TGR “Almost Ablaze” Flood Fundraiser Movie Event
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” --Margaret Mead
When Annie Guerrero, mother of an MCS Upper Elementary student, came to us in October and presented her idea to screen an extreme skiing movie in order to raise funds to offset the losses from the flood, we loved her suggestion but had no idea where to begin. We were busy moving the classrooms, settling them in, communicating with parents; Robyn, the Head of School, was knee deep in choosing new tiles and cabinets, carpets, and baseboards. Fortunately, without much help from us Annie took her idea and saw it through every step of the way until it was realized on Wednesday, December 3.
Annie’s main goal was to provide MCS with a fundraiser at no cost to us. She and her husband Ryan Carlson began contacting and getting sponsors to help pay for the cost of screening the movie “Almost Ablaze,” by Teton Gravity Research. After meeting with many theatres around town, Annie finally locked in the Salt Lake Film Society’s Tower Theatre for December 3, again turning to sponsors, including her and Ryan’s business, The Wasatch Team-Windermere, to cover the costs. Once the date was set, Annie, with a small crew of dedicated parents, began a grass-roots marketing campaign, with PR blasts going out to publications from Whitney Cripe, mother of two MCS Elementary students, and the posting of professional-quality posters around the Valley and at ski resorts as well as on social media sites. Annie also began contacting potential donors for raffle items, eventually getting enough 2-for-1 ski passes from Powder Mountain to give every attendee one. Through individual, direct contacting she collected a total of 75 raffle items; among them, Skull Candy headphones, avalanche shovels, helmets, ski passes to local resorts, and a gear bag.
Annie’s drive and determination to make this event work was truly remarkable. She also met with us weekly to set up the ticket sales system, and to give us the latest updates. Her behind the scenes work became more and more apparent as the date approached and we received more and more raffle items and sponsors. We want to thank those parents who helped Annie with all of those efforts over the past several weeks: in addition to Whitney Cripe, Jennifer Dahl Lewis, who sent a KUTV news crew to do a followup story on MCS and the restoration efforts; Corey Lewis; Marie Bosteels; Becky Taylor; Tom Binegar; and Whitney Miller, who provided many unique raffle items on the night of the event.
The evening itself was a huge success. Through the sale of movie tickets, raffle tickets, and donations, Annie and this core group of parents raised almost $5000 for the school. More importantly, it was a memorable community event. Rob Cordova, parent of an Upper Elementary student, provided much entertainment as the Master of Ceremonies. He built up excitement surrounding the raffle and had all the winners dancing a crazy dance when they won. The students who helped deliver raffle items served as great examples of the kind of education that we provide. Five of the athletes featured in the extreme skiing movie attended the event to sign posters; that was more than the number that attended the first premiere of the movie! Again, that was due to Annie’s enthusiasm and effort; she contacted each athlete directly via Facebook.
We want to thank the athletes who came: Tim Durtschi, John Collinson, Todd Ligare, Dash Longe, and Dylan Hood. We want to thank the companies that donated raffle items: Skull Candy/Smith, Rossignol, anon. Helmets/Hitcase, Hot Chillys, Voile, Snowbasin, Brighton, Scott, Saga, The North Face, and AceCamp. And we want to especially thank the sponsors for their generosity: Teton Gravity Research, Powder Mountain, Vintage Road Real Estate Fund, The Wasatch Team-Windermere, Guaranteed Rate, Discrete, and the Tower Theatre, for providing the venue.
Above all, we want to thank Annie Guerrero for her vision and for her perseverance and commitment in taking each step to make that vision a reality. We are so grateful for her efforts and for the contributions of all of the MCS and Greater Salt Lake communities.
Written by Ramira Alamilla