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It's not uncommon for sports booster clubs to solicit businesses and organizations for financial support. In Thousand Oaks, Calif., however, one corporation is turning the tables and creating a new fundraising venue for local booster clubs to cash in on.


Diana Javurek is the Off-Site Chair for a non-profit organization called the Conejo Valley Days (CVD) Activities Corporation. The CVD is a month-long spring cultural celebration that attracts more than 45,000 people each year. It started as a community circus in the late 1940s and later added a grand marshal parade and a barbecue. Its popularity exploded, and today, the CVD culminates in a five-day festival that features live entertainment, carnival rides, cook-offs, game booths, and a slew of activities geared toward celebrating the spirit of this southern California city.


"Hundreds of volunteers and more than 30 clubs, organizations, charities, and sponsors work throughout the year to make the CVD a success and a source of revenue for community projects," Javurek says.


As one can image, preparing for the event is no small chore. "The initial meeting takes place about 60 days after the CVD ends!" she says. "The first meeting is to discuss how the event went: What was a success? What are areas of improvement? What events do we want next year?"


One of the goals for this year's CVD—scheduled for May 2 to May 6—is to increase attendance 15 percent from last year. To help the corporation achieve this, it turned to school booster clubs and devised a pre-sale ticket program that allows the clubs to earn a percentage of the money raised through the sale. Javurek talks with FundraisingForSports.com about how the corporation administers this program and opens up unique fundraising opportunities for booster clubs.


Why was the decision made to provide this opportunity?
It's a community with many young families, and we are making that our focus this year. We want to get the kids of the Conejo Valley involved—they are our future. The program is a great way for the booster clubs to earn money and get into the public's eye. It's a win-win for the booster clubs and CVD.


Please explain how the program works.
The CVD executive board and the advertising chair printed 3,000 admission tickets for pre-sale. We decided to start with a small quantity, knowing that we can print additional tickets within 48 hours, if necessary.


The organizations receive a portion of the money raised based on the number of tickets they sell. Because the money is on a scale, the more tickets the clubs sell, the more money the clubs receive. There is a flat-rate amount all booster clubs receive, so each is guaranteed its potential earnings will not fall below that flat-rate amount. Since this is the first year we have done ticket sales with booster clubs, our goal is to have three to four schools participating.


Each group is given 250 tickets and they call the CVD office when they need additional tickets, which they can pick up the same day. The admission tickets are a one-time use only. It's easier to manage what tickets have been distributed and sold or returned when packaged in smaller quantities.


How much are the pre-sale tickets?
There are two options available, both being at $27:


How do the clubs receive the money raised from the ticket sale?
Once the clubs determine how many tickets are sold, they deduct their portion from the total sales and issue a check to the CVD for the balance. For example, if a booster club sells 300 tickets, it keeps $1,200. The ticket sales end one day prior to the carnival, and the money is due to the CVD office by May 2.


How is the corporation promoting its program to schools?
We spoke to the PTA/PTO groups in the surrounding communities to let them know about the opportunity to raise money for their clubs. News of the program has also been published in the local newspapers, we've handed out and sent out flyers with the information on how booster clubs can get involved, and of course, through word of mouth.


What feedback have you received from the organizations?
So far so good. Those schools we are working with have been very positive and excited to be participating. They have been looking for different opportunities (other than wrapping papers, coupon books or chocolates) to raise money for their groups. Plus, they don't have to wait in line to get a ticket at the gate when they come to the carnival.


What is the community's reaction to the new offerings this year?
As a whole, very positive. There are some long-time residents who don't like change and are concerned. But with the recent announcements regarding the entertainment line up, changes in the site layout, new rides for the carnival, et cetera, the CVD has generated a lot of buzz in the community.


There are many people who had stopped attending and are now coming back to the CVD, and many new people who are coming for the first time. So this opens up more opportunities to schools.


What would you say to a community group considering asking school organizations for their participation?
The key word is community. Many areas don't have a sense of community anymore, and we need to create it and/or keep it going. Schools are a huge part of communities and it's really important they get involved in area events. Many adults would not have a chance to get involved with a school organization for reasons such as their kids are grown or they don't have children, so this is one way they can interact with schools, be exposed to their organizations, and show their support.



For more information on the Conejo Valley Days, visit: www.conejovalleydays.com..



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