Chicks Mix ’14 raises $43,000 for Shared Lives StudioWritten by Jordan Finney | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Toledo-based organization raised $43,000 for Shared Lives Studio at its annual Chicks Mix fundraiser on July 8 at the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Chicks for Charity is a grassroots movement comprised of more than 1,900 women who donate funds to local “under-the-radar” charities. It has no overhead costs, regular meetings, age requirements or fundraising quotas, and 100 percent of the proceeds its members raise go directly to that year’s charity of choice.
“Many people don’t have large sums of money but want to do something to help their community,” Chicks for Charity Founder Martha Vetter said. “Chicks are welcome to raise money in whatever creative capacity they wish and give back however they can. It’s so easy. Just do what you’re already doing and have fun. Our main goal is to help by having good times together.”
Members have discovered innovative ways to raise money, including hosting dinner parties and Euchre competitions, attending golf outings or each pitching in a few dollars after grabbing coffee together.
In addition, members 20 years old or younger, dubbed “junior chicks,” have participated by raising donations from lemonade stands and birthday parties.
“As a mom I would recommend this as a great way to get your kids involved in easy and fun activities and teach them the importance of giving back,” said Emily Barry, who coordinates Chicks for Charity’s public relations efforts. “We’re all just doing activities that we would already otherwise be doing. It’s honestly so much fun and we’re helping serve at the same time.”
Chicks for Charity members gather once every two years to hear presentations from three local nonprofit organizations. Each member in attendance has one vote and the charity that tallies the most votes becomes the organization’s designated charity for the following two years.
Its 2013-14 sponsored charity is Shared Lives Studio, an arts center that allows adults with development disabilities to become working artists with opportunities to showcase their artwork in the community.
“The chicks have been an incredible blessing for us. I don’t know what else to say – they’re just amazing,” said Lori Schoen, art director at Shared Lives Studio. “Chicks for Charity is such a wonderful thing and Martha is an incredible visionary. I’m a chick myself, of course. They’re not asking anything except for the community to help one organization for two years. It’s kind of a new way to fundraise and it really does make a difference.”
Since its founding in 2006, Chicks for Charity has raised a total of more than $420,000 for various nonprofit groups, including the Beach House Family Shelter, Assistance Dogs of America and International Boxing Club.
More than 400 people attended Chicks Mix ’14, which featured a cash bar, eight silent auction items, 25 raffle baskets and a complimentary live performance by Glass City Steel, Toledo School for the Arts’ steel drum band.
“We definitely need support from the community to help keep us going,” Schoen said. “What chicks has allowed us to do is focus on our mission. It’s freed us up to not have to worry so much. They have offered us two years of peace of mind and just the ability to really focus on highlighting how capable, amazing and upbeat our artists are.”
Chicks for Charity will host its next large-scale event, the fifth annual Becky Zibbel Golf Scramble, at 9 a.m. Aug. 16. Players will meet at Chippewa Golf Course in Curtice and can register online at chicksforcharity.net. The cost will be $70 per player and $280 per team.