Ariana and Marc, students at Anshe Emet Synagogue on Chicago’s North Side, are planning a very expensive combined Bat and Bar Mitzvah celebration for this November. Their idea is extravagant, and their parents can’t really afford to pay the entire cost.
Their estimated budget is $90,000. And that’s without a DJ! So they did what any tech savvy kids would do. They turned to crowd-funding website Indiegogo.
How, you might ask, could a B’nei Mitzvah party cost $90,000? And how, you might also ask, do they have the audacity to crowd-fund such a party? After all, raising money to make potato salad is one thing, but soliciting funds for a party is something else entirely.
But then Ariana and Marc’s party is going to be something else entirely.
With the help of KaBOOM!, a national not-for-profit that has built over 2,400 playgrounds, these two amazing 12-year-olds will celebrate their Jewish coming of age by joining with family and friends to build a playground at Bright Star Church in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
Marc and Ariana set a goal of $30,000 on Indiegogo, about 1/3 of the total cost to build the playground, planning to cover the balance with corporate sponsorships and other private donations.
With a couple of weeks to go they’ve raised more than $36,000 from more than 400 supporters. You can find all the details – and add your name to the list of supporters – on their Indiegogo page.
You can make a contribution of any size. For $18 you’ll get a picture from the Build Day. If you can afford $36 you’ll get a refrigerator magnet. And if you are inspired and able to contribute more, you’ll find other creative perks for higher pledges.
Full disclosure: I don’t know Marc or Ariana or their families. I received an email from Indiegogo this weekend – as I have every week or so since I first backed a project and neglected to un-check the “send me regular updates” box – and thought their project was worthy of a small contribution and a plug on my blog. All I have to gain is a refrigerator magnet. But the children of Anshe Emet and Bright Star Church – along with Ariana and Marc’s B’nei Mitzvah guests – will gain much, much more. Please consider taking a few moments, and a few shekels, to help fund their project.
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