Class Project – Putt Your Best Food Fore-ward
8 class members volunteered to meet with the WDMLA Board’s class project liaisons to form a steering committee. That committee decided upon a survey of ideas for the upcoming class project. It used the Chamber Survey Monkey account to deliver the survey.
During the class session, spokespeople for the steering committee presented the project ideas, and they were held to a vote by the entire class. Approximately 66% of the class voted to benefit the Food Bank of Iowa by hosting a miniature golf event. In addition, during this time, class members selected a tentative date to hold the event in late April or early May of 2010, prior to graduation. The class had a member who was employed by West Glen, and initial steps were taken to secure that location for our event site.
After the class session, emails were sent by the steering committee for sub-committee sign-ups, including: an executive committee (lead committee representing the chairs of each sub-committee); an event management/site logistics committee, a golf course management/design team; a sponsorship committee, a marketing/PR committee, a volunteers committee, and a Food Bank liaison.
The sub-committees were tasked to have at least one organizational meeting under their belts by the December class. At the December session, remaining class members were placed in various sub-committees. Event location was finalized.
The name of the event had not been decided upon at this point. The name was crucial as marketing had to be employed as soon as possible. Several names were submitted at an executive committee meeting and at the January class session, the name “Putt Your Best Food Fore-ward” was chosen. Golf hole sponsorships started to be solicited.
A decision was made to change the beneficiary group from the Food Bank of Iowa to the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s Emergency Food Pantries. The reasons for the switch: DMARC benefits the Greater Des Moines Area vs. the entire state of Iowa for a more local reach; DMARC concentrates on healthier foods preferring higher protein items, and lastly DMARC accepts and even prefers monetary donations in addition to food donations.
The class continued its efforts generating both monetary and in-kind donations. It enlisted the help of Valley High School students to run golf holes during the event, assist with setup and tear-down. Valley High School offers the Silver Chord program, and many of the volunteers used their time as credit toward getting their silver chords at graduation.
Event day was better than we expected. Over 18 corporate golf hole sponsors and more than 50 volunteers helped to contribute over 3,000 food items, over $30,000 in-kind donations, and nearly $14,000 to DMARC’s Emergency Food Pantries.