08 Jun Collectors Challenge 2019: Getting Creative for a Good Caus…
Cooking contests, raffles, relay races and golf competitions dominated members’ fundraising efforts in the 2019 Collectors Challenge, which supports the ACA International Education Foundation (ACAEF) Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship Program.
“Participation in Collectors Challenge helps an industry employee or dependent offset the cost of higher education,” said Harry Strausser, ACA’s education and membership development director. “The foundation awards $50,000 annually through the Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship Program.”
Collectors Challenge Month, held each year in April, is an opportunity for association members to participate in fun events with their co-workers while promoting the value of the accounts receivable management industry in their communities.
Building on fundraisers from 2018, ACA staff completed a book drive in April and collected donations to plant trees. ACA will split the proceeds with the Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship Program and The Canopy Project. Staff members also signed up for a volunteer day with Feed My Starving Children.
Here’s a look at member company activities:
- The team at Gulf Coast Collection Bureau in Sarasota, Florida, held a drive, chip and putt golf contest, a cooking contest at a local country club and a “kick plastic initiative,” challenging staff to switch to reusable water bottles in exchange from company donations. The events were designed to support the ACAEF while building team camaraderie, said Laura Frechette, Esq., chief compliance officer, who planned the activities with collection manager Stacey Johnston.
- Fineman Krekstein and Harris P.C. in Philadelphia was inspired by baking for its Collectors Challenge and encouraged members of the firm to submit their favorite recipe for a Dessert Challenge Fundraiser in April. The firm raised money through staff donations to taste and judge their colleagues’ recipes, which included “billion-dollar bars,” chocolate lasagna and mini cheesecakes, which tied in the contest.
- ConServe chose to donate proceeds from its Jeans for Charity Program in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month in April
- Other ACA members participating in Collectors Challenge relied on some friendly competition to fuel their fundraising activities. For example, Helvey & Associates planned relay races with eggs, a sack race and candy guessing competition, said Gary Gross, human resources and compliance manager. “There was a lot of spirited competition,” he said.
- At American Profit Recovery, staff organized March Madness brackets, casual dress days throughout the month and a putt-to-win golf contest.
- Optio Solutions held a new activity this year: a pancake breakfast cooked and served by senior management, in addition to its regular bake sales, dress-down days and raffles for priority parking spaces at the Petaluma, California-based company. “The pancake breakfast was a huge hit,” said Client Relations Manager Janet Cipriano. “People really enjoyed the interaction with the senior management team and the pancakes were pretty good too.” Chris Schumacher, president and CEO (and one of the pancake chefs), noted that the benefits of the Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship Program really hit home last year. “Two students who are the children of company employees each qualified for awards in 2018, so we understand the positive impact of the program,” Schumacher said.
- At BCA Financial Services Inc. in Miami, the planning committee coordinated raffles as part of its “Support a Student, Build a Future” campaign for the Loomer-Mortenson scholarships. The campaign consisted of a “Spin to Win” raffle where staff members purchased spins to determine how many tickets they could place in a drawing for an Amazon.com gift card as well as a raffle to win a spot in the company parking garage for two months.
- State Collection Service Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin, also joined in Collectors Challenge this year with a 50/50 raffle, a “Come Buy a Bagel!” day, and a Money Machine for employees to enter through a raffle with the chance to win prizes.
- North American Credit Services (NACS) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, held its employees’ favorite fundraising events, which included a chili cookoff and raffles with fun prizes, plus the company’s first-ever dessert bakeoff.
- Like many of the companies supporting Collectors Challenge, the fundraising month is a tradition for Sunrise Credit Services. Festivities at the Farmingdale, New York, company started with a bake sale as well as its first-ever car show/bazaar, allowing employees and community members to showcase their antique and collector cars—17 in all, said Angie Amon, special projects coordinator. Food trucks and vendors rounded out the event. “It’s an important activity for the company, because everyone can see how generous people are for a worthy cause,” Amon said. “Sunrise Credit Services is always looking to give back to its employees and the community.”
- Credits Inc.’s fundraisers also focused on community involvement and activities for staff in Hermiston, Oregon. “For the fourth year in a row we held a barbecue, inviting neighboring businesses and asking for donations,” said Tim Mabry, IFCCE, president of Credits Inc. “This seems to grow every year and give us a great opportunity to get to know our neighbors while raising money for a good cause.” Credits Inc. also planned jeans days, extra breaks and pay-to-park options for staff in exchange for donations.
- Pro Com Services of Illinois returned to Collectors Challenge this year with a 50/50 raffle and snack cart for employees to purchase items twice per day in support of the ACAEF.
- In addition to these fundraising activities, member companies Day Knight & Associates in Ballwin, Missouri, Credit Management LP in Plano, Texas, and USCB America in Los Angeles submitted donations for the ACAEF.
In total, ACA members raised more than $27,000 during Collectors Challenge in 2019.
Pictured above: Chris Schumacher, president and CEO, and Janelle Dent, collections supervisor, enjoy the Optio Solutions pancake breakfast. ACA International’s Facebook page.
BCA Financial Services Jeanette Garcia, customer experience team lead, Jamelia Anderson, insurance representative, and Glenette Jackson, insurance representative, help out at the company’s Spin to Win raffle for the Support a Student, Build a Future Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship fundraiser. See more pictures from the 2019 Collectors Challenge on