Doing good isn’t easy in this town.
Not only are there a lot of different organizations jumping up and down trying to get you to do good with them, but every now and then you’ll have an issue with an organization or an individual that just doesn’t shake out the way you think it ought to, and the good you thought you did never actually comes through. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen.
And while the airwaves seem to be all about that bass these days, in Augusta, it’s all about the 5K. Augustans love their 5Ks, and they certainly raise a lot of money, but you’ve got to wonder if the city’s knees can take much more running.
Last week, looking to raise money for the new Ronald McDonald House going up on the grounds of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta unleashed a new fundraiser on the Garden City called Over the Edge, where people raised at least $1,000 a piece for the chance to to do something mildly terrifying — rappel down the side of the 11-story Marriott hotel.
If that seems counterintuitive to you, you’re not alone. Up there on the edge of the building, plenty of the more than 60 participants looked like they might be willing to double whatever they raised for the chance to back away from the edge, bragging rights be damned.
This is the first time the Over the Edge crew has been to Augusta, and the event certainly generated a lot of attention in addition to the money. Whenever you can get your mayor to dress up in a Spider-Man costume and walk down the side of a building, you’re probably going to get some TV coverage.
While it was refreshing to see something different, you wonder if its uniqueness made it a one-shot event. If it did, you wonder how are they going to top it next year?
Sean Frantom, development director for Augusta’s Ronald McDonald House, has put on his share of unusual fundraising events, including organizing last year’s SantaCon, the annual Plane Pull and several charity concerts, but he, like all the other organizers, understands that when you’re outside, anything can happen.
A couple of rainy weekends and even a golden boy like Frantom could find himself underperforming.
Even long-lasting campaigns like the Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign have found themselves suffering on occasion from what might be considered charity fatigue.
Make no mistake — many of these causes are extremely worthy, and charitable giving can be considered a cornerstone of American virtue. But here in Augusta it almost seems like trick-or-treating lasts all year, and while it’s always fun to answer the door and check out the little ghosts and goblins, keeping that candy bowl filled can be expensive.
And sometimes, even the best of us just want to kick back and watch TV.