This was originally posted on May 21, 2011 Novato.Patch.com
While dramas are playing out on different stages, and emotions run high in Novato causing much debate and anguish among Novatans on issues related to safety, schools and the city, a handful of volunteers quietly ran one of the most successful fundraisers for Novato schools.
With 257 registered riders from 16 public schools and 2344 donors; the Tour of Novato and FunFair fundraiser, held on one glorious April day, raised over $93,000 for Novato public schools!
It was quite an amazing sight witnessing the excitement going on around the registration table. Riders signing in, taking off for a fun and healthy hour or two to fundraise for their schools. Bicycles, unicycle (one), double bicycles, bicycles with backseat and trailers; serious bikers with full biking gears and recreational riders with T-shirts and sneakers; young and old riders; and generations of riders streaming through the gorgeous West Marin landscape on a couldn't be more perfect spring day!
Some schools heavily promoted the event, seeing this as a fun and effective way to raise fund while others dismissed it. Either way, it was exciting watching running totals going up; especially during the last week of the fundraising period. Being the third year for Tour of Novato, we are seeing more teachers, students and staff riding, making it a fun day to be involved with the schools and the community that support them.
Chart Leader Eileen Smith, Principal of Loma Verde Elementary, rode the Long Route (36.5 miles) in her 3rd year riding, raised $3,837, exceeding her goal of $3,000. The funds raised will be used for iPads because the applications will allow our students to enhance reading fluency, reading comprehension, math skills and problem solving in the classrooms. With its principal leading the fundraising efforts, Loma Verde came in first and raised over $15,000.
Heather Ophir, a San Ramon parent, Zumba Fitness Instructor, also rode the long route, came in second, raised $3,020 for her school with a very simple belief - Every Penny Counts! She reached beyond her immediate network to raise $5 or $10 at a time, her impressive list of supporters helped her far exceeded her goal of $2,000.
You don't need to be an adult to effectively fundraise. Calvin Hersey, a 12-year-old Hill Middle School student, instead of grieving the school closure; decided to raise fund for both Hill and his new school, Sinaloa. According to his page, Calvin loves bike riding ("Bike riding is how I roll"). He also rode the long route. Love his quote: "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit." I know Calvin is going to be successful in anything he sets his mind to.
Other than this very healthy way to fundraise, booths were set up to entertain and educate the students at the FunFair; such as GeoCache Treasure Hung, San Marin Music Instrument Petting Zoo, Novato Sanitary District and Novato Disposal jointly presented their zero waste program, San Marin Robotics showcasing their robots, Marin School of Arts exhibits and face painting, Sunrise Rotary Club Mini Carnival, Mike's Bikes doing bike tune up, NUSD nutrition services showcase school menu, Novato Theater educating Novatans about the plan for downtown theater. To ensure the safety of the riders and participants, Novato Police and Novato Fire were both on hand for safety helmet checks and emergency services.
Let's not forget the tireless organizers and volunteers who seem to support every Novato School event. Not ones to complain, they do this willingly and steadfastly, with no hidden agenda, other than the love they have for the children of Novato and the belief that with the support of the community, we can give our children the best we can offer. They believe in Working Together to Build a Strong Community!
For the ones with doubt, I wish you were there to witness the GOOD, the LOVE, the BELIEF and the EXCITEMENT that's in the AIR about Novato and Novato's future!
To submit your photos of the event, email pictures to School Fuel
We continue to take donations and I hope you can find in your heart to donate $5, $10 at a time to our kids - Until May 25th - Go to www.TourofNovato.org