By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — The Downtown District in Newkirk was abuzz with activity early Saturday, June 26, as a crowd gathered at Hole in the Wall Park in the 100 Block of North Main Street. The participants were out enjoying the mild summer morning to make tie-dyed t-shirts in time for Independence Day as a fundraiser for Newkirk Main Street.
The event was the first such fundraiser for the NMS Organizational Committee, with money earned going to the NMS general fund.
Organizers feel the event was a success, even as a first-time fundraiser.
“I think we had a really nice turnout. We sold sold about 50 shirts, so for a first-time event, that was more than double what I’d thought we’d do,” said Committee Chairperson Mary Austin.
NMS Director Alyssa McCleery thought of the idea, but it was committee member Holly Cline who moved forward with the idea.
“We saw where Vortex Alley in Ponca City did one, but it was for adults, you had to be 21,” Cline said. “We wanted to do an event where kids could be involved, something in our community.”
The committee decided upon a tie-dye t-shirt fundraiser, as they could be creative while also offering a chance to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
“It seemed like a good idea for a fundraiser,” McCleery said. “We thought it’d be a fun activity for families.”
NMS provided all materials, from red and blue dye, to white tees and even the equipment for the dyeing of the shirts. Participants were encouraged to sign-up online on the NMS Facebook page to ensure individual participants were able to reserve a shirt size, which ranged in cost from $15 for sizes small to XL, and $20 for XXL and larger.
Main Street Bakery also provided water and donut holes for everyone involved.
A total of 51 shirts were sold to 47 participants. Helping those participants were four committee members, a board member and a community volunteer. Those volunteers did everything from welcoming the participants, to helping them dye their shirts, any way they wanted.
“We tried to stay with some pretty simple patterns, like swirls, spirals, dots and bullseye patterns the kids could learn themselves,” Cline said.
Many families took part to get out of the house and have fun.
“I think it was great success for a first time event like this, there was quite the turnout,” Caralee Boswell said. “If they have it for other holidays, I would do it again. I’ve never tie-dyed before, so I thought that was fun.”
Organizers view the event as a resounding success, and look forward to more such events, although how they happen remains to be seen.
“We’ll repeat the event in the future, however, there may be different activities at different holidays to keep the event fresh,” McCleery said.