2024 Pick My Post Fundraiser

2024 Pick My Post Fundraiser

It's May now. For those of you who know the rhythm of IlliniBoard, May is my recharge month. I feel fairly energized by the last nine months (especially with the results of the basketball season), so I have this thought that I don't need much of a recharge this year, but I always force myself to take it easy this month. My daily (ha!) summer football series "The 90 Illini" will start again (for the 15th time) in early June, so if there's a good time to unplug from thinking about all things Illini for a month, it's gonna be May.

And May is also now the Pick My Post fundraiser around here. I'll try to keep the background on that shorter than last year:

After my dad passed away in November of 1993, one of his friends approached my mom, my sister, and I with the idea of a music scholarship in his name at our high school (Highland HS in Highland, Illinois where I grew up). The scholarship was established in 1994 and I believe the first recipient was in May of 1995.

My dad enjoyed being an optometrist; my dad LOVED playing his tuba. Had his life followed a similar path as my own, he would have handed off his practice to my sister when she graduated optometry school in 1996 and then pursued his dream of playing the tuba full time. He was the manager of the local municipal band and he played in pit orchestras for regional theaters. And the year that he died, he had just established the "Helvetia Brass," a brass ensemble of musicians from the Metro-East.

My mom managed the scholarship for a long time. A few years ago, I took over for her. I had helped her with fundraisers in the past (like golf tournaments and such), but as the person running the fund now, I needed a better way to raise money on a yearly basis. That's when I came up with the Pick My Post idea.

It's something I had done from time to time on the site. I'd put a call out on Twitter for someone to "pick my post." You'd give me a topic, I'd write about it. So why not turn that into a fundraiser?

Last year we raised $1,603 (the goal was $1,500). And throughout May and June I wrote the requested "Pick My Post" suggestions. All articles are unlocked and free (I'm not going to ask people to have a subscription to read a fundraiser article).

I wrote all but one of the requested articles. The last one was a request to write about an obscure player from 1971. I couldn't find much on this player (and it was before I was born), so I tried to contact the person who donated several times to no avail. I even tried this tweet in December...

...but I never heard back. So, if you're that person, I'm still willing to write an article for you; I just need a lot more information about what you're wanting. Contact me at Robert at illiniboard dot com.

While I'm recapping the year, I feel like I should give you some proof that this is a legitimate fundraiser. Full transparency. So here's the fundraising total from last year:

And here's distribution of the $1,603 in a check written to the school district (they manage and distribute the funds to the scholarship winners):

I know I don't have to do that, but because the website I use for the fundraiser (Fundly) utilizes our Stripe account to process the payments, it's very important to me that I show you that the $1,603 processed by Stripe for the scholarship doesn't get mixed with the rest of the money processed by Stripe for website subscriptions. And yes, there's a scholarship board as well, so I'm not the only person making decisions here. Just want to make sure everything is completely transparent before you choose to donate.

That's the background. Here's the rest of what you need to know:

I'm offering 15 articles here. I'm asking 15 people to donate $100 and I will write them whatever article they want to read. I'll publish those articles here on the site and unlock them for all readers. When filling out the donation form, either in the notes on the donation page or in an email to Robert at IlliniBoard dot com, let me know the article you'd like to read for your $100 donation.

And thanks in advance for those donations. Our selection committee recently chose the 2024 winner and that person will receive the scholarship at the high school awards dinner on May 13th. Your donations will help that student continue to pursue music beyond high school.

Here's the donation site. Pick My Post:

2024 Dr. Robert L. Rosenthal Scholarship Fundraising Page