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T-Shirts Highlight Fundraiser

It was a sea of white in late May for the Yonkers, NY-based Paideia School 15 annual charity event – a 1.5-mile walk followed by a spring carnival. With more than 500 elementary school students – and quite a few parents – decked out in crisp white T-shirts, the day-long event was designed to raise money to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. And that it did, in spades.

From sales of T-shirts, food and tickets to carnival games spread across the school’s playground following the walk – as well as donations and sponsorships of students for the walk – the school raised nearly $16,000 for its chosen charity of the year.

“It was really a great day that brought out the best in our school and in our community,” said Michael Shapiro, principal of Paideia School 15. “The purpose of the shirts was to demonstrate unity for the entire learning community.”

In fact, for some of the students the T-shirts even became a yearbook of sorts, as they had their friends sign the fronts, backs and sleeves. It was all-over imprinting at its most basic. The T-shirts also served a purpose to raise money, as the school sold about 100 additional shirts at $12-$15 apiece (advance sales got a discount) for a total of more than $1,000. Plus, the school gave its teachers and staff red shirts with the same imprints to help them stand out during the event.

“The fundraising aspect of the event really went great, and the T-shirts certainly helped to give the whole thing a celebratory feel,” Shapiro said. “Our impression of everything was very positive. It was a continuation of creating a culture based on the importance of civics and responsibilities.”

Raising Pints & Funds For Firefighters

Guinness USA and Diageo continued its partnership with The Leary Firefighters Foundation (LFF) this past St. Patrick’s Day to raise money in support of firefighters across the country. The Guinness brand increased the fundraising initiative by releasing a series of limited-edition, firefighter-inspired T-shirts, one of which is designed in collaboration with country music superstar Brad Paisley, as a tribute to firefighters everywhere.

The Guinness St. Patrick’s Day initiative was used to celebrate those of great character and heroism who want to be and do more – qualities firefighters showcase every day. Throughout this year’s initiative, Guinness has also been raising a pint responsibly with local community events in honor of those who make great contributions to their communities – such as community leaders, military personnel, EMS workers and, of course, firefighters.

Patrons of legal drinking age were invited to celebrate National Raise Your Glass Day on February 26, by sharing a photo of their Guinness pint on Twitter, tagging @GuinnessUS, or posting it on the Guinness US Facebook page. For each photo posted, Guinness donated $1 (up to $100,000) toward its fundraising effort in support of firefighters.

“Last year, we raised more than half a million dollars for The Leary Firefighters Foundation, and we’re looking to raise even more money this year,” said Guinness Brand Director Emma Giles. “Firefighters personify the Made of More spirit through their selfless and heroic actions and do so without the expectation of anything in return. These brave men and women carry on the same enduring character that Arthur Guinness instilled in our brand more than 250 years ago.”

This year, the Guinness brand teamed up with Paisley to add his own spin to one of the firefighter-inspired T-shirts available for purchase, with all net proceeds benefiting The LFF. Paisley comes from a family of firefighters. “My father was a volunteer firefighter and showed me at an early age the sacrifices made every day by firefighters and how important what they do is to their communities,” said Paisley, who offered artistic input on one T-shirt’s design. “I’m so excited to be a part of the Guinness initiative, knowing their work with The LFF has such an impact on the safety, effectiveness and overall lives of firefighters.

The T-shirts were available through St. Patrick’s Day for a $20 donation through more than 1,700 in-bar events held across the country and at GuinnessGivesBack.com – the online hub for all philanthropic efforts surrounding the Guinness brand’s commitment to firefighters. All net proceeds raised went toward The LFF to provide the much needed funding for fire departments nationwide to receive equipment, technology and training necessary for the continued well-being of firefighters.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Guinness for the third consecutive year to support local firefighters across the country,” said Denis Leary, actor and founder of The Leary Firefighters Foundation. (See Leary’s video on the T-shirt here: https://vimeo.com/122133791.) “The Guinness brand’s commitment to honoring these men and women who go above and beyond to help their communities has been fantastic. With the help of partners like Guinness, the LFF has been able to implement initiatives such as a First Responder leadership development program for fire departments in Boston, New York and Worcester, MA, as well as donating more than $260,000 worth of fire and safety equipment to the Detroit Fire Department. We look forward to accomplishing even more this year.”

