Marion County Circles of Hope, an anti-poverty group working to establish a local program, has hitched its fundraising wagon to an attempt to set a world record for biggest marshmallow roast, a move that is providing outstanding returns so far.
Circles of Hope, under the umbrella of Families and Communities Together, ordered about 500 T-shirts and sweatshirts with a design declaring “Marion County Lake: Where Marshmallows Come Home To ROAST.”
Circles of Hope volunteer Jackie Volbrecht had the idea for the fundraiser, and her son, Don Hall of Chicago, created the design. Volunteer Jeremiah Lange picked up the shirts on Feb. 29.
“I was just expecting a few, but I got there and it was a pallet,” Lange said.
Within five days of receiving the shirts, the project’s revenue was over $1,000. The group is hoping for a profit of $2,500 on the project, which would be nearly enough to implement the Circles of Hope program.
Circles of Hope volunteer Linda Ogden outlined three benefits of selling the T-shirts: first, the shirts promote Marion County Park and Lake; second, they promote a specific family event, the marshmallow roast; and finally, the proceeds will benefit an organization with plans to do good in the county.
Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said he was happy to see a group trying to develop synergy with an event at the lake.
“I encouraged it, actually, Hudson said. “I was really glad that somebody stepped up and put that together.
“We’ve got a great facility, and if people want to do more and more things like that, it’s good for them to do that.”
T-shirts and sweatshirts are available in youth sizes up through XXXL. Shirts are available from Circles of Hope volunteers and at the county lake office.