We all know the value of individual donations and grants for nonprofits, but we don’t often consider corporate sponsorship. Local sponsors are a very important part of the community.  Some offer large donations, but small donations can have lasting impacts as well.

Back in 2013, my wife and I participated in a Back Draft Bike Tour to support numerous local charities. The ride was sponsored by members of Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue Local 275. As part of the ride package, we received dri-fit moisture wicking T-shirts with the ride logo on front and a list of ride sponsors on the back (see below).

Neenah Menasha Back Draft Bike Tour
Neenah Menasha Back Draft Bike Tour
Proud Sponsors of Neenah Menasha Back Draft Bike Tour
Proud Sponsors of Neenah Menasha Back Draft Bike Tour

We enjoyed the Back Draft Bike Tour and the various stops as it meandered through Neenah and Menasha. Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue Local 275 still sponsors the annual ride (learn more here) but that is not why I am writing this blog article.

Shortly after the ride, I relegated the bike tour shirt to the bottom of my clothes drawer. This Spring, I happened to dig deep into my clothes drawer and decided to wear the bike tour shirt while I did some work around the house. Later that day, my four-year-old granddaughter, knowing nothing about the ride or the shirt suddenly exclaimed, “hey pops, you have Culver’s and the grocery store on your back!” Startled by her enthusiastic proclamation, I said, “What?”.  “You have Culver’s and the grocery store on your back. Can we get some ice cream?” She immediately recognized the Culver’s and Festival Foods logo in the list of proud sponsors. How could I resist a request like that? Needless to say, the entire family got ice cream from Culver’s.

Local sponsors are a very important part of the community. A sponsorship payment is one where the corporation contributes to an organization without substantial gain in return. I am sure eight years ago, these ride sponsors debated whether to support another local charity request. Thankfully, they all did. Now, eight years later, Culver’s, Festival Foods, and the other proud sponsors continue to get a return on their likely small but appreciated sponsorship dollars. I think sponsorships like this are pretty good investments for these local businesses.

Ride on,

Pat Clusman

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