Reflections on Super Sunday @ 30 from Molly DickMarch 21, 2011
Now that the dust has settled a bit, we can all take a deep breath and look back on Super Sunday @ 30.
The event was remarkable on so many levels. We all knew going into it that this was not going to be the Super Sunday of olden days – an extravaganza involving a cast of thousands; a year in the planning and a big budget expense. But we what we did end up accomplishing was, I believe, something even more special then Super Sundays of the past. We produced an event that felt appropriate to the times in which we now live and fund raise and yet still managed to be memorable to those of us who were there that day.
Our volunteers throughout the day showed up and did their job. They hit the phones; they were knowledgeable and sensitive in how they addressed their donors; they stayed beyond their allotted shifts and there was an unflagging energy in the room that continued on from the early morning hours right up to the last phone call at 6 PM.
The staff support leading up to the event and throughout it was absolutely extraordinary. From setup on Saturday through cleanup on Sunday, the staff knew exactly what had to be done at all times. Their sheer professionalism contributed significantly to the success of the event. But it was something more than that. There was also a pride of ownership. This was their Federation. This was a reflection of their dedication to the Jewish community. Their enthusiasm and helpfulness and hard work spoke more about their commitment to tikkun olam then about simply being professionals in a non-profit world.
The community in return responded beyond our wildest expectations. Everyone is feeling the economic pinch. No one, from our biggest donors to the smallest, has emerged unscathed, but in keeping with our remarkable tradition of tzedakah, our donors responded to our calls with an outpouring of support – maintaining and even increasing their gifts on every level when it would have been so easy to say “No, not this year”. “No, not me”. In the hundreds of calls we made throughout the day, was there occasional dissatisfaction over any number of things that Federation doesn’t get right? Of course. Were their donors who wanted to politicize their gifts or give directly to the affiliate agencies instead? Sure. But the overwhelming majority of our donors still understand and have responded to the fact that our Federation on all levels helps those who cannot help themselves and whose lives are enriched by Federation dollars. The response was clear and unequivocal and validating. We still have our work cut out for us and we need to continue to educate our community. But what the Jewish Community Federation stands for in this its centennial year is something to be very proud of. I think we all felt that on Sunday from the Leadership Breakfast to the last phone appeal of the day.
Now the goal! When we set a goal of $500,000, it was our intent that the counting was to begin with the first phone call of the morning and the first dollar we raised. We wanted real numbers! As the day wore on, the numbers continued to rise. $250,000! $350,000! When we hit $500,000, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. We had done it. But the numbers continued to stubbornly climb. $600,000! And in a feverish last dash to the finish at 6 PM, we were thrilled to reach a staggering $750,000. The dollar amount has gone even higher since Sunday and the current total is $801,727 from over 800 donations. Bravo!
This is of course deeply satisfying but looking back on it all, I realized that we accomplished so much more than just raising vitally needed funds that would take care of fellow Jews both at home and abroad. Brett, Randy and I honored Jerome Dick, whose legacy was the creation of Super Sunday thirty years ago. Our leaders in the community were honored as well for all they had done and continued to do. The presence of YAD, whose young and enthusiastic volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the day confirmed our hope that the future leadership of the Federation is in good hands indeed and most of all, we all seemed to have fun. It just doesn’t get better than that…
- by Molly Dick, 2011 Super Sunday Chair