raffle bring in to accompany the Minnesingers on their tour of Spain? After all, there still is a ways to go to get to $35,000.