“That’s one small step for women……one giant leap for MOPS everywhere”.
The goal of the Mothers on the March event was three-fold:
- To raise the awareness and profile of MOPS in Australia (promote, publicise and spread the word about MOPS).
- To increase the “connectedness” of our mums already in a MOPS group.
- To raise funds for MOPS Australia to assist in the production of training materials, etc for all groups.
With 100% certainty I can share with you that goals 1 & 2 were met…..with gusto! MOPS was broadcast on radio programs, featured in local newspapers, displayed on banners, shared in brochures, and worn on Mums. Groups enjoyed walking & talking together, meeting extended families, having fun and exercising (well some enjoyed this part!).
Although funds are still coming in, it seems we have not met our financial goal of the event. However, as with all good events it will grow in time. For example, the “Mothers Day Classic” (breast cancer fundraiser) started in 1998 from modest beginnings as a walk in the park in 2 cities, to over 100,000 participants in 2011.
With only 20% of MOPS groups participating, I believe we can still call this event a success. Having said that, how much more successful would our event be with 100% participation? The future potential is massive!
Groups who participated have been sharing fabulous stories and photos via the MOPS Australia Facebook page. They have experienced:
- A greater awareness of their MOPS group in their local area,
- Fun, friendly, team atmosphere – there’s a lot of love going around!
- Health benefit! One group has even extended the experience and created a fortnightly walking group (complete with Mothers on the March T-Shirts as uniform!).
MOPS Australia is also seeing an increase in new mums interested in joining groups, and a greater interest in starting more MOPS groups. Praise God!
Of course, we learn by “having a go”. There will be improvements to the event next year, including simplifying the registration process, and greater consideration of the date chosen. However, the success of the event also lies with ALL of us jumping on board to make it happen in our areas.
There are some great stories from the events held this year. Some special mentions….:
- Ballarat, Victoria had the highest participation rate – 47 walkers + kids & Dads! This was closely followed by Morwell, Victoria, with 43 walkers including kids.
- Ballarat, Victoria was also the highest fundraising walk, raising approximately $1400!
- Special mention must go to the Tuggeranong MOPS Group in ACT who, despite having only 5 participants, raised $222! Inspiring.
- Also to those few groups who were unable to run their event on the 7th May, but organised an alternative day and still held their event – well done.
The potential of this event is HUGE. Could we have 100 groups walking next year? Could we raise just $200 per group? That would be $20,000, and LOTS of awareness of MOPS in Australia. Let’s dream big girls……anything is possible!
National Mothers on the March Coordinator