Sk8 for the Schools Fundraiser

Sam KuhrMy dear friend and beloved EC employee, Sam, has always illustrated the highest form of bravery and strength . This year, on the first anniversary of her kicking cancer’s butt, Sam brought the Hermosa Beach community together to raise awareness to the fight against breast cancer and coincidentally to celebrate her one year being cancer free. Along side her beautiful family and a generous group of skateboarders dressed in pink, the community came together and demonstrated what fundraising is all about.  Read on for her account of the day!

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April 29th was our 10th annual Sk8 for the Schools. My son, Sebastian “Seabass,” started the fundraiser as a way to giveback to the schools and raise money for the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation. He overheard my husband and I discussing the funding crisis at his small school as a Kindergartner, and decided he’d do fancy tricks on his skateboard and ask for donations to help raise money.

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Each year we host this fundraiser building awareness for the cause, and raising money for our community schools. Last year, Sk8 for the Schools raised more than $8,000 and has raised over $35,000 to date. This year, Seabass has a new school. He’s grown out of the Hermosa Beach City School District and attends high school at Loyola High School. He passed the torch to his younger brother, Julian, a fifth grader at Hermosa Valley. Julian has grown up watching his brother skate, has helped with the event over the years, and is now ready to keep the family tradition alive. If the truth be told, he’s hoping to raise more money than his brother.

Last year the event took on an extra special meaning, as I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer during a routine mammogram. Ironically the date of our event was scheduled for the exact same day as my double mastectomy. We quickly held the event 5 days before my surgery, and the event took on a pink hue, to bring awareness to breast cancer. We wanted to encourage all women to conduct self checks and schedule their regular mammograms. The boys skated in pink, we served pink lemonade, and the whole community showed up in pink to support our family, and this annual community event.

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This year the boys again skated in pink to celebrate my one year anniversary of being CANCER FREE, and again to remind people to schedule their regular check ups. The event is open to all kids who want to skate with my boys. They help train little ones and perform skate tricks with the bigger, more advanced kids. It’s all about getting together as a community, to celebrate the youth in Hermosa Beach, and support the local schools. We have raised over $35,000 for our local schools, and we have no plans to stop this annual event.

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My husband and I feel that community service with our children is important for so many reasons. It feels good for starters. The satisfaction and pride that comes from hosting this event year after year, cannot be taught in a classroom, and we hope to foster a civic responsibility in our boys for years to come. I encourage everyone to do something for others this summer. You don’t have to host an annual fundraiser to give back… but you could help out at a hospital, pick up litter at a park, make treats for a local senior home or donate some old toys to a shelter, to name a few. To quote the great Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

xo,

Samantha Kuhr

Putting the FUN in Fundraising: Hearts of Hermosa 2016

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With more cuts in state funding of public schools, it’s becoming more and more challenging to get the support we need to get the education our kids deserve. Years ago, our precious school had to cut our our music program and we fight each year to save our library and other valuable assets that can’t survive without the funds we raise in our community.

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Our largest fundraiser of the year is called HEARTS OF HERMOSA and we literally pop a (huge) tent in a parking lot in the heart of Hermosa Beach.

The committee of volunteers is incredible, and the key is making it FUN so others want to get involved! We have to learn how to get creative on a budget so here are some tips to help YOU put the FUN into your fundraising!

Without a big budget for beautiful blooms, choose simple florals that make a big impact. The cascading green Amaranthus was the perfect compliment to the large Hydrangeas and made it easy for a team of volunteers to arrange at all the sponsored tables. Call on local businesses to fill a “swag bag.” Promotional giveaways are great marketing for many small town shops and everyone loves to leave with a party favor!

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Don’t leave out the crafty moms!  This hand-painted broom started at $50 and really complemented my evening’s look!

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Create unique and one-of-a-kind auction items that people will want to fight for! We have each classroom create a special project for the silent auction and I am always blown away by the creativity! Precious photos and wall art always seem to get the highest bids.

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Don’t forget to call on your local photographer to provide a photo booth!

Create a committee to solicit donations from your favorite companies all over the country! It is tax deductible for their business and it will hopefully bring more eyeballs to their products and websites.

As a business owner and donor myself, it feels good to give back! We get hundreds of requests each month for donations and just couldn’t keep up with the inquiries. Soooo, we are automating this process through the website and hope to be set up soon to send an EC Donation Kit to support your cause later this year!