A brewer fills up samples for guests at the "Ale for a Trail" event in Tennessee.
The Rainier Relay, from Mt. Rainier to Puget Sound in Washington.
Sipping and Racing for Rail-Trails:
In August, we asked you to tell us about the most creative and successful ways you've raised money for your local pathways, or whether you knew of any other great ideas from nearby groups. This month, we heard from two successful organizers who continue to seek new ways to rally support and funding for their local trails. Even without the money raised, they discovered the effort was completely worth the excitement and awareness they generated for the trails.
To check out some other effective fundraising ideas, read the list RTC's Western Regional Office put together in July.
Sam Glasgow - Cookeville, Tenn.
You have asked the question that has been spinning in my head for a few years. We had a quite successful "Ale for a Trail" contest last fall, raising maybe $1,000 after all the expenses were paid. The contest was judged by the most tickets collected at the end of tasting, with seven brewers participating.
More than 100 people came to taste the beers, and we limited the samples to 2-3 ounces for each ticket. Everyone who came got 10 tickets at the door, and they could sample 10 different brews (most brewers had 2-3 brews to choose from). We asked for a $10 donation for tickets before the event and $15 at the door. We did have to get some liability insurance to cover us, and the event took place at a local grill that had a beer license.
It was a fun event, and there was lots of enthusiasm among the brewers who donated their brews to the cause: the Tennessee Central Heritage Trail. We didn't raise a whole lot of money, but we did raise a lot of enthusiasm.
Right now, we are planning a family event based on a kind of adventure race to include all kinds of sporting events, although most of the details have to be worked out. An event called "Spirits in the Hollow" is something we may also pursue, which would include getting sponsors lined up, getting beer and wine and food provided through the sponsors, and having music. It would be modeled after Nashville's Wine on the River festival, which has been successful.
We are asking for donations to have individuals and businesses recognized by plaques at several kiosks built at several trailheads along our 19-mile rail-with-trail. We're also making benches, bike racks and mile markers available to memorialize donors.
John Selby - Seattle, Wash.
Check out our Rainier Relay event at www.rainiertoruston.com, celebrating National Trails Day. This year we more than broke even, raising about $1,900. This was the sixth annual event, and only the fourth one open to the public.