Playathon 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2:30-7:30PM
A Roshek Holiday, Roshek Building

Playathon is a multi-hour public recital presented by NISOM’s talented students. Before performing at the recital, students collect sponsorships from friends, family, and neighbors (just like a walk-a-thon) and earn prizes based on their level of sponsorship. Your goal is to raise $100, but don’t stop there! The biggest and best prizes go to those who raise the most!

Playathon 2016 is NISOM 11th year holding this annual student fundraiser. This year the event will again be in the historic Roshek Building during the beautiful and festive “A Roshek Holiday.”

The Northeast Iowa School of Music is a non-profit organization that relies on fundraisers like Playtahon to succeed. Our staff and board work hard to raise money through grants, private donations, and other fundraisers, and we need students to help make up a little of the difference, too. All private students are expected to participate in Playathon or another fundraiser each school year. Learn more at Fundraising. Due to the differences in session scheduling, credit students and those taking group classes are not required to participate in a fundraiser but are welcome to join the fun for any that fall during their session.

Playathon is

  • NISOM's first recital of the year, with all eligible students performing on the same day
  • Our major student fundraiser
  • A great chance to talk about NISOM in the community
  • Entertainment for the community
  • As a thank-you to students, you will be eligible for FABULOUS PRIZES as you participate and reach your goals!

Prizes! Everybody is a winner!

Every student who raises money or volunteers will receive a NISOM 15th Anniversary Lidded Tumbler.

AND every student who meets their goal of $100 gets a Playathon 2016 T-Shirt.

AND to divide among our TOP EARNERS and those who reach the $100 goal we have a great variety of BONUS PRIZES! These include:

  • $50 savings bond from US Bank for the Top  Earner under age 18
  • Gift Certificates to the Hotel Julien Spa
  • Tickets to Dubuque Symphony,  Bell Tower Theater, Fly-By-Night Productions, or The Grand Opera House
  • Gift certificates to Walmart, Betty Janes Candies, or River Lights Books
  • Passes to National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Matter Creative
  • Gift certificates from area restaurants including Big Apple Bagels, Burger King, Buffalo Wild Wings, L May, Little Caesar's, Panera Bread Bakery Cafe,  or Papa John’s

Top earners get their choice of a top prize, plus assorted smaller prizes!

Julien Spa Gift Certificate
L May Gift Certificate
Salad for a Year Certificate – Panera
Walmart Giftcard
Tickets to Artrageous – UD Heritage Center
Tickets to Shadowland – UD Heritage Center
Tickets to Februrary DSO Concert
Tickets to Realistic Jonses – Fly By Night
Tickets to She Loves Me

Plus… Prizes from Burger King, Buffalo Wild Wings, Little Caesars, Papa Johns or Betty Jane

→ Those who reach the $100 goal get assorted bonus prizes!

Large Free Pizza - Little Caesars
Large Free Pizza - Papa Johns
Bagels and Cream Cheese Certificate – Big Apple Bagel
Certificates to Matter Creative
Other Assorted Goodies!

→ Students at lower levels of earning also receive a small bonus prize.

A Burger King Gift Card!

Bonus prizes are awarded as supplies allow. THANK YOU to all our prize donors!

More way to earn prizes [PDF]

It’s Simple to Participate!

  • Pick up your Playathon packet at NISOM.
  • Speak with friends, neighbors, relatives, the orthodontist, your mechanic, etc. to collect sponsorships.
  • Practice!
  • Have your teacher sign you up for a performance time.
  • Turn in your money and sponsor sheet.
  • Show off your skills at the Playathon recital December 11.
  • Claim and enjoy your prizes!

Performing at Playathon

This year’s Playathon will be during A Roshek Holiday in Dubuque’s Roshek Building, located at 700 Locust Street. It’s a great chance for the community to celebrate the season and for you to show off your talent!

Talk with your teacher about what to prepare for the performance and to sign up for a recital time as the event approaches. You can select any piece that you have performance-ready. If your pieces are short (less than a minute), pick two or three! Holiday tunes are great, but any genre is welcome. 

Bring your cheering section! Invite your family, and friends to hear you perform. The recital is free and open to everyone. Be sure to invite anyone who sponsors you!

Remember that with a multi-hour recital, people will be coming and going throughout the event. Be prepared for background noise and activity. On the day of the recital, please arrive well before your performance time to allow for parking and to get you and your instrument ready to do your best.

Students must have at least one sponsor to perform in the Playathon recital. Reaching the $100 goal is encouraged but not required. Students who do not participate in the fundraising component will not perform in this recital.

If you are unable to play at the recital, you can still raise funds to earn prizes or choose another fundraiser.

