‘99 Missions’ Scavenger Hunt has been a pleasant surprise for Rotary Burlington North and may well become a key fundraising event for the club in the years to come.  Although it was developed to respect the social distancing requirements of COVID 19, it has the potential to grow into a mainstream fundraiser that allows participants to have fun while helping those in need. 
The idea for ‘99 Missions’ stems from a program that Burlington’s Parks Department had developed to help keep residents active and engaged during COVID-19.  The city had run several free scavenger hunts using the ‘Goose Chase’ mobile app to issue missions and track the success of teams that entered the game.  Members at Burlington North recognized the potential for the game as a fundraising event and believed that it could develop COVID-safe missions to connect people and allow them to have fun during a time of social isolation. The club’s board approved of the idea; planning began in January for execution in April.    
With that, the event’s planning committee quickly developed 99 game missions. The missions fell into several broad categories:
  • Skill-based activities that could be done at home
  • Exploration of city parks and landmarks
  • Activities to help those in need in Burlington
  • Activities to support local businesses and club sponsors
  • Activities to promote an understanding of Rotary and the Salvation Army (our partner in this year’s event)
  • Activities that demonstrate appreciation for those helping us cope with COVID 19
Points would be awarded for each mission completed in the game, with prizes awarded to the top team and top solo player.  Club sponsors and club members also donated smaller prizes that could be won for simply playing the game. 
Given the club’s close ties to the local Salvation Army Food Bank, it was agreed to split the net proceeds between the club and the Salvation Army. Facebook and Instagram were used to promote the fundraising event and encourage teams to register. A team of 5 could enter for $90. Single entries were available too.  All players were also encouraged to solicit pledges of support after they registered to play.  In fact, 3 missions in the game were tied to successful pledge drives.   
Bill Leggitt led the planning committee. “I can honestly say this has been one of the easiest fundraising event projects I’ve ever led. The fact that planning and execution has been 100% virtual has made for easy communications and simple logistics.  In fact, two days before we launched the game, April 6th , we opted to tweak the duration of the game and the nature of some missions to fully respect the ‘stay-at-home’ order that had been announced that day. A few hours in meetings plus some time at a keyboard, and just like that, the game was redesigned to ensure it complied with the province’s requirements.”        
Although the event runs until mid-May, it has already generated over $10K in net profit. “It’s been a pleasant surprise. We were counting on most of the funds to be raised through registration fees, but what we’ve seen is that personal pledges are saving the day. If we were to plan this again, we would lower the registration fee and count on the goodwill of the players to drive fundraising through pledges” says Bill Leggitt.
“I would definitely encourage Rotary clubs in other clusters to look at this idea.  It’s so simple. In fact, they could borrow the missions and the game website if they wanted a truly turnkey event” says Dan Dubreuil, Committee member for 99 Missions.
To learn more about the event go to 99mission.com  and  https://www.facebook.com/99missions/
Videos that promote the game can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdA7pnnO-dU  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVrwh1vVT44