Carwashes and bake sales are common fundraising avenues, but there’s nothing like some good-old fashioned competition to really get people paying attention. The folks at Bethel Tabernacle Church of God in Clarksville know that all too well, so they decided to make their big push for fundraising a little more fun with a friendly little men-versus-women competition. The losers have to sleep on the roof of the church — come rain, sleet or snow.
“We wanted something really big, out-of-the-box,” explained Kathy Millner, one of the women on the building committee, and wife of the Rev. Dennis Millner, pastor at the church.
Millner explained that there really are no “losers,” because both the four men and the two women on the committee have the same goal of raising money for a church “facelift” that includes an enlarged sanctuary and multicultural center and rehabbing the exterior of the building. But, she said, the women really do want to beat the men, if for nothing else than bragging rights.
The group that raises the most money through their change-jar collections will be able to enjoy – as will the rest of the church’s members – the sight of the group that raises the lesser amount having to sleep on the roof. And, just to make it interesting, it will be on a Saturday night, and no showers are allowed before the Sunday-morning church service.
“They have to eat and sleep up there,” explained Millner, saying that only lightning will keep the unlucky group off the roof.
Each Sunday, the men and women have played up their friendly competition. For example, the men played the song “Up on the Roof” and had a toilet seat and sleeping bag on display one Sunday, to poke fun at the women and express their confidence that the men would not be up there. Another Sunday, Millner played drums, and Claudia Seifert, her lone counterpart on the women’s team, rapped about how the men were going to be up on the roof.
“It’s been really fun,” said Seifert, “to rally the troops up and get them excited.”
Seifert said they have been doing other things for fundraising, such as bake sales and brick sales in memory of loved ones, as well as their Battle of the Bands last fall. Millner also said that a visiting evangelist from Alabama donated Larry Bird basketball cards for the church to sell as fundraising mechanism. Seifert added that the women have the quiet backing of most of the female church members.
“It’s been so much fun,” she said. “I called women [Tuesday] night, for this Sunday, for a bake sale, and the support was overwhelming! One lady was whispering about the brownies she was going to make, so her husband wouldn’t hear!”
The women are even keeping secret the fact that they were interviewed for a story in the Coastal Point, pulling out all stops in their effort to get ahead. But, in the interest of being fair, neither team knows how much they have raised, and both teams will be surprised when the winner is announced mid-April.
To sponsor the women and help them beat the men in their fundraising competition, call (302) 539-5981 or send a donation to Bethel Tabernacle Church, 34180 Omar Road, Frankford, DE 19945.
Again, both Millner and Seifert emphasized that the two teams share a common goal.
“It’s all for one vision, for God to be glorified,” said Millner, adding that what they need most is prayer. However, she was quick to reinforce her competitive spirit and added, “But if you’d like to see the men up on the roof, support the women today!”