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Posts Tagged ‘cheerleading’

Competing on a Budget: Unique Fundraising Ideas for Cheerleading Squads

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

It’s competition time again!  The season cheerleaders and cheer coaches wait and work for all year long. 

Having been a cheerleading coach in the past, I know just how time consuming fundraising for these events can be.   And it seems that with each year, the fundraising tasks become more tedious.  Parents, coaches and squad members alike get tired of selling the same items, having the same car washes, soliciting the same businesses for donations; the list can go on and on.

When I was coaching, I was always looking for unique ideas; fundraisers that appealed to parents and members alike.   During my never ending search, I developed several fundraising ideas that I’m sure can help some weary group of parents out there.

Since my competing squad (I was also coaching two little league and a middle school squad) was a group of all stars from various local school squads, these ideas were geared toward the individual costs of getting to competition.  However, these ideas can be easily adjusted to fit a group that fundraises as a whole.

Hotel Accommodations:  I found that our hotel accommodations for one or two days where we were competing was our largest expense.   Often, even with discounted package deals from the event hosts, the cost could easily run $250 to $300 for two days.

In an effort to cut these costs, I encouraged my squad members’ parents to work year long toward “saving” for this particular expense.  I began by providing information to them on how to open a HHonors account.   In addition, I also provided information on how to earn HHonors points by registering with and participating in programs such as MyPoints and eRewards.  These sites are free to register and you can actually earn points to redeem toward Hilton Honors pointswithout spending a dime!  (If you decide to register, please use my email address, kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com, as your referral.  Thank you!)

Parents and squad members alike can participate in these programs and save their points to apply toward their hotel accommodations.  Now, bear in mind, that using this method will require each squad member and their parent to be responsible for making their own reservations.  In addition, it is likely that not everyone will be in adjacent rooms; or even the same hallway.  But, those few minor inconveniences aside, it’s a great way for saving the costs of overnight stays.

Another way to this to establish an account for the squad.  Since HHonorsallows participants to transfer points, fundraising organizers can set a date for all members to transfer their points to the squad account.  Then it is possible for one person to book the hotel accommodations, rather than relying on parents to do this.

Many other Hotel chains such as Best Western and Days Inn offer programs similar to the Hilton Honors points program.  You may wish to check with their programs (be sure to read the fine print to ensure that everyone can qualify).

You may wish to include a list of other ways to earn these points which can be found by reading The Definitive “How To Earn Hilton HHonors Points” threadat Flyertalk forums.

Food:  After the entry fees are paid and the hotel accommodations are booked, the next biggest expense one will find is that associated with food. 

A great way to earn fast food (and even casual dining) gift cards is to participate in RewardTV.  After all, who doesn’t watch television, right?  Simply register then take quizzes on the television shows you watch the previous evening and earn points (hint:  watch the commercials to accumulate more points).  For as little as 150,000 points (most games can earn you at least 1000 points), you can purchase $5.00 gift cards for places such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and more.   Five bucks may not sound like much at face value, but add them together and you can easily eat for free the whole weekend!

And here is an interesting side note that’s worth remembering.  If you didn’t have time to watch television the night before, just visit the Rewards & Points Programs section of BigBigForums.com.  Many members share the correct answers to quizzes they’ve already taken! 

An additional way to save money on food expenses, while not a “do it for free” method, is to search for gift cards at places such as Certificate Swap or Gift Card Buy Back.   These places offer gift cards at a fraction of the face value of the card.  For example, a $10.00 McDonald’s Arch card may only cost you $6.00; meaning you basically get $4.00 worth of free food.  

Gas Expense:  If your squad will be traveling by car, you can use the methods listed for acquiring food cards to obtain gas cards as well.   

These ideas may seem a little “off the wall” to use as a means of fundraising, but they can and do work; thus, making them truly unique.    There’s so many ways to earn money online for your squad if you just put it to work for you.  In addition to trying the methods mention here, keep in mind other ways such as using a squad blog as an avenue to advertise and ask for donations (make sure your content is worthy of donations) or using your squad’s website as a means to earn money by way of Affiliate Marketing (visit Self Starters Weekly Tips for AWESOME information on affiliate marketing).

Once you try these methods, you’ll be spoiled!  And back-breaking car washes and bake sales will be a thing of the past!

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Introducing a New Category: The Cheer Corner

Posted by Kimberly on November 5, 2007

In the course of operating a ribbon business, I’ve come across so many cheerleading coaches and cheer squad members.   Being a former cheerleading coach, I have really enjoyed meeting coaches and cheerleaders from around the world.

