Moped to Memphis was established in 2008 as a class project to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 2008-2009, I began teaching seniors. I felt like seniors should be involved in some sort of community service project. We listed 5 or 6 charities on the board to vote on. Every student in every class voted for St. Jude. For the 2008-2009 school year, I promised to let my beard grow as long as the kids were raising money. We raised money that year by having 2 coin drive pizza contests during the school year and asking for donations. The 2008-2009 school year we raised $3200.
The 2009-2010 school year was the year of the first ride. That year I challenged the students to raise $6220, $10 for every mile between here and Memphis. If the students raised $6220 I would ride the money to Memphis on a Moped. The problem was I had no Moped/Scooter. I began to look for scooters on Craigslist, the internet, and even called a few scooter places near Clover. Most of the scooters I found would not have made it to Bethany much less Memphis. That is where Carolina Fun Machines came in. I called Tim Juntgen at Carolina Fun Machines, and he told me to come up to Matthews and talk to him. I went to Carolina Fun Machines on a Saturday and talked to Tim. From that day in 2009, Carolina Fun Machines has been our flagship sponsor for the ride and has donated every scooter that has made the trip to Memphis. The 2009-2010 school year we raised money by selling T-Shirts, Stickers, having class pizza contests, setting up booths at local events, getting sponsors for our shirts, and raffling off the scooter we rode to Memphis. In 2009-2010, we raised $13000.
The 2010-2011 school year was a big year for Moped to Memphis with the addition of our annual Womanless Beauty Pageant. Each year the goal is to exceed the previous year’s donation total. Principal Mark Hopkins pledged to make the ride that year if we exceeded $25,000. That year with the help of the Womanless Pageant, we raised $30,000. We continued to sell T-Shirts, Stickers, have class pizza contests, set up booths at local events, get sponsors for our shirts, and raffling off the scooter we rode to Memphis.
The 2011-2012 school year saw the addition of the Second Chance Prom to our list of Fund Raisers. The theme for that year’s prom was I Love the 80’s. We held our Second Womanless Beauty Pageant. We also began selling sponsorships for the scooter, and sponsor coat. We continued to sell T-Shirts, Decals, and Bracelets, have class contests, set up booths at local events (including the Student Council Christmas Show), get sponsors for our shirts, Shoot for the Loot at Basketball games, and raffling off the scooter we rode to Memphis. The 2011-2012 school year we raised $54,000. During our trip to St. Jude that year we met Carter Bucciero a patient at St. Jude. He took us on a tour of the hospital, and became a real inspiration for our campaigns.
The 2012-2013 school year started on a sad note with the passing of Carter over the summer, however we honored his memory in Locust, NC with a boot drive that raised $5000 in 5 hours. We also came in contact with Bailey Parker, another patient at St. Jude. Bailey’s goal was to gather enough pajamas to give to every patient at St. Jude. Bailey gathered 1500 pairs of pajamas, 250 of which came from Clover High School. 2012-2013 was our best year of selling shirts to date. A former student donated $1000 to honor the memory of her father. We included a kid’s pageant to the day of the Womanless Beauty Pageant, had our 1970’s Themed prom for Adults, Shoot for the Loot at Basketball games, and continued selling our goods here at school and at local events. We ended the year with another tribute to Carter in Locust raising another $1500 on that day. In 2012-2013 we raised $99,000.
The 2013-2014 fundraising year went well with the addition of a Rock Concert featuring the school’s Choraliers, The 4th Annual Womanless Beauty Pageant, The 2nd Annual Little Miss and Master Moped, The 3rd Annual Prom for Adults, our first ever Moped Golf Tournament. The 2013-2014 fundraising year, added $85,000 to our overall total.
The 2014-2015 fundraising campaign was one for the books. We tied our record high for money raised in a school year with $99,000. The Womanless Beauty Pageant raised $25,000. The Clover High School Choraliers took up donations at their spring show, and raised another $25,000. Other events were our 2nd Annual Golf Tournament, 4th Annual Prom for Adults, and Shoot for the Loot contests at basketball games. Last year also marked the sale of our 5000th shirt.
The 2015-2016 fundraising campaign starts off with the exciting news of becoming a Tax Exempt 501c3 Charity. We have come a long way in our short history. We have some many people to thank. This truly is a grass roots community effort. Since 2008, we have raised $386,000 for the kids at St. Jude. Our goal is to raise a million for St. Jude by 2020. We have no doubt that we can and will reach that goal.