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Natick - Local Town Pages

Natick Service Council Holding Virtual Fundraiser

Natick Service Council is holding its annual race virtual, once again. But this year, there will be a new section – a bike race. It is its one and only fundraiser for the year. Below, Sonia Shah, director of development outreach reach, answered a few questions for the Natick Local Town Pages:      

How did you decide to adapt to Covid last year?

Last year, we knew we wanted to have an event that engaged the community and also allowed people flexibility to participated. We wanted families to be able to join in the event as well.

How was last year‘s event different from previous years?

Previous to last year, Fall for Natick was a dinner/auction style event that was geared toward adults and donors. Given the challenges of the pandemic, we choose to make the new event more family friendly. In addition, we saw it as an opportunity to expand our base of supporters.

How was the community response?

We were overwhelmed with the community response. We had over 300 participants and that included over 50 children. The community was excited to support NSC while also doing something fun for their families.

With Covid on the downswing and regulations surrounding Covid disappearing, why are you still doing a virtual event?

We decided to continue with the virtual event, because we wanted to make the event family friendly. We are hoping to engage even more families and kids by creating teams for schools and sports programs. 

Having a young family myself, being able to participate in a virtual race and fit the event into our schedule instead of rearranging our schedule for the event, alleviates stress. 

Why add the bike race?

We decided to add the bike race based on feedback on what participants enjoyed doing with their free time. Also, we have fingers and toes crossed that the bike path will be open for people to enjoy and do the race at the same time!

Who does the NSC serve?

NSC clients consist of low and limited income Natick individuals and families, single-parent households, the unemployed and underemployed, the working poor, those in ill health, the disabled and the elderly with a yearly income of no more than 200% of current federal poverty guidelines. NSC does not discriminate and serves all eligible clients regardless of immigration status.

How much were you able to raise last year versus previous years?

Last year we raised $37,000, which we were excited about because the virtual race was planned in just 6 weeks. This year, we hope to raise even more! It’s also hard to know what impact the pandemic had on fundraising because last year was such an anomaly. The year before we raised $72,000 at the dinner/auction event.

What have I not asked that you might like to get in the article?

I think it’s important to note that this is our only fundraising event of the year. In previous years we held a telethon and the Fall for Natick Dinner. Next year we are hoping to add an event in the spring. Unfortunately, because of all the uncertainty as we planned for this year, we are only holding one event.