On Wednesday we sent out our end-of-summer newsletter. As part of that newsletter, we mentioned that our summer fundraising drive for the scholarship fund was still almost $4,000 short of our target, was is putting us in a bind.
On Thursday morning we were contacted by a long-time Dragons family that had read the newsletter. Let’s call this family “Family A,” since they wish to stay anonymous. Family A had an offer: if we could raise $5,000, this family was willing to match the $5,000 with $5,000 of their own. We presented the offer from Family A to several additional families on Thursday night in the hope that they could help us reach our target.
By Friday we were able to collect $4,000 in donations and had received an additional $2,000 in pledges. We reached our target in a little over a day and we received the matching $5,000 donation from Family A. In fact Family A was so impressed with the response from our community that they reached into their own pocket one more time. They asked if we could raise another $5,000? If we did, they’d donate an additional $5,000, for a total of $10,000 in matching funds. That is a pretty incredible offer!
So here we are, reaching out to our Dragons community as a whole to see if we can go the distance. What do we think? Are we up to the challenge?
There is a big picture behind our fundraising efforts that is now getting accelerated by Family A’s offer. In terms of our budget, we operate like a school. Whether public or private, all schools need to fundraise to cover their programming and services. So do we. We’re putting an annual fundraising program in place and it’ll launch in 2018, so let us preview what we need to raise money for, why it concerns you and how you benefit:
Coaching partnerships: We invest a lot into coaching resources. The better we make our coaches, the more the players benefit. We’ve just entered into an alliance with an East Coast company that will significantly up our game and provide benefits to all our players. And announcement will follow shortly.
Club alliances: We’re always reaching out to other members of the lacrosse community in an effort to explore new partnerships that benefit our kids. As an example, last year we launched SoCalExpress National Team along with 4 other clubs, in an effort to compete in the World Series of Youth Lacrosse. Although simple, this alliance took almost a year to build.
Community outreach & events: Since 2015 we’ve been actively involved in every effort to get new field space built in Santa Monica, we provide free clinics in schools and have started community outreach events like DragonsFest. These efforts ensure the long-term future of lacrosse, as well as all youth sports in our area.
Immersion programs: We’re about to announce a new program with a major East Coast club that will allow our players to play at the highest level at select East Coast showcases. Again, a simple program but one that is very valuable and took almost a year to put in place.
Recruiting support and seminars: We offer recruiting seminars and recruiting support to players in our HS Elite program. We're even helping former players that aren’t getting the necessary support from their current programs.
Free loaner gear: We have the most extensive loaner gear program in the area and last year provided starter kits to almost 40 families.
Full scholarships: We offer full scholarships to talented athletes that make a contribution to the quality of our teams.
Financial aid: About 20 families receive some level of assistance from us to make it possible for them to play lacrosse.
Character Development Programs: A big part of our mission is to use lacrosse to help players develop a solid character, and in turn to have an impact on other kids. Our first pilot project was the Big Brother Program we ran very successfully in the Spring of this year.
Mentoring: One of the things we are most proud of is the time we spend in contact with our players off the field. We have open lines of communication with many players that reach out for advice and support, and get it from us.
As you can see, these efforts go beyond the scope of a normal lacrosse club in an effort to better serve our players and families. These initiatives all consume immense amounts of time and are not covered by any budget. So when you give, you support these activities and you benefit.
Please help us reach our goal!
Your Santa Monica Dragons & Fire Lacrosse