By SARA ARTHURS
Just how many quarters are in a mile? A mile of quarters, laid edge to edge, totals $16,500 — and that’s the amount Kiwanis Club of Findlay hopes to raise during an upcoming fundraiser, the “Kiwanis Quarter Mile.”
It’s about 45 miles short of the world record, but Rick Kidwell, lieutenant governor for Division 1-S of Kiwanis, hopes it will be a record for Findlay.
Kiwanis will be soliciting donations of quarters at a vacant storefront at the Findlay Village Mall on Friday and Saturday. The collection will take place from noon to 9:30 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
One quarter is .955 inches in diameter, meaning that a yard is 38 quarters, or $9.50, Kidwell said. So one mile is approximately $16,500. Kidwell’s hope is to collect this much but, as he wrote in the fundraiser proposal, “even completing only a portion of the distance generates good profits.”
Kidwell was formerly technology coordinator for Findlay City Schools and he had discussed a similar fundraiser for the school district, although it was never implemented.
This weekend was chosen because it is the weekend of the New Auto Show at the Findlay Village Mall. Kidwell said mall staff have been supportive and there has been discussion of maybe making the quarter mile an annual event. The date was chosen because the auto show is the mall’s biggest event. In keeping with the auto show and the mile theme, the club plans to use orange construction barrels and construction-themed signs and have Kiwanis members staffing the tables wear brightly colored safety vests and hard hats.
Kiwanis will have three volunteers working two-hour shifts, or a total of 15 people on Friday and 21 on Saturday. Findlay High School’s Key Club has expressed interest in helping, Kidwell said.
As fundraisers go, this one has “pretty low overhead,” Kidwell said. He has obtained one mile of masking tape and club members will create stripes on the floor of a vacant storefront.
Kidwell had hoped the quarter mile would be a record. However, he researched it in the Guinness Book of World Records and learned a group in Austria in 2012 had laid coins edge to edge for more than 46 miles. So, his goal is to establish a record for Findlay.
The mall does not allow raffles but there will be a drawing held, Kidwell said. The person who donates the quarter that brings the distance to 100 yards will receive a ticket for a $25 prize with additional prizes of $50 for one-quarter of a mile, $100 for one-half mile, $150 for three-quarters of a mile and $200 for one mile.
Kiwanis members will be able to make change on a limited basis but donors are encouraged to bring quarters if possible. Kidwell said it might be hard to make change for large amounts, such as a $20 bill, but “we’re not going to turn money down.”
He encouraged community members to “look under their couch cushions” and in their cars for loose change.
Kidwell said Kiwanis is still determining whether to put the funds raised in the Kiwanis general fund or target a particular purpose. Kiwanis is a service club devoted to children and youth and, among other things, awards scholarships. Kidwell anticipates that some of the donations will go to pay for scholarships for students. Kiwanis has also provided support for Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services, the K-Kids club in McComb, youth sports organizations and other community requests.
“Kiwanis is really children-oriented,” Kidwell said.
Arthurs: 419-427-8494 Send an E-mail to Sara Arthurs
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