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Cleaning Out the Closet

In Holland, N.Y., an athletic booster group created a successful fundraiser by using what was already available--old uniforms that were in storage. 

With only six members on its board, the Holland Athletic Club, which supports athletics at Holland High School, was looking for a fundraiser that would have significant results without an overtaxing workload. "We reviewed fundraisers that had been done in the past and saw that a few years ago, a different club had tried selling old uniforms," says Holland Athletic Club President Jamie Emmick. "The idea really appealed to us because you always wonder what happens to them--if they just collect dust."

The uniform sale was held on Saturday, May 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during a community festival, and raised over $700. There were a variety of sports uniforms that were available--from cheerleading, basketball, soccer, and baseball--dating back 10 to 30 years.

To keep things simple, there was flat pricing for each type of apparel. "The jerseys and pants were $5 each, the warm-up jackets were $10, and the shorts and hats were each $3," Emmick says. "Our objective is to raise funds, but we also want to encourage school spirit and really get our colors out there--we want the town to bleed purple and gold."

With more than 600 items available, the apparel was organized by sport and number, in order to avoid congestion. "We had people asking us to hold their jersey for them, but in order to keep things simple, we instated a first-come, first-serve policy," Emmick says. "With a limited number of people working on the fundraiser, we wanted to keep everything streamlined."  

The club started the project in February. "The first thing we did was present the idea to the Board of Education," Emmick says. "They needed to release the uniforms to us as a donation or delete them from the inventory so we could sell them."

From there, the group worked on promoting the sale. "We used the Buffalo News and Facebook," Emmick says. "We have a lot of people who are connected to the club's events through our Facebook page. Other than that, it was word of mouth--and because it's so different, it took off like wild fire."

The only other step in preparing for the sale was airing out and washing them. "Doing extra laundry may not be the most fun task," Emmick says. "But we kept in mind that it was ultimately about the kids and giving them the opportunity to play sports and develop into the person they are capable of being."



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