The ABCs Of IDC Fundraising: Alpacas, Breakfast Sandwiches, & Custom Collages

Almost immediately after the THON total is revealed, independent dancer couples start thinking about fundraisers for the following year. Since no couple is guaranteed a spot to dance, their fundraising efforts are getting increasingly more creative each year, so they can raise the most money possible.

As of 2018, IDCs needed to raise at least $2,800 to receive one lottery ticket, and would receive an extra lottery ticket for every $600 raised. This is a couple’s ticket into the lottery, and the rest is up to chance.

This year, word spread of some particularly creative initiatives, including alpaca yoga fundraisers and homemade breakfast sandwiches that couples were delivering all over State College.

Anna Mansfield, a junior from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and her partner Emma Farinelli, began fundraising in the summer.

“The first fundraiser we did were these custom collages. I made these cute collages for myself to hang in the apartment, and my friends said, ‘Oh we want one,'” Mansfield said. “So we created a fundraiser out of that. $5 from every collage was donated, and from that, we made out first $100”.

Mansfield and Farinell’s most creative fundraiser came from their alpaca yoga event that they ran over Thanksgiving break first semester.

“My grandparents have an alpaca farm, so we also did alpaca yoga. We knew goat yoga was a big trend, so we thought, ‘We should totally do alpaca yoga,'” Mansfield said. “We were super nervous about it because we were doing it over fall break and it depended on the weather. We made a whole event out of it, and we raised almost $500.”

Courtesy of Anna Mansfield

Phil White, a senior from North Wales, Pennsylvania, and his partner Katie Swanson were meticulous in their planning and working together to plan out fundraisers over the course of the year.

Both of their previous experiences participating and running different Mini-THON’s in high school gave them the knowledge of how to run and operate successful fundraisers.

“The very first one we did was to make and deliver breakfast sandwiches. A friend of Katie’s had recommended doing it, and that was really successful,” White said. “It was really hard, but a lot of fun. We were making sandwiches all morning and driving all over State College to deliver them.”

The duo also got a chance to run a fundraiser in the HUB during THON’s 100 Days event.

“That was a lot of fun, we definitely got to see all the other organizations and things like that,” White said. “People were really good about coming by and playing our game, which was a lollipop game.”

Courtesy of Paul White

Abby Washabaugh, a junior from Pittsburgh, and her partner Mary Norris, a junior from Washington D.C., are an IDC who as nursing majors, are spending this semester in Hershey. They have been able to see firsthand what the power of THON can do.

“You see a different side of THON there. We’re in more of the hospital setting, and you see different things,” Washabaugh said. “You see the children’s families and things like the kid’s fashion show. But you do miss some of the events hosted [at University Park].”

Norris’s mom runs a bakery from her home, and the pair made and delivered bread over fall break. Along with selling scent circles, they also utilized the corporate donation program through local businesses, as well as THONvelopes and Donor Drive.

For IDCs, a key strategy is taking advantage of what they already have access to, like family-run businesses, local workout studios, and the immense power of sharing on social media. Hundreds of fundraising efforts, but all for one cause, FTK!

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a senior early childhood education major from "right outside of Philly" - or in exact words, from 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and has been a huge Penn State gal since before she could walk. Send her pictures of puppies, or hate mail at [email protected]

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