Posted Friday, July 30, 2010 1:18 PM | Contributed by Jeff
Here are some of the stories from around the country for our second fundraising event benefiting Give Kids The World in Central Florida.
How is it that Cedar Point has the largest turnout and total money raised, and yet we had the least media coverage?! Stupid Cleveland/Toledo Media! I think next year we need to get Kenny Crumpton to ride.
I don't get that either. We had the same problem last year. Kenny would actually be an ideal person to get out there.
I forgot to ask Susie or Bryan... was Pam there this year?
Yes she was.
Depending on how you look at it, the park with the most participants isn't necessarily the most worthy of media coverage. CP was already at risk for having to turn participants away which was frustrating people as it is. Some of these other parks could stand to grow this event in the future and this coverage will help them to do that.
I'm thrilled for CP and the money raised there. But it's not surprising given the general distribution of enthusiasts in the area. I know at Dorney most of the participants heard about the event via the season pass holder mailing list and only received word a couple of weeks prior to the event. It's pretty amazing what they raised, too.
Well the coverage is only useful in my view if they also give some kind of link so people can learn more and donate. That your 69 (giggle) did so was a huge plus. I don't know if led to donations for anyone, but it at least provided a sort of call to action. The big win is that a bunch of people in east PA who may not have known about GKTW do now! PR for the parks is nice, and well deserved, but secondary to building awareness about the charity.
Carrie M. said:
CP was already at risk for having to turn participants away which was frustrating people as it is.
Which became completely unfounded at the event. At one point in the day, one train had 11 riders while the other had 3. With people taking breaks, eating lunch, and going off to enjoy other parts of the park, CP could have easily accomodated more than 60 participants. Maybe the top 60 could have priority seating for the 20 rides of the day where everyone wanted to be on, or some kind of rotation put in place, but the rest of the day I don't think it would have been a problem.
It might have actually been better to have too many. When we only had 14 riders total, the entire gemini line queue was filled with a little spill-over into the midway. I heard a couple of f-bombs as folks entered the loading platform to see us with so many empty seats while they waited upwards of half an hour. They calmed down after it was explained what was going on, but extra participants wouldn't have hurt.
I'm not saying there was anything wrong with wandering off. While in line for MF, wearing my event shirt led to a couple of conversations about GKTW and the event. So having extra participants or even virtual riders in the park wearing Coasting for Kids shirts would help spread the word more.
We had that happen on Racer at KI, We all got in one train and let the GP have the other. Still people didn't understand.
We all made the Sandusky Register today, front page. Too bad the article is not online anywhere I can find! I'll try to scan it and post if it is readable.
OK, Not sure if I can post a picture directly here - not experienced enough with Buzz - so here's a link to it on Facebook:
VicLast edited by RavenAir, Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:01 AM
You know you've made it in life when you get in the register.
That guy in the green shirt is a fool! ;)
Wow, interesting they plugged your web site, Jason. We only plugged GKTW and CoasterBuzz (as the sponsors.)
Carrie, did Bo (the reporter) actually do some riding as it appeared on the video? Or did he just hop in the train as it went from one end of the station to another? It was great coverage, and you came off quite articulate, but no surprise there.
Jeff, as this event continues to expand, have you considered contacting Knoebels for their particiaption? I think Coasting for Kids would work there for several reasons. First, GKTW was one of Mrs. K's favorite charities. Second, on weekdays, the park already only runs one train on each of its coasters, so having a second train designated for the marathoners wouldn't interfere with operations the GP is already used to. Third, I don't think having the event in a second PA park would hurt Dorney's efforts at all, especially if more and more people decide to participate.
It's hard to say where the scope of this event may go. There were a lot of unexpected issues to deal with this year, and I was really hoping for better numbers from some of the parks. Coordinating between parks, and using a donation system not exactly intended for this kind of event tends to stretch resources a little thin, but I think we'll work that out in the long run. I'd love to see this grow to a $100k per year deal. We're 1/3 the way there!
And really, there's nothing stopping any park from doing a fundraiser like this, and you know me, I'll be happy to plug the crap out of it.
Thanks, RGB! I really appreciate the compliment. I really did feel nervous and goofy. :)
Bo did ride it. He said it was a lot of fun. He asked how we were keeping from getting bored. We didn't mention the stark silence at every brake run. ;)
I looked for you to come out but didn't see you if you were there.Last edited by Carrie M., Sunday, August 1, 2010 8:12 PM
Carrie M. said:
Wow, interesting they plugged your web site, Jason.
It's funny, I didn't even notice that until you mentioned it. I read the article and missed the "On the Web" mention. I gave him my e-mail address for potential future communication. But, I had no idea he'd put that in there. Of all the interviews I've done, this was the only one where the interviewer got right to the point and knew exactly what information they wanted. Pretty much everything you see there was the extent of what he asked me. We did the interview while on the ride in 2 separate station stops. So, about a minute total. :)
Carrie M. said:
Bo did ride it. He said it was a lot of fun. He asked how we were keeping from getting bored. We didn't mention the stark silence at every break run. ;)
Well, I'd like to think lap 15 of the 2nd marathon was actually quite lively ;)
I ended up not coming out. The weather was meh most of the morning, and I didn't think it would be that much fun as an observer. Not to mention it would be a sort of pricey day. I should have just not donated to you guys and come to the park with $50. It would be cheaper and I would have had lunch included. :) For sure, I'll see you @ PPP, if not before at Hershey sometime.
Jeff, I didn't know if this was going to be a Cedar Fair only kind of event. By that I mean, whether you're working with corporate instead of coordinating individual parks. I think if you contacted Knoebels around the same time you announced this year's event, you may get a favorable response.
I've known Susie at GKTW for a long time (some may recall she was the PR rep at SFGAm when we had our first event there), and obviously I've known the corporate Cedar Fair folk even longer. So we all knew each other, and it just came together organically last year. Taking it company wide was something that Jack Falfas was on board for after the event last year, and so this year, Bryan at CP and Lee at the corporate level coordinated around the company. This year, my role was more to promote the event than anything else.
I've actually already been contacted by some people/businesses here in the Pittsburgh region that are interested in organizing a similar event here at Kennywood. Could be interesting to see how this event will continue to grow! :)
It would be cool to keep expanding this to other parks and get as many people exposed/involved as possible. It would require more and more communication between various parties to keep things coordinated. It's not difficult for all the CF parks to communicate with each other. But it gets more complicated if other parks are involved.
On the other hand, you can't have every park or group running helter-skelter deciding things on their own. You'd need to have some sort of centralized coordination. Seems to me it would be better to have every park involved holding their event the same day, rather than having a smattering of events spread out over 2 or 3 months. Publicity would be easier and have a greater impact with more impressive numbers.
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