It's so cliche to quote Anchorman, even if the sequel is out now. But seriously...
Sunday night, I thought $12K for 200 tickets to send kids to the Texas Bowl was asking too much.
By Monday night, we were already on our way to $20K.
By Tuesday night, we raised enough money for 1,000 kids.
Wednesday night, it became clear what we had to do.
And now, Thursday night, we're here. $44,444.44.
You guys, we raised Forty-four-thousand, four-hundred and forty-four dollars and forty-four cents to send over 1,400 kids to the 2013 Texas Bowl. And we did it while also providing orange t-shirts, food vouchers and a free slushie. And we're still not done yet.
You have questions...
How Did We Get Here? Still trying to figure it out. Two really cool things about the last four days...
1. I didn't do any promotion. I didn't request make one media request. I didn't email any celebrity or famous alum. I just wrote a post and put it on Twitter and Facebook. The people who did the donating and the sharing did all the work.
2. There were very few massive donations. The biggest single one we got was $2K. Almost all of the donations were in the $5 - $60 range ($44, obvs). This was about reaching a lot of people and those people helping where they could.
Have We Stopped The Donations? Not yet. We're still accepting donations through Friday afternoon. Everything beyond the cost of the tickets, shirts and vouchers will be donated directly to Houston-area children's charities. We'll have time to discuss other donation possibilities later but since people are donating to help out kids in Houston, that's where it feels right to send the funds.
Who Are The Kids, Exactly? Still waiting for final word from the bowl game but a lot of them are coming from the Houston Texas YMCA as well as other charity/school/military groups. I'll pass that along as soon as I know. Each charity/center is in charge of transportation to and from the game.
Where Are They Sitting? We've still got the original 135 & 136 sections. It sounds like we're also going to get other field-level endzone sections for the overflow. When I know exactly, you'll know.
What Else Are We Doing For The Kids? Along with the tickets, they're getting a voucher for food & drink, a free Sonic Slush. Coach Shafer said on the radio that he's going to acknowledge the kids from the field as well. SUMB will be handing out cheer sheets for the kids. Otto will be saying hi before and during the game. He might break a Guinness World Record for photos taken by a mascot.
Can We Do This Again? We're gonna have to have a community discussion about where we go from here. Clearly, a lot of people want to do these kinds of things. But maybe there's an easier way? Maybe we can think about things beyond one game? Maybe we can think about things beyond sports? It's something to talk about after the game for sure.
What Happens Now? Well, I'm coordinating with the Texas Bowl to get the money over once everything is clear. Then, we make sure they get all the tickets'n'stuff to the kids in time. Then, those in the stadium better snap some pics and those of us watching on TV will be intently looking to see if the kids are having fun. A Syracuse blowout victory might help that.
Good work this week, everyone. Seriously, I got a lot of credit for all of this but I literally just opened the door. Everyone else walked through and put their money where their heart is. Yay sports. Yay Syracuse fans. Yay everyone.