Why a carnival-style Walk-A-Thon?  Because I am always looking for ways to help people naturally to get and stay healthy. Especially since studies show that people tend to be healthier when they have a sense of community.   I began thinking about how awesome it would be to promote a health conscious fundraiser that involves the whole community while helping to promote local businesses.   As spring starts to approach the thought of nicer weather entered my mind and so did  a carnival style walk-a-thon.

Local Businesses Can Easily Get Involved in a Carnival Style Walk-A-Thon

At a Carnival Walk-A-thon local businesses can sponsor various activity booths surrounding the walking track.  As a result, their name gets out into the community and your cause gets free donations.  At the carnival walk-a-thon, it seems like a great idea to hang brightly colored signs that identify booths, concessions stands, and  sponsors.  Maybe you can get youth organizations to help make them?

 

Have Themed Booths Lined Up Around the Walking Track

As participants make their way around the track they can choose to stop at the various community/business sponsored booths where they can participate in fun and educational activities.  

Some Booth Theme Examples:  

  1.   A football throw/soccer kick/basketball toss where uniformed school players give tips
  2.   A Corn Hole Toss
  3.  Concession stands
  4.  Health awareness tips
  5.  Gardening/planting their own seeds
  6.  Learning a cheer with uniformed High School Cheerleaders
  7.  A body art center that has face painting and temporary tattoos
  8.   Hair braiding
  9.  A community chalk mural where everyone contributes to a single picture. 
  10.  Silly Photos. Of course you could create your own painted character panels with head slots cut out.  Pictures can be  purchased, digitally sent to participants, loaded up to a website for purchase or posted on Social media.

I’m sure that you could come up with many booth theme ideas.  As a matter of fact, you could choose a specific theme, such as Earth Day and offer a variety of booths and activities attractive for all ages based on the theme.

Set Goals Where Participants Can Receive Prizes

A goal could be announced at the beginning of the event, and participants that achieve the goal could receive business/community donated prizes. Prize levels can increase as a greater distance is completed.

Have Subcommittees With a Chairperson for Your Carnival Style Walk-A-Thon

A Carnival Style Walk-A-Thon
You can offer prizes for people who obtain set goals.

Share the work and have fun!  Create subcommittees with a chair responsible for key events such as ticket sales, concessions rentals, sponsorships, publicity booths, raffles, music/entertainment, setup/cleanup and carnival ideas.  

 Spread the Word About Your Carnival Style Walk-A-Thon!

Start spreading the word 4-6 weeks before your event.  Spread the word! Word of mouth is a great.  Tell all your friends and their parents. Use social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Make colorful signs and fliers.  Hand out information about your carnival at school and other organizations in the community.  Be sure to include the date, time, location, what kinds of things you’ll have at your carnival, and don’t forget to list your  sponsors.  

Deadlines should be set for all pledge collections.

Don’t forget to have participants solicit pledges for every lap or every mile walked. They should collect the pledges immediately after the event.  Be sure to set deadlines ahead of time for all monies to be handed in. And by and large keep everyone updated by letting them know how successful the event was. 

Most of all have FUN!

Gail Schalizki Media Specialist

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