Submitting Donations & Paperwork

After you get donations, turn your sponsor sheet and the contributions in to NISOM. All donations must be turned in by the Playathon on December 11. You can bring them with you to the recital or turn them in to our office ahead of time. Donations turned in after December 11 will not count toward prizes. Remember to collect the donations at the time you solicit them.

If you’ve reached your $100 goal, congratulations! Be sure to write your T-shirt size on your sponsor sheet. Need another sponsor sheet? Awesome work! Pick up a new one at the NISOM office.

Note: NISOM is grateful for in-kind donations, but only monetary donations count toward students’ Playathon totals for the purpose of prizes.

Tips for Speaking to Possible Donors

1. Carry a pen, sponsor sheet, some receipt forms, and your written Playathon materials for identification and reference. Don’t worry, it all fits conveniently in a folder or your provided packet!

2. Introduce yourself, and tell them about your lessons at NISOM.

3. Tell the potential contributor that NISOM is a nonprofit organization, and that all donations are tax deductible. If they have any specific questions about NISOM’s financial information, have them call the NISOM office.

4. Invite the potential contributor to attend Playathon on December 13 at the Roshek  Building from 2:30-7:30pm. If you know what time you will be performing, tell them that, too!  Basically, you are selling tax-deductible tickets to a free concert. (Note: sponsorships are not per-minute of playing.)

5. Fill out the sponsor sheet: Ask contributors to print their name and information. NISOM will mail a receipt to the name and address listed, so they should include complete information. These are for our records only; we will not add them to our mailing list unless they would like us to. 

6. Collect the money when you solicit sponsorships (checks, cash, or online gifts are accepted). Those sponsoring multiple students in the same family can write one check; make checks payable to NISOM. Sponsors will receive a receipt from our office for tax purposes. 

7. Reach more donors through social media! Share information about Playathon on Facebook, Twitter or though email to reach more donors. Share NISOM's Facebook page or direct donors to the donate button at For online donations, have donors put your name - Playathon, in the memo line so you can get credit toward your goal.

8. Thank your contributors for their support, and again invite them to attend Playathon or any of our other events this year. They can call our office or visit our website for more information.

If people do not wish to be a sponsor, thank them and invite them to join the audience at Playathon!

Good luck!

Fundraise through Social Media

Social Media can be a great way to reach donors and spread the word about your Playathon performance! Share information about Playathon on Facebook or other platforms to reach more donors! Share this link or direct donors to the donate button on NISOM’s Facebook page. Have donors put your name - Playathon, in the designation line so you can get credit for their Playathon donation. Feel free to change or personalize this post as you choose. The more personalized the better!Post more than once to remind people to give. Share what instrument you play, how long you’ve been taking lessons, and how much you enjoy your NISOM experiences. Use photos or videos to enhance your posts, and be creative!

Sample posts, Instructions, and More Ways to Win [PDF]


More Ways to Reach Your Goal

Bake Goods for Playathon

To make Playathon even more fun and festive, we will offer cookies and refreshments for performers and audience members. Bring a dozen or more baked goods, and we will count $10 toward your Playathon contribution total. What a tasty way to earn prizes! If you will bring a treat donation please sign up on the cookie sign up sheet on the student bulletin board or by contacting the NISOM office. Donations of paper cups, napkins, or hot chocolate will also be accepted. (Note: Earn a maximum of $10 per student with treat table donations.)

Be a Playathon Helper Elf

We realize that not all NISOM families are able to contribute through fundraising. If you would like your student to perform in Playathon, but are unable to collect donations, being a Playathon helper is a great alternative! On the day of Playathon (December 11) we need extra hands to help with setup and teardown, taking pictures, greeting audience members, prize drawings, the treat table and spreading holiday cheer! If you are available to help, sign up for a 2.5 hour volunteer time on the student bulletin board, or contact our office. Shifts will be from 1-3:30, 3:30-6 and 6-8:30. Volunteers should be parents or other adult family members or students age 12 and older.

More Way to Have Fun at Playathon

Treats! - Refreshments and cookies will be available throughout the entire Playathon performance! See above if you would like to donate baked goods to the Playathon Treat Table. It can help you reach your fundraising goal!

Festive Atmosphere! - The Roshek building holds its annual Festival of Trees during this time every year. Take some time to walk around and view the beautiful and festive decorations, all in support of local non-profits, including NISOM!

Wonderful Performances! - Support your fellow NISOM students by being audience members and cheering them on in their Playathon performances!

Kids Activities! - Activity sheets will be available for students and siblings to complete at the Playathon performance.

Prize Drawings! - We will hold periodic prize drawings during the concert. Students and audience members can enter for as many drawings as they want (must be present to win). 

Thank you for your hard work and support of NISOM!

With your help, we can make Playathon 2016 another great success!


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