It started with a donation from one of our own … Horgan, a founder and an admin in the New England Spahtens had a brand new Rush 5:11 12 rucksack that he wasn’t putting to use, and we figured we could put some stuff in it, maybe do a quick raffle to raise some money for something.
Like all ideas, they start modest and picks up steam – and oh boy, this one picked up steam.
We bounced some ideas around for who this would raise funds for – and we settled on the Carry the Fallen campaign – they raise funds for Active Heroes and awareness for the high veteran suicide rates in the US. They do this by stuffing rucks full weight, and walking. Walking lots. Team Minuteman walk the Boston Marathon route – sometimes alone, sometimes with full police escort – and every time they walk, they raise more money.
A reminder of what this is all for.
Also – one of our own Spahtens, Steve DellaCroce is on the Carry the Fallen committee – and a veteran himself – we talked to the right people, got the right permissions, and got the ball rolling.
Initially, we just added what we had. Some NES swag, some samples we had been given, coupon for one of our amazing drill shirts – but as I talked to race directors and business owners in the region, they wanted to help. We had donations of T Shirts, race coupons and other gear and discounts. Then the word hit the community, and people offered their services – deep tissue massage vouchers and haircuts and Starbucks gift cards. One of our favorite gear companies, offered a Wreck Bag of the winners choice, shipped directly to them – veterans made paracord bracelets to drop in too, and training centers offered free classes. Amazing responses from an amazing community!
In the end, we sold 229 tickets at $10 each – you can see an order listing here, which if you ignore PayPal fees and round it up means I had the distinct pleasure of sending Steve a donation of $2300 directly from the New England Spahtens.
Thank you to:
and all the private donations that made this raffle what it was! We drew our winner at random this afternoon, and Naomi White will be the lucky Spahten taking home the gear (and making lots of new friends, I suspect!) – Congratulations, Naomi!