Safeplace paving the way for ‘change’Published 1:50pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Representatives of Safeplace, Inc. are gearing up for a fundraiser next month that they believe will bring a lot of “change” to the area.
The first ever “Pave the Way for Change” benefit will take place on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Franklin County Watermelon Festival in downtown Russellville.
According to Ginger Stone, the assistant director of Safeplace who spoke to members of the Russellville Rotary organization Monday, the idea for the benefit came to her several years ago while she was doing Internet research.
“I came across this picture of a fundraising event held in New York City where they took a city block and filled it eight inches deep with pennies,” she said.
“It was such a striking picture and such a great idea that I knew it was something we needed to try to do as a fundraiser for Safeplace.”
Stone said their take on the event wouldn’t be as large as an entire city block, however.
“New York City is a big place with a lot of people, so trying to fill a whole city block with coins eight inches deep might be a little bit too ambitious for our first shot at this,” she said.
“What we’ve decided to do is take up part of the intersection near CB&S Bank in downtown Russellville and use this as our area to collect the coins – pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters – whatever someone wants to give.
“We chose this spot because it would be at the end of the Watermelon Festival route and would hopefully draw festival goers down the whole length of festival instead of just staying on one end.”
Stone said people who brought their coins would be able to toss them into the designated area with the hopes of filling it as full as they could.
“What’s great about this fundraiser is it’s so simple that it’s a great opportunity to get children involved and show them how important it is to give back to your community and to help other people,” she said.
“Most children keep piggy banks or save up coins that they are given. I would just encourage parents and anyone else to have your child start saving some coins now – and have adults start saving now, too – so that in a month, they will have saved up a lot of coins they can come and throw into the pile and know that they have personally made a difference.
“It’s a great lesson that is also a great benefit to our organization.”
To go along with the main fundraiser, Stone said they had several other activities planned for the time they are set up from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday.
She said anyone who donates any coins to the cause will get a chance to draw for a cucamelon, which is a tiny fruit that looks like a miniature watermelon, and if the cucamelon they draw is red or purple, they could win $5 or $10.
“We will also have the Girls Scouts of America there conducting a hula-hoop contest, the Boy Scouts of America will hold a bubble gum blowing contest, and the Police Explorers will have a dunking booth,” she said.
“We will also have hairdressers there creating ‘watermelon mohawks’ with hairspray paint for $5 as a way to raise awareness for Cut-it-Out, a nationwide program that trains hairdressers to safely assist victims they encounter in their profession.”
Stone said Tiffin Motorhomes has also donated the use of one of their motorhomes as a stage area for special entertainment.
“This is just going to be a very fun, very exciting benefit event, and we hope a lot of people will come out with their change and support it.”
For more information on the benefit or how to become a sponsor, contact Stone at 256-331-0477.