Probably the biggest challenge I have found in helping Ryan orchestrate his Work Builders Block Party the last two years has been to find a way to pay for it. After funding the first event (2009) entirely out of pocket and seeing the second year’s event grow in size almost twofold, it was obvious that something would need to change in order to make this whole idea viable in the future.
Thanks to one of Ryan’s chosen charities being open to working with us on this, for the 2010 event we were able to solicit donations (to SOS Shelter) which are earmarked for the costs we incur. Excess funds stay with the charity for their benefit. However, this alone did not mean funding was a done deal! No. What followed was a lot of time and effort spent reaching out to anyone who would listen (and some who probably preferred not to) to find donors. It was a tougher job than I would have guessed going in.
When all was said and done for last year’s Block Party, I was able to generate enough donations to cover our costs, barely. Maybe I was naive, but I thought I could have managed triple that.
Pictured left to right: Cindy Armstrong - Mortgage Originator M&T Bank, Glenn Small - Regional President M&T Bank, Ryan Steadman - CEO Work Builders, Deby Drave SOS Shelter Board President, Carrie Hyde SOS Shelter Manager, Leia O'Connell SOS Shelter Administrative Manager
Then a bit after the new year I got a call from Cindy Armstrong, a Mortgage Originator at M&T Bank
and summertime golfing friend. Last fall I had approached her as well as many others trying to generate some donations. At that time she told me it would have to be considered by other decision makers within the bank and they would let me know. I heard that a lot I have to tell you. But here she was a few months later letting me know.
The news was good! They had decided to make a donation of $500 in support of Ryan’s Work Builders Block Party! Wow! What a great way to get things kicked off for 2011! A week or so later Ryan was invited to meet with Cindy and Mr. Glenn Small at SOS Shelter offices to accept their generous donation.
So after school on that day I took Ryan to the SOS Shelter offices to meet our friends from M&T Bank. We were greeted by a variety of people from SOS Shelter pictured above. They had a lot of the donated Easy Builder building block sets on hand to show our donors what it was all about, toys for kids in need.
Ryan could not resist showing everyone exactly what his block sets are made for, PLAY!
Soon Cindy Armstrong arrived and shortly there after Mr. Glenn Small arrived as well. Mr. Small is a Regional President for M&T Bank. They had lots of questions for Ryan about what he has been doing, where the idea came from and how it makes him feel. I think Ryan did a good job talking with them and answering their questions. He let them know how we appreciate their donation as well!
We would like to send a very big thank you off to Mr. Small, Cindy and all the others at M&T Bank for their donation and support! I hope others will see their support and decide to help us as well. We are hoping to make the 2011 event even better and this kind of help will go a long way toward helping us reach that goal!