For several years, I’ve been a “Tree Guy” involved with the Greenlake Elementary School Christmas Tree Sale. The sale is a fundraiser for our local elementary school (my kids have attended the past 6 years), and several Dads have volunteered sweat, muscle and time every year to put on a great event. As a public fundraiser, it’s in our interest to get the word out about the Tree Sale to the neighborhood and community.
Last year, I thought a good way to spread the word about the Tree Sale would be through little radio “promos” or commercials that ran during the light show. I had Margaret and Henry recite a few lines where they discussed the Tree Sale, and it sounded cute. Several people commented they liked the radio spots, and I met a few people at the Tree Sale who said they heard the message as well.
This year, we had an idea — include the kids of other “Tree Guys” to create a couple of radio promos for this year’s show! I could put together a couple of skits, gather up the kids some afternoon, and record a few spots.
Saturday, November 5th was the day. We brought together “The Greenlake Tree Kids” to produce the two radio spots. Here’s the result of our work:
The Sales Pitch
Rounding up 14 kids into two groups to make a recording requires a little planning. Planning to the leaving not very much to chance or interpretation, lest the entire function get out of control. I wanted to make sure the kids could be successful in what I was asking them to do.
We split the crowd into two groups. I gathered up Group 1:
I brought the first group of kids in to the recording studio (my office) and handed out scripts to everyone. I knew I needed to motivate them to do a good job, so I asked them a question: how many of you have seen our Christmas lights here at the house? Most everyone enthusiastically responded “Oh I have!”
We talked about how people who come by to see the lights will tune their car radios to 102.1 FM to hear the music with the lights. I told them of our plan for this year’s show: in-between a few songs, we would insert a radio “commercial”. This radio commercial would be heard by hundreds — no, THOUSANDS of listeners and people who would see the light show. And THEY would be recording one of those commercials.
In unison, mouths dropped and eyes widened. The room was silent. They were serious. I said (in a low go-get-em kind of voice), “Let’s do this thing.”
We practiced our lines, and did a few read-throughs. We got comfortable with speaking as a group around a large professional microphone, and after we made our recording, we listened to it. Intently. And then re-recorded it.
Next up was Group 2:
Group 2 was nearly the same as Group 1. I thought it was going to get out of hand when various actors started counting the words in their script, and all I could think was “oh no, the divas are getting ready to come out.” But, I quickly explained that the number of words wasn’t so important as the delivery, timing and inflection of the words. (Not sure anyone believed me, but we accomplished our goal.)
The kids were fantastic. They read their scripts like pros, and really enjoyed their task for the afternoon.
Andy an extended thanks to their parents, the other Tree Guys at Greenlake Elementary. This is our last year at GLE, and likely my last year for involvement in this very fun and very important fundraiser. Here’s to hoping that many visitors to our light show learn of the Tree Sale and enjoy the show.