Whether your child's elementary school runs with a PTA, PTO, or PTC, the members of that parent/teacher group are always looking for new ideas to build community, raise funds, and have fun. A 'Touch-A-Truck' event can do all three and, the best part, requires very little in terms of parent volunteers. In fact, this type of event particularly runs itself.
'Touch-A-Truck' events are new to the PTA scene, but are quickly becoming one of the most popular events around the country. In fact, go-to source PTO Today states that they can be big money-makers. Kids love the opportunity to see heavy construction equipment, fire trucks, and even muscle cars up close and personal. Being able to 'touch' the vehicles, climb up and sit inside them, and meet the owners/drivers is a real treat for them. Plus, it is a super easy event to set up and run for any size parent organization.
Where To Get Free Vehicles
After presenting the topic to your group for approval, contact your local fire, police, ambulance, and search & rescue offices. Ask if they would be interested in participating. Most are usually receptive to events where they can interact with the community, particularly children, in a non-emergency situation. If they decide to run their lights and sirens, which is typical at a 'Touch-A-Truck' event, plan on marketing the first hour as being silent for families with sensory issues.
Don't forget about any K9 units, local military troops (a tank!), or even Coast Guard personnel, if you are near a station. Another source to reach out to would be any area car, truck, motorcycle, or snowmobile enthusiast clubs. Car lovers enjoy sharing their vehicles with others in a relaxed setting like this. Ask staff and parents if they have a family member with an unusual vehicle that would be interested it in participating as well.
Where To Rent More Vehicles
When hosting a 'Touch-A-Truck' event, the key is to have as many vehicles as possible. This is truly a case of the more, the merrier. Once you have exhausted all your community's resources for free vehicles, think about renting a few more.
Call a local heavy equipment rental service and inquire what they would charge to drop some of their vehicles off for on a Saturday. Try to get a variety of 'trucks', including a front-end loader, an earth mover, and a traditional bulldozer. While this is not their typical rental situation, this type of event is gaining in popularity. The rental company should be familiar with what you are trying to plan. They may even be up for sending a staff member to the event to answer kids' questions.
How Much To Charge For Tickets
The pricing on this type of event can go one of two ways. You could make it a free, community-building event if your group has extra funds available. You could also plan it as a fundraising event, charging $5 per person and $20 a family. The amount can be adjusted higher or lower depending on the socio-economic makeup of the area that you live in. Definitely consider opening the event up to everyone as opposed to just your school community so you can increase your reach and your fundraising efforts.
What To Sell To Raise Even More Money
Ticket sales help offset costs, but the real fundraising comes with additional sales. Anything you can sell in addition to tickets can increase your fundraising efforts.
Selling food at outdoor events can be hit or miss. You don't want to pass up an opportunity to make money for your school, but you don't want to be stuck with 97 cooked hot dogs either. Why not build on the theme? Ask food trucks, ice cream trucks, and even make-your-own shaved ice trucks to come out and sell. Be sure you get a percentage of the sales back as a donation to your PTA.
Another great source of revenue could be kid-sized hats. Yellow hard hats, fireman helmets, and traditional police hats can be bought inexpensively online and sold for a profit. Plus, it is a great way for kids to re-live the event and get excited about next year.
How Many Volunteers Will You Need
Luckily, a 'Touch-A-Truck' event doesn't need a lot of volunteers. Parents should be in charge of ticket sales, but the other areas can all be run by vendors, truck 'drivers', and even local teens.
Each 'truck' will likely have the operator nearby to answer questions, interact with the crowd, and supervise any wayward kids. While this helps alleviate the burden of the PTA having to find volunteers, it is key to a successful event. Kids love meeting and interacting with the real 'driver' of the vehicles.
You will also need volunteers to run any games. Your local high school's National Honor Society is a great source to tap for help as they need a certain amount of volunteer hours each year. Including games and face panting in the ticket price is a great value-add for those attending the event as well.
What Else You Should Know
This event is neither age, nor gender specific. It appeals to everyone. Most people don't ever get a chance to see giant earth movers or a fire engine up close and personal.
For more information, contact a company like Solley Crane.Share
5 December 2018
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