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Flip’n Flapjacks Charity Dinner

Rouse High School, TX

1222 Raider Way, Leander, TX, USA
Leander Independent School District
Director: Jason Robb
Category: Community Service Project
Award: Silver, 2020

Project Description

In December 2019, Rouse Band hosted the First Annual Flip’n Flapjacks Charity Dinner.

We recognize that we are fortunate to live in a community that supports music in our public education system. Our Directors and staff provide our students with skills that reach far beyond musical notes and instruments. Our students may not realize that they are learning lessons in many non-musical life-skills that will have positive impacts as they become adults. This past holiday season, we had the opportunity to share the gift of music education with other students who may not have the opportunity otherwise. We partnered with Kids in a New Groove, a local non-profit organization that provides students in the Foster Care System in Texas with the chance to learn the incredible benefits of music education in their life.

Our Flip’n Flapjacks fundraiser was an all-volunteer, donation-based event supported entirely by Rouse Band families. Over the course of an evening, Rouse band students and family members cooked and served a full pancake dinner to hundreds of local community members. Dressed in our most festive holiday regalia, we listened to holiday tunes, flipped flapjacks, and changed the focus from our own students’ education to that of others less fortunate.

At our Winter Concert on December 12th, we presented Kids in a New Groove with a check for $1,500. This donation helped Kids in a New Groove provide foster children with not only music lessons and instruments, but also with mentors that help build life skills through the power of music education.

Since 2009, Kids In A New Groove has served over 650 youth in foster care with free, weekly music lessons and mentorship. There are currently over 32,000 children in the Texas foster care system. Half of those children will not graduate high school. Less than 3% will earn a college degree. For the past four years, 100% of Kids in a New Groove students graduated high school and 95% went on to attend college, technical school or enlist in the military. Music mentorship has played an integral part of the success of each of these students.

Target Audience

Local community families, Rouse Band family members, and the extended Rouse High School family.

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

The initial concept of a “give back” fundraiser began to materialize during summer Band Booster planning in July 2018. Regular monthly meetings were held and the plan solidified into a Pancake Breakfast.

By November 15th, we had decided on a date to hold the event and we voted to choose the recipient of the funds raised.

November 17th – A facebook event was created and social media promotions began.

November 20th – Volunteer and Donation sign-ups were posted. This included volunteer positions for cooking, crafting with children, taking donations and other positions. Food item donations were all provided by Rouse Band families. There was no money spent from Rouse Band Booster funds to hold this event.

Sponsors/charities/volunteers/ other groups involved in the project and the benefits to each.

The Rouse Band Flip’n Flapjacks Charity Dinner raised $1,500 for Kids in a New Groove. These funds will directly support Kids in a New Groove by paying for music lessons, instruments, and mentors to provide youth in foster care with life long skills.

Kids In A New Groove provides Texas youth in foster care with a committed one-on-one mentoring relationship through weekly private music instruction, giving students the ability to build concrete strategies for life-long success.

By creating a consistent and nurturing environment, we empower youth in foster care to transform their futures through music mentorship.

Karyn Scott founded Kids In New Digs in 2004, a nonprofit that intended to provide donated clothing to kids in the foster care system – having worked as a federal prosecutor in Travis County, she was familiar with the youth in foster care. After realizing that donated clothing would not make a lasting difference in each child’s life, the organization changed its name and mission in 2009 to reflect its ambitions: to enrich and enhance the lives of foster kids and to help them “age out” of the program with at least one solid adult relationship, a set of learned skills, and a sense of self-worth.

Kids in a New Groove’s (KING) mission is to provide Central Texas children living in foster care with a committed one-on-one mentoring relationship through free, weekly, private music instruction. Since 2009, KING has empowered over 600 youth with music mentorship. Children in foster care are a highly vulnerable and underserved population. Having undergone emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, the children’s lives are traumatic before they even enter foster care. Our music mentors and their students build a lasting relationship of support which helps our students succeed academically, emotionally and socially. KING equips youth in care with concrete tools to show the world and, more importantly, youth themselves what they can accomplish with passion and dedication.

Community Impact

This project was different from all other fundraisers conducted by the Rouse Band Boosters. Rather than raising money to support our own program, it has instilled our students with a sense of community service and generosity that is not gained through traditional program fundraising. This project gave our band program greater visibility within the high school and greater community as a selfless organization, and one that believes in the benefits of music education.

Overall budget

$0

Specific Budget Breakdown

All supplies and equipment for this event were generously donated by our directors, staff members, and Rouse Band families.

New or recurring project?

New Project

Challenges/obstacles that were encountered

Facilities were the greatest challenge. In early discussions, we planned to use the high school cafeteria kitchen to cook for the event. Once we learned this was not possible, we recruited parent volunteers to provide roaster pans, griddles, and hot plates to prepare all the food. This would have worked out great if we had sufficient electrical outlets in the cafeteria. After running out of outlets and blowing several circuit breakers, one of our volunteers saved the day with a gas powered generator that provided all the electricity we needed for the event.

As with any new event, getting the word out and drawing the community in is always a challenge. Using our large social media audience, we were able to draw xx people and sell xx plates to local community members.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

The success of this event was measured by the funds raised for our beneficiary organization. Our original goal was to raise and donate $1000. We exceeded this goal by $500. The secondary benefit of this event was strengthening our community and creating an event in which students, volunteers, and community members could come together in a truly selfless manner. The funds raised from this event encourage music education for those less fortunate, and provide them with mentorship and life long skills.

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

Holding an event such as this teaches students valuable lessons in selfless service. There is a different atmosphere when your students know that they are making a difference in the lives of others. The benefit to our program was not measurable in dollars, but the togetherness and sense of community service that this type of project brings is invaluable.

A project like our Flip’n Flapjacks Charity Dinner requires little to no investment, and significant funds can be raised with only small donations of supplies and time from a large group of individuals and families.

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