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Fundraising: How Kids Got to NAYC

by Kathleen Landwehr | Jul 26, 2019, 8:42 PM EST

Attending a major championship, such as the Adequan® North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North, costs more than a typical horse show. Finding ways to raise extra funds for the unparalleled experience may seem daunting, but several eventing areas came up with some great ideas to make the trek to The Event at Rebecca Farm in 2019. Here are a few fundraising ideas that may help others aiming for future NAYCs or other major events.

Finding ways to raise extra funds for the unparalleled experience of the NAYC may seem daunting, but is doable with fundraisers 
(Kathleen Landwehr/US Equestrian)
  1. T-shirt sales

Many people have a T-shirt collection that they have grown over the years. Getting a new, fun T-shirt that benefits a cause or group that someone supports is hard to say no to. Area III sold 53 T-shirts and raised $600 through customink.com to help the athletes competing at the NAYC.

  1. Donation link on a website

When people browse around a website, a donation link may catch their eye if they want to contribute to a cause or program. Some areas, such as Area II and Area VI, have donation links to encourage supporters to donate money.

  1. GoFundMe page

William Kidwell of Area III rode Tremolo into the lead in Thursday’s CCIY3*-S dressage phase. His trip to Rebecca Farm was made possible, in part, due to donations from supporters through his GoFundMe page.

“I saw some other people doing a GoFundMe page and I just thought it was a good way to politely ask for a little help in fundraising for me and my horse without necessarily being rude or anything,” said Kidwell. “I was just trying to be kind about it, and I am thankful for everyone who supported me.”

Kidwell found that family, past and present friends, and even his father’s friends from high school contributed to his fundraising efforts. The total amount raised through his GoFundMe page was $2,000. Kidwell recommends others try to fundraise through a GoFundMe page, too.

“It is worth a shot, that’s why I did it, right? I didn’t have anything to lose with putting it up,” said Kidwell. “I just wanted to share my story with some people I know and might not know as well, so that they could at least read what I was doing, whether they donated or not. That was my big thing, just to try to get support.”

  1. Get creative!

Tack sales, bake sales, and braiding at horse shows are a few ideas to raise some extra funds, but what about a truly unique idea: fecal egg counts? The Area IV Young Rider Program had a fundraiser organized by Dr. Anne Branscum, DVM, of Midwest Mobile Vet, and her daughter Winifred Branscum. Dr. Branscum is passionate about fecal egg count education and its benefits to the horse, and found a way to tie it into a fundraiser.

“I have been really trying to promote fecal egg counts instead of blanket deworming, because it is not only better for our horses, but better for our environment. I thought if I could push something that is better for the horses and also supports Area IV Young Riders, then it’s a win-win for everybody,” explained Dr. Branscum. “It starts to educate people about what it is and why we are doing it. Also, what better way to teach the young riders about fecal egg count testing because they are the horse owners going forward.”

The fundraiser took place at the Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. at Longview on May 11 and 12, 2019, to benefit the entire Area IV Young Rider Program. For $20, young riders picked up fresh manure samples from competitors’ stalls on Sunday morning, and the state lab processed the fecal egg counts the following day. Then, Dr. Branscum emailed people results and offered to answer any questions.

For anyone who wants to organize a similar fundraiser, Dr. Branscum suggests working with a local diagnostic lab, as she did, for them to give a discount and assist with the fundraiser profits. The state lab was able to offer Dr. Branscum a better discount, but the local diagnostic lab was willing to help as well. “If you can get a deal, that is just that much more money you can generate for your group,” said Dr. Branscum. In turn, you can promote the lab on your fundraiser flyer or Facebook post.

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