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Scrapbooking a Homerun

About 30 women from the Omaha, Neb., area came together to work on their hobby, while supporting the Omaha Bryan High School baseball team. 

The Bryan Baseball Booster Club held its fourth scrapbooking fundraiser in February, making about $1,100 profit. The club got the idea of holding a scrapbooking event from a member who enjoyed the hobby, and had participated in similar events. "It has turned out to be a really neat fundraiser," says booster club president Nancy Cannon. "There's no overhead, so it's all profit.

"We use the school cafeteria, and that's free of charge," Cannon continues. "Then we either find local catering companies to donate food, or each person in the club brings food that they've purchased or baked. The event starts at 9:00 a.m., and goes until 8:00 p.m., so we have snacks available all day, and food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's really a big, all-day event."

Attendees pay a $35 registration fee and bring their own scrapbooks, along with their own supplies. The booster club provides the facilities, food, and an added bonus--help with carrying supplies. "We have a group of the baseball players come in for the morning, so they can help the ladies carry in all of their items from their cars," Cannon says. "Then we have another group that comes in later in the day, to help carry everything back out. It's nice for the ladies who come to really get pampered while they're at the event. It is open to the public, but so far, we haven't had any men come."

The baseball team members also help once the attendees' supplies are brought inside. "Throughout the day, we have at least two baseball players bring the food around," says event organizer Liane Prucha. "One or two of them stay and take the food cart around to the tables. They also help take care of the trash bags as they get filled up. For it to work well, a lot of parents have to be involved, and we couldn't do it without the boys. But it is for their team, so it's important for them to help."

Prior to the event, Prucha emails the past participants, to let them know about the upcoming event. "It's really easy to get it set up," she says. "I get the word out through our e-mail list, which we have compiled since the first event. The first year, we had a survey that asked participants to include their e-mail addresses, and our list has grown from there. To reach new people, we try to get information about it on our school website. We also have our school e-mail all of the teachers in the district, and we had it put on the school's marquee. Then we have parents e-mail their family and friends.
 
"Over a couple of months, the work isn't too bad," Prucha continues. "For myself, I get the e-mail messages out, and take the registrations. Then I send them to our treasurer. When I get those back from her, I make a seating chart. Altogether, it takes about five hours for me to send the e-mails and set up the seating chart. Then a couple of weeks before the event, we have a meeting to see what else needs to be covered, so that takes another hour or two."
 
When the cafeteria is confirmed for the event, arrangements are made with the other people who help with the event. "We have parents sign up, and baseball players sign up," Prucha says. "We have the coach help with getting the boys to sign up. Usually we like to have at least four parents, and four to eight boys. We also have our school's janitors set up our tables and chairs.
 
"On the morning of the event, I get there at about 7 o'clock, just to make sure the janitors have the tables there," she continues. "We usually have the kids get there at about 8 o'clock, to start covering the tables, since it takes them about half an hour to get all the tables covered. Usually the scrapbookers start showing up at 8:30, so then everything's ready for their supplies to be brought in. The ladies really enjoy coming to these all day events, and we try to treat them well."
 
If another club would like to hold a similar event, Prucha has simple advice. "Have fun, and don't stress about it," she says. "If you get the word out to the scrapbookers, they'll come. Scrapbooking ladies come in groups, and if they have a good time, they'll bring a friend to the next one. Just try to make it a good experience, get the word out, and they'll come. As long as you keep it going, and you're kind and respectful to them, they'll come back."



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