October 15, 2018

Youth wrestling team creates fascinating fundraiser

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OSCODA COUNTY — The Oscoda County Thunder youth wrestling program has created a fascinating new fundraiser combining residents’ love for board games with a local twist.

The group has created what it calls Oscoda Co-opoly, a play on the traditional Monopoly board game everyone knows. The game is played exactly as one would expect if they’re familiar with the Milton-Bradley product. The key difference is that the game is based on businesses local to Oscoda County.

Head coach Mike Smith said the idea for the fundraiser came mainly from his wife Meredith after a fundraising meeting with other team parents at a local Mio establishment. He said by the end of the first fundraising meeting they had secured six sponsors for the board, which gave them a hunch the idea would be a smashing success.

Smith said this fundraiser would be particularly lucrative for the group because of how many different ways there are to monetize the board.

“A local business donates money to be on the board, so I could buy an Oscoda Herald spot for $200,” Smith said. “Once all the spots are filled we get the games the businesses have fully paid for with their donations and go out and sell the boards themselves. … If we sold popcorn like other fundraisers a company would get 60-70 percent and the team gets only 5-10 percent. This way we get 100 percent of the money.”

In addition to buying the business squares on the board, Smith said businesses and residents could sponsor chance cards or just pay to put their names directly on the game board. He said even though no company that donates to the fundraiser will see a penny of the profits, the group had no problem finding sponsors for the board.

“Near the first 50 businesses we went to all agreed to do it,” Smith said. “At first I was a little worried about the fundraiser. I said to my wife, ‘We’re talking about $150 for every spot, we might have a hard time filling those.’ But near everyone we went to was open to it.”

The funds raised through this will mostly benefit the youth wrestling program, but some will also go toward the high school team. This is the second year the youth program has been around and Smith said this will be a significant benefit to the fledgling organization.

“We are in dire need of youth wrestling uniforms, and they’re expensive,” he said. “We have around 30 kids on the team, and I think it’d be cool, for lack of a better word, for these kids to have that.”

The chance to donate to the fundraiser by purchasing a spot on the board has passed. The board is being created by Express Printing in Frankenmuth. Smith said the company plans to have the boards printed and packaged in September. The team will then sell them for $25 a piece.

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