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Singing Buckeyes host Super Bowl Party for homeless shelter

Singing Buckeyes host Super Bowl party for homeless shelter

Is it a fundraiser? Is it a performance opportunity? Is it a community service project? All of that — at a Super Bowl Party hosted by the Singing Buckeyes at a major Columbus, Ohio, homeless shelter.

The Singing Buckeyes, Colmus, Ohio, have long recognized that the cost of administering and operating a men’s singing organization is greater than can be maintained by performance revenue alone. Thus, the need for fund raising projects. For many decades, one such project has been to construct party food suitable for consumption during the Super Bowl; selling it and delivering it in the Central Ohio community. Initially, that food was pizza, but many years back it was determined that for handling and delivery purposes, sub sandwiches were a better product.

As the list of patrons supporting this project grew (the subs are a great product), the chapter encountered a number of folks saying, “I buy to support the Singing Buckeyes, but give the sandwiches to someone else.” Such comments seeded the concept of hosting a Super Bowl party at a homeless shelter. A contact with LSS Faith Mission, a major shelter in downtown Columbus, was enthusiastically received.

So the sales pitch to sub-purchasing patrons became, “thank you for again buying the subs, and would you like to purchase some additional subs to support the Super Bowl party we are sponsoring at Faith Mission?” The public saw this new component as a way to support the Singing Buckeyes and to support citizens of our community who are living on the margins. It was a win-win.

Many patrons who bought the subs for years, enthusiastically purchased an equal number, or more, for Faith Mission. And many who declined the opportunity to purchase for their individual consumption now gladly bought them for the homeless. In order to cement the relationship between a men’s singing organization and a social service homeless shelter, the Singing Buckeyes sought and received permission to sing the National Anthem at the Party, immediately before the kickoff.

More sandwiches were purchased for Faith Mission than the number who would be served at the shelter. So soda and a variety of chips and snacks were purchased to make it a complete party.

One advantage this new element of a long standing fundraiser was that the sandwiches didn’t need to be delivered to addresses all across Central Ohio. When they came off the Singing Buckeyes assembly line on Saturday morning they were taken in boxes directly to Faith Mission. Purchasers didn’t need to be in the reasonable delivery area of Columbus. So a Super Bowl Party PayPal account was set up so that anyone anywhere with a credit card could purchase subs for Faith Mission. Singing Buckeyes circulated the link to friends and relatives near and far. Through that account, 40 new patrons from Connecticut to California digitally purchased 225 sandwiches for the Super Bowl Party. When coupled with the face-to-face sales, the Singing Buckeyes had enough to cover the sub sandwiches, acquire the other party fixins and donate $1000 to Faith Mission.

A press release circulated to the local media a week before the Super Bowl caught the attention of nbc4, the Columbus NBC affiliate. A camera crew and reporter covered the party with a very positive news segment running on Saturday evening and again on Sunday.

The Singing Buckeyes hope its relationship with Faith Mission will continue and grow stronger over the years. The chapter wants to make this world a better place through vocal harmony and community compassion.

—Mike Renner, Singing Buckeyes