Turtle Pins Popular With Resort's Guests

La Playa Beach and Golf Resort, a boutique beachfront resort in Naples, FL, celebrates the endangered native Loggerhead Turtles. They encourage families to go green on a family philanthropic vacation aimed at discovering and conserving the delicate ecosystems and endangered wildlife of the region.

"Sea turtle preservation is the ultimate goal in our area, and we do our part by providing guests with the knowledge to help protect the turtles," says David Martorana, director of sales and marketing at the resort.

La Playa partnered with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida's Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Project to educate guests on the sea turtles, which use the hotel's beaches as a nesting area, and involve guests in efforts to protect the species. Guests at La Playa receive sea turtle pins at check-in, together with an information card about the Conservancy and what can be done to protect the turtles. Last year, about 17,000 pins were distributed. 

"The sea turtle pins have been very popular with guests," says Martorana. "It's something that surprises and excites those who are staying with us for the first time, and is an added touch that returning guests look forward to receiving." In addition, it's a great souvenir that doesn't require any packing.

La Playa also provides sea turtle coloring books for children at the resort's restaurant, Baleen. Stuffed sea turtles are available for purchase in the resort boutique and in each guest room.

The resort also recently offered a package for one sea turtle season called the "Love Nesting" package. Guests who select this package when reserving will get luxury beachfront accommodations, a stuffed sea turtle and educational materials on arrival, and tickets to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center.

Plan the Perfect Golf Event

Producing a golf event takes careful organization and planning, as well as the right promotional products that will enhance the event. Check out these tips from experts Roger Caldwell, owner and founder of Kansas-based Great Golf Events; Larry Battaglia, owner of New York-based Golf Event Planning; and Kevin Ludke, PGA professional with Miami-based Professional Golf Events South Florida.

Start with a plan. Caldwell advises to plan a minimum of 120 days out. "Focus on what you're trying to accomplish and plan ways to promote both your purpose and the event," he says. "If this is a customer appreciation event, spoil them with branded gifts and awards to keep your brand in front of them."

Product Suggestions: Build interest by sending sets of branded golf balls to potential participants. Use four-color printing to enhance your logo.



Locate the best course. "Proximity is a factor, but I look at the overall facility and how the course sets up for a particular tournament, including the cart staging area, lunch and dinner arrangements, overall player room and activity setup room," Ludke says. He also advises making sure the course and greens are in good shape and that the staff can accommodate the needs of the event including competitive pricing for golf, lunches, dinners, etc.
Product Suggestions: Once you've picked a golf course, order T-shirts emblazoned with the course name and your logo. Add branded hats if the budget allows.

Design an event website. Battaglia says, "We start out by educating ourselves about the overall mission and purpose of the event. We then create custom imagery that is tailored to individual clients." He notes that capability for event marketing, accessibility to online registration and linking clients' homepages also make for great websites, as well as options for tee time reservations and social media integration.
Product Suggestions: Make participants want to register via your website by offering logoed boxes of tees to those who sign up online.

Choose fun games. "Traditional on-course contests are a must, including hole-in-one, longest drive and closest to pin," says Caldwell, "But implement some unique games as well." He suggests placing five pins on the green and making all of them hole-in-one prize holes or providing prizes for natural birdies to any flag. "In order to make this work, the jackpots must look easy to earn," Caldwell says.
Product Suggestions: Branded contest prizes range from the expensive (custom tournament jackets) to the economical (ditty bags loaded with accessories). Choose based on difficulty of winning the prize.

Present the right trophy. "It's a mistake to choose cheap trophies or something donated that most people could care less about," says Ludke. "The key is that you want your players to remember the event and you want to impress them with that wow factor from start to finish."
Product Suggestions: Pick from a vast selection of top-drawer logoed golf trophies for team prizes. For individual prizes, choose branded items that participants can use on a day-to-day basis so they will be constantly reminded of the event.


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