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The CoastHills Relay for Life team revolutionized its fundraising with this simple tactic

by Joshua D. Scroggin
May 23, 2018
Members of the CoastHills Relay for Life team man their booth at the Lompoc Relay on May 19, 2018.
Members of the CoastHills Relay for Life team showcase raffle prizes at their booth at Huyck Stadium in Lompoc this past weekend. The team raised more than $3,000.00 through their fundraising efforts this year, which included a successful series of bake sales that provided breakfast, lunch and snacks to the staff at the Credit Union's Vandenberg Village headquarters.

One of the biggest challenges for the CoastHills Relay for Life team in Lompoc is developing new fundraising strategies that actually work.

And by tapping into our natural urge to graze, the team might just have figured out the trick: Bake sales!

In addition to some of the tried and true money-raising tactics, this year, the team really shifted its focus toward a weekly series of food sales. The concept is simple. Lay out a mouth-watering spread of sweets in the break room and dare people not to try them — for a donation, of course.

Every Wednesday, CoastHills employees at our Vandenberg Village headquarters felt safe leaving their snacks at home knowing the Relay Team would be showcasing some delicious baked goods. And with a donation jar, folks could like as little or as much as they’d like.

“Last year, we reached out more to the community, trying to do fundraisers through Wild West Pizza and wineries,” said team captain Bonnie Poole. “This year, we wanted to put it back more on the CoastHills family and show that we can have strength in numbers.”

After delivering the final donation at the Lompoc Relay for Life event this past weekend, we’re proud to say the strategy worked, and the CoastHills Relay team was able to raise $3,083.00 to Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society.

The relay team also received corporate sponsorships from Community Volkswagen and the CoastHills Community Action Committee. And it brought in some more donations with Super Bowl-themed festivities at the Credit Union in February.

But by far, the biggest chunk of money came from those weekly sales, which started out exclusively dessert-oriented before shifting into breakfast options and even full lunches.

“We had a lot of people come to us and say, we love the bake sales,” Bonnie said, “but you get tired of sweets after a while, so we did sandwiches and salads, and everybody loved the breakfasts.”

Some days featured home-baked cookies and cakes. Others featured bakery-fresh bagels with all types of flavored cream cheese and jam. On Pi Day (March 14), the team sold slices of pie. And as the campaign entered its final weeks, there were a pair of special lunches with build-your-own sandwich fixings and salads.

Funds for the goods came straight from of the pockets of the relay team members with the hope that their investment would multiply into a much bigger collection for the cause, which is near and dear to every team member’s heart.

Each of them have stories of friends, relatives, co-workers and even their own experiences with cancer. Giving time, energy and money to the team is their way of providing support to all the folks who are and will suffer fighting the disease.

“We need more people to take part,” Poole said. “Every little bit helps. A lot of people think that it doesn’t but just two dollars or five dollars, that’s a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and you can make a difference in cancer patient’s life or a caregiver’s life.”

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