What I have most often found, however, is that the majority of my email communications are with first time cheer coaches.    These wonderful women (sorry to the guys, but I haven’t meet any male cheer coaches yet!) have volunteered to coach their daughters’ or nieces’ cheer squads; or maybe they’re just doing it because the program or school was shorthanded.  Either way, they need help!

I also meet up with a lot of cheerleaders just looking for information, many of the ones I converse with are looking to make a cheerleading squad.

And it is in meeting these wonderful individuals that I decided to dedicate a small corner of my blog just for them!

The Cheer Corner is dedicated to the cheer coaches, cheerleaders, and potential cheerleaders.  My goal is to provide these spirit leaders with unique craft ideas, fundraising ideas, articles, and more geared just toward the sport of cheerleading.

I hope that you find the addition of this category fun and interesting.  Please feel free to email any contributions to me at kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com

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How To Make Korker Ribbon for Hairbows

Posted by Kimberly on October 26, 2007

Korker Ribbon from The Ribbon ShoppeKorker ribbon hairbows seem to be all the craze these days!  Cheerleaders love them because the bounce from korkers while tumbling and stunting gives the appearance of more spirit.  Gymboree fans love them because they add flair to those adorable outfits.   Korker bows are made for every holiday, every occasion because they are just so darn cute!

Korker ribbon is actually very simple to make.   It just takes a little patience and practice to get it perfect.

The first thing you need to make korker ribbon, of course, is the ribbon.  You can make korker ribbon from any type of ribbon (grosgrain, satin, jacquard, etc.) with the exception of wired edge ribbon or outdoor ribbon.  For starters, I would recommend using 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon.

Next, you will need wooden dowels.  You can purchase these at home improvement stores, hardware stores, or craft supply stores.  I recommend using a 1/4 inch or 3/16 inch dowel.  (As you get more practiced with making korker ribbon, you can use different sizes to get get the curl you want.)  In addition, you’ll need clothespins.  While many people use the tiny craft size clothespins, I recommend using the regular sized clothespins found in the laundry section of your local department store.

Chances are the dowels purchased are one yard in length.  If so, you will need to cut these in half to fit into your oven.

Now that you have all the items needed to get started, let’s begin!

First, you will need to cut your ribbon.  For beginners, I recommend cutting your ribbon into one yard lengths (36 inches).   Cut as many pieces as you would like to practice with. 

Preheat your oven (making sure that it is clean to avoid getting any “leakage” on your ribbon) to 200 degrees.  (If the heating of your oven is off, you can adjust this up or down as needed.)

During preheating, begin twirling your ribbon around the dowel.  Begin by take one end of your ribbon and clothes-pinning it to the dowel.  Then proceed downward in a spiral pattern around the dowel until you’ve reached the end of your ribbon; then clothespin this end to the dowel.

Once you’ve completed the “twirling” step with all of your ribbon, you’re ready to bake!

This is where I will differ in opinion from other korker ribbon makers because I recommend thoroughly soaking your ribbon with water.   Once the ribbon is wet, spray the ribbon with starch.

I recommend placing your korked ribbon on a large cookie sheet.  If you don’t have a cookie sheet available, then line your oven shelves with aluminum foil.  Place the ribbon in the oven.   Allow to bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully remove one dowel from the oven (it will be hot!) and allow to cool for about one minutes.  Then, using your hands to feel the length of the dowel, check for any remaining wetness.  If there is none, remove the clothespins and, in a downward motion, slide the ribbon off the dowel.  (Newer dowels will not allow ribbon to slide easily and make take a little more effort to remove, but this will change the more times the dowels are used in the oven. ) 

If the curl of the ribbon does not seem tight or any wetness remains, return to the oven and repeat the above step every ten minutes until ribbon has a dry, tight curl.

That’s all there is to it!  Keep in mind when making your korker ribbon that lighter color ribbons will take longer times in the oven.  In addition, your lighter colors, such as white or light pink, are more likely to show burn spots from being in the oven too long; so keep a close eye on them, allowing them to air dry after the 20 minutes if necessary.

Have fun making your korker ribbonfor korker bows!  As always, when using ovens or other electrical appliances, use precaution and never leave the house with ribbon in the oven.  🙂

Korker Ribbon in Solids, Stripes, Dots, and M2MG Themes 
available at The Ribbon Shoppe!

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