Would You Eat a Worm for Your Cause?
What is it about swallowing bugs that is so darn funny? One of my favorite movie scenes of all times is the uppity socialite Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) riding in the back of good ol’ boy Dean Proffitt’s (Kurt Russell) pickup truck in the movie “Overboard” and declaring with her upper-crust elocution, “I just … ate … a bug.”
Funny, right? So of course this headline got my attention last week: “Worm Snack Price for Fundraiser Success.” It seems Troy Reehl, the principal at Farrand Elementary School in Plymouth, Mich., agreed to eat a worm if students raised at least $10,000 in the school’s annual Farrand Fox Trot fundraiser to benefit its Parent Teacher Organization.
Admittedly, $10,000 was a pretty high goal for a bunch of kids raising funds through simple solicitation, doing chores and other activities. But apparently one should never underestimate the power of worm-eating to motivate children.
“We set the bar pretty high,” PTO President Tonya Barker was quoted in local news reports as saying. “We figured either we’d get a lot of money or we’d save Mr. Reehl. The kids started fundraising like crazy.”
Of course they did. In the end, the total was just more than the required $10,000 but not enough to enforce a second incentive — if the total raised had reached $15,000, the entire PTO would have had to drink worm milkshakes.
Reehl accepted his slimy entree from kindergartner Gage Ellis, who at $350 was the school’s top fundraiser.
So how about it? Would you eat a worm if it meant not only motivating your donors to give, but if it also — if the Farrand Elementary School kids are any indication — ignited them, charged them up, made your cause a cause célèbre for them? What a lesson in meeting donors where they are and giving them what they want!