Laurel and Natalie Beasley coming through the finish line.
Many runners describe a “runner’s high,” a feeling of euphoria that is experienced when you achieve just the right balance of physical effort and results. Similarly, Junior League of New Orleans members describe feelings of elation when achieving the right balance of effort and results — when a new initiative perfectly meets the needs of the community and the membership. Such a balance has been found in JLNO’s new partnership with the Crescent City Classic (CCC).
The goal of the new race tradition is to find a health-oriented fundraising event that’s inclusive of the Greater New Orleans community. Expanding a Junior League initiative to a broader community gathering builds an intersection with other partner organizations and enhances members’ external efforts.
JLNO’s new partnership is with the “Run For It” Program, which is the official Charity Program of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic. In addition to serving as a fitness opportunity, New Orleans’ signature 10k is also a fundraising tool for local charities. Through “Run For It,” the Crescent City Fitness Foundation selects partner organizations to sponsor runners in the CCC. The Junior League of New Orleans is now an enthusiastic supporting organization in a mutually-beneficial collaboration.
The race will be held Saturday, April 20th, 2019. Runners will be assigned a number, or “bib,” with a financial goal. JLNO has secured 20 bibs for Junior League runners. Each bib will be specific to a JLNO runner with a goal of raising a minimum of $500 per bib, though there is no limit to the potential amount that can be raised. Bibs also include a personal online funding page operated by the Crescent City Classic. For our JLNO runners, this page is an opportunity to tell individual stories about why each volunteer is running and supporting the Junior League. “Each runner will be able to tell her personal goal and reason for running,” said Committee Co-Chair Sarah Peltier.
These stories will be tailored to specific aspects of the JLNO mission and values or a community impact project that is most meaningful for that runner. Illustrating each runner’s individual motivation helps connect donors not only to the participant, but also to the significant project the JLNO member is supporting. These custom stories will encourage support and drive connection to JLNO’s mission for everyone involved, both inside and outside JLNO.
As this new partnership solidified, the committee overseeing the new CCC initiative divided itself into teams as a way to actively engage all members. These teams will promote and fundraise for individual JLNO runners, and they are enjoying a healthy dose of friendly competition around who can raise the most funds and awareness.
“An extra benefit of breaking the committee into teams and having team-based meetings was the members being able to meet and interact in person in a committee that usually communicates through email and interacts in person just on the day of the event,” explains Committee Co-Chair Melissa Broussard. Each team will identify a runner for each bib and then be responsible for promoting that runner. A standardized promotional package is being developed to highlight the community service impact of JLNO, which can then be adapted for each runner’s story.
Additional opportunities to advertise our 20 runners will be in the JL in the kNOw weekly email and on various social media outlets. Through the use of these popular platforms, every member of the League and her contacts can be directly involved with raising funds and awareness for our bibs. There is also an opportunity to earn Money for Mission or Flex Credits based on donated amounts. This expansive approach maximizes the meaningfulness for our members and optimizes our fundraising capabilities.
As the Junior League of New Orleans continues into the future with this new tradition of collaborating with the Crescent City Classic, we hope to increase both the number of reserved bibs and our fundraising expectations, which will undoubtedly offer us our own take on the famed “runner’s high.”
For more information and to sponsor a JLNO runner, visit www.jlno.org/runforit