Anthony from MuckFest Philadelphia is Making MuckFest Lemonade from Lemons
The phrase “making lemonade from lemons” got a whole new meaning this year for Anthony from MuckFest Philadelphia. He is an administrator in the Lindenhurst School District in Long Island, New York, and thanks to the support of the Readers Cafe Club in his district, he has raised more than $2,500 for MuckFest Philadelphia this year.
This is Anthony’s fourth year participating in MuckFest and his team’s fifth year. And he has a whole lot of support from his team, his students, and now… all of you!
Who do you Muck for?
My sister-in-law, Elizabeth. I have known her since she was a kid (she’s my wife’s younger sister). I must have known her for 35 years now! I have seen her grow into an amazing young lady, a recent mother, a brilliant professional, and a loving and supportive member of our family. She was diagnosed with MS five years ago, and we run for her.
How has your MuckFest experience changed over the years?
It has brought our family closer together! My oldest son, who is now 16, has even joined the team and has raced with us the last three years to support Aunt Liz.
What are some of your fondest memories from past MuckFest events?
Supporting Liz and doing MuckFest with my son for the last few years and going into this year with him.
This year, you stepped up the fundraising game! Tell us about this year’s unique effort by your students?
This is the second time the Harding Elementary Readers’ Café hosted me! I email all the district mailboxes in my school district as well as teachers and administrators. They have been incredibly generous! The club’s advisor linked a book they read, “The Lemonade Wars,” to my participation in MuckFest, and the kids competed by grade to see who could raise the most money. The kids are awarded with pizza and certificates after the event, and I’m going to get them all t-shirts. All the money they collect is put into my fundraising. This is a great way of instilling the importance of reading as well as the importance of doing good for others.
What did it mean to have them support you in this way?
I was very touched! Year One they raised $467, and this year they’ve raised an unbelievable $1,200! I will definitely run harder for them and for Liz.
Your team is also a group of fundraising all-stars! What are some of your best fundraising tips?
Bragging rights for the top dog on our team is the greatest motivation! I thought that just registering, getting the t-shirt and running were enough, but my first year I was shamed by Liz to “pull my weight” fundraising because I came in dead last in team donations. It was quite the motivating factor. I had to step it up!
Liz’s wife Lindsay has also had our team names evolve from year to year, like “2.0,” “Sophomore Year,” “Senior Year” (we even did superlatives!) and since we are in Year 5, she is going to do “Rush Week.” I anticipate Greek nicknames.
What are you looking forward to most at MuckFest this year?
The ice-cold beer at the end (just don’t tell the students that!).