My thanks to everyone for attending the kick off meeting for the run.
This article will quickly recap some of the decisions from the meeting and to tackle a few housekeeping items. Please feel free to get back to the list if you have other items to add, or if there was something missed in my update.
After the meeting, it was clear that we have an opportunity to increase our visibility in the community with respect to the work of Rotary and Autism. To this end, our key goal for the run is to increase the number of runners – targeting to register 3000 runners this year, so we can have a strong showing at the event itself. Our secondary goal will be to increase visibility of our club’s involvement in the community with a view that we can demonstrate the value of Rotary and attract new members.
This will be achieved in the following ways:
- Leveraging Jeff Orswell Events to drive traffic through community outreach campaigns and promotions
- Connecting with our key partners and working with them to increase their involvement in promoting the run
- Working with other Autism related charities to drive up visibility and engagement through these organizations to support our goal
- Seeking strategic sponsorship opportunities that will engage the local business community to support our goal
- Raise the profile of Rotary and seek support from other Rotary clubs and the district in supporting our efforts
- Increase the visibility of the run through our own club’s membership to increase engagement and support for our key fund raising event
- Finally, work with the City and other strategic partnerships (chamber of commerce) to support the goals of our event through alignment of interests
We will work on aligning each of these key areas across the areas of responsibility that you have each agreed to own for the Run this Rotary year. It is going to be tremendous as we all align our activities in the areas above to drive up registrations and, ultimately, success in raising awareness for Autism in our community. By highlighting Rotary’s involvement, I believe we can find an opportunity to connect like-minded individuals to join and play their part in making “Service Above Self” a part of their lives.
We still need to secure the course for next year’s run. Jeff Orswell and Steve Luplow will work on securing the new course with the City. Initial thinking is that we find a course that leverages the Chamber of Commerce’s route, coupled with park paths, to help minimize the expense of police and city support. Joellen will work with the City to register the administrative aspects of securing permission for the run. This being said, we are committing to the last Sunday of April and all promotional activities will reflect this date. When we have the route confirmed we will be able to add this information later.
We will be using Dropbox as the main tool for capturing and sharing information related to the event and the planning activities. This will continue to leverage the work already captured in this location from prior events.
My expectation is that we will all use this for our respective areas of responsibility, so we can stay coordinated across each other’s area of ownership.
It is our intention to make our key partners for this event more engaged and involved. We have already received a strong indication from Kindering to be more involved and we will be meeting with them to discuss the number of ways that we can support each other. Mike Ralph has kindly agreed to broker a meeting with Seattle Childrens, so we can have a similar conversation and work out this partnership can work for us both.
We are also going to look at other partnership opportunities to support our goals. To this end, Kim has agreed to work on researching other Autism groups that are out there.
Kick-off on Registrations
Jeff Orswell will initiate the activities to get the early registration process kicked off. We have approved the key activities with respect to Website, “Keep the Date” cards and other promotions to engage runners with our event in April. Jeff will work with us closely to support the engage runners across the community and we need to make sure we tie our media and internal promotions with Jeff as these activities get kicked off.
- Co-Chairs: Chris Boland and me will work together on this year’s race – please make sure we are both copied into communications related to the race. This will make sure we are in lockstep with coordinating across activities.
- Sponsorship: this will be led by John Martinka with support from Jenny Andrews. Please work with them in passing on sponsor questions or contacts. We will communicate this out to the club. We will also have to come up with some slightly different sponsorship packages due to lack of information on the course. We will also want to look at other ideas for sponsorship – one being around medals (promote Rotary) where we can have sponsors on the medal and the medal strap.
- Booth Sponsor: this will be led by Colleen Turner. This year we need to lock down where the Race Village will be located. We also have an opportunity to make two changes this year: (1) offer free booths for key Autism partners and (2) make a bigger splash on Rotary. Jeff Orswell made the good point of mixing these booths in amongst the business sponsored booths, to improve traffic flow. Any other ideas or booth sponsors should be passed onto Colleen.
- PR/Marketing: this will be led by Alex Chehab and supported by Michel Carter. We will be aligning our PR/Marketing with the goals above and with the activities of Orswell Events. All PR/Marketing ideas should be directed to these two individuals. We want to increase engagement with our local press/media outlets; social media; website; and think Race Day PR activities to increase visibility, excitement, i.e. have the Mayor make the last Sunday the Run for Autism day, etc.
- City Liaison: this will be led by Joellen. We are looking for a support person to assist Joellen with this important activity. The City of Bellevue is incredibly supportive of our run and have made city outlets for run brochures and posters available to us to increase visibility. We have strong relationships and we want to continue to leverage the good work of Joellen in this area.
- Course Coordinator: this will be led by Steve Luplow. This is an important year for us as we need to find a new course for the run. Steve will be working with Jeff Orswell in finding a route that works. We will also be looking for an additional person to support this activity.
- Day of Race Coordinator: we are looking for someone to lead this activity – please let me know if you have any good suggestions. In the meantime, Steve Roberts will support us and will be on hand to train up the person who will take lead on this activity.
- Club Promotion: led by Wendi Fischer and Carmela Ramaglia. This will be an opportunity for us to raise the visibility of our progress in securing our goals with the membership and across the district. We will also use this to drive up engagement with our own membership to drive up runners, sponsorship opportunities and to raise the profile of Rotary.
- Finance: this will be led by Howard with support from Jason. A critical aspect of the event and it is good to have these two chaps making sure we focus on the top line while managing the expenses.
- Registration Coordinator: this will be led by Francine Weaver and we are looking for a support person. Francine will work closely with our finance team and promotional teams as we track the registrations and use this to measure our progress against the goals. We will also want to use registrations as an opportunity to promote Rotary this year with a view to engaging more prospects for membership.
- Kid’s Dash: this will be led by Traci Tenhulzen. A great event and we will want to make sure we find an opportunity to get this great PR/sponsorship event supported with the course changes. Traci will represent our interests here.
- Website/Program management: Paul will continue to ably lead our efforts around the website and internal promotions. Paul has also kindly agreed to work with all of us in terms of managing our activities to keep the cross-collaboration and communication at a high level.
- Announcer / Membership: Tim Leahy will be the race day announcer and will also work to drive the membership objectives for us during this coming race.
- Volunteer Coordinator: Dustin Walling will be leading this area for us this year. The good news is that we have some ideas that will allow us to make it easier to secure volunteer support for this year.
I want to thank all of the team for supporting our fund raiser this year. I am super excited to be working with you all on bring this event to life and to making a splash in our community. You all have great ideas and it will be brilliant to see these contributions weave into our planning and execution of the Run for Autism. We have taken the first step in a long journey and I feel great about the team that I will be sharing this journey with.