BELDING, Mich. — There are all sorts of fundraisers schools conjure up to generate funds for projects or class trips. Some of the many include, but aren't limited to: car washes, bake sales, raffles and recycling drives.
For the third consecutive year, a Michigan high school has launched an out-of-the-box fundraiser they hope will generate $20,000 while at the same time, won't generate any 'crap.'
"We do crazy, stupid stuff," said Holly Noble, who is the president of Belding High School's Project Graduation 2021 committee.
Every year, Belding's senior class does numerous fundraisers which ultimately go toward an end-of-the-year event the students can be a part of on graduation night.
"Having a huge event that the whole class can attend will allow the kids to have fun with their classmates one last time rather than celebrate that special time by doing something they might regret," said Noble.
In 2018, Noble, along with other members of that year's Project Graduation committee, came up with a fundraising idea that involved donated toilets, volunteers willing to drive around town daily, and a pay structure that will insure the 'poopers' don't stay in one place for long.
"We named the fundraiser 'Game of Thrones,' because the show with that name was very popular back then," said Noble. "Our thrones, of course, are the toilets."
Noble says she put a plea on Facebook, requesting used toilets from people in the Belding community.
To her surprise, once people learned of the fundraiser and what the money would eventually be used for, many toilets were donated.
Members of the senior class get together the week before the fundraiser launched to paint and decorate each 'throne.'
The theme this year is Halloween.
Here's how Belding's Game of Thrones works. On the night before the first day of the fundraiser, Noble and a few of the seniors load the toilets on the back of her pick-up truck and drop each of them onto five unsuspecting community members front yards.
"We put a sign next to the toilet saying, 'You've been Throned,'" added Noble.
The people wake up in the morning, see that they've 'been throned,' then have three choices as to how they want the throne to be removed from their property.
Each choice has a price tag attached, and there are 'Plumbing Rules.'
"If they pay ten dollars, we'll just remove the throne from their property; if they pay twenty dollars, we'll take it away and they can tell us where to deliver it next; thirty dollars buys them 'Potty Protection Insurance,' meaning that the toilet can not be returned to them throughout the duration of the fundraiser," said Noble. 'We've placed a phone number on the back of the sign to our dispatcher, who is available to take calls all day."
So, the people call the dispatcher, let them know how they wish to pay to have the throne removed. The dispatcher then contacts Noble, who heads to the home, collects the payment and the toilet, and takes it to the next location.
"It's like hot potato," joked Noble. "We could be moving each toilet up to 20 times a day."
Belding senior Maddison Hubbert is Noble's 'partner in crime.' Hubbert helped decorate the toilets and is also helping Noble drop them off and pick them up.
"We needed to do something that would grab people's attention rather than saying, 'Hi, I'm selling cookies; do you want to buy some,'" said Hubbert. "With potties, they're dropped in their yards; they're kind of forced into contributing to the fundraiser."
Hubbert says it's not uncommon for she and Noble to be out until 10:30 p.m. sometimes picking up and dropping off toilets.
"We'll take cash, credit card, Venmo, everything," said Hubbert. "Some people give us forty dollars and say, 'Keep the change; just make sure it never comes back.'"
Game of Thrones started Monday, Oct. 5 and will end Friday, Oct. 16.
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