Kristine Bissler had a problem.
The Sagamore Hills resident said she was committed to raising $5,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which benefits children’s hospitals, and had a limited time to do it. But thanks to COVID-19, events where she planned to promote the effort, including the Spirit of Macedonia FunFest, were being canceled.
Then she decided that if she sponsored the city’s July 4 fireworks show at Longwood Park, she could not only help the city out, but use the event to help with the fundraiser featuring a drawing for prizes.
"I thought it was an exciting opportunity, said Bissler, adding, "I just thought why not do something else with the city and see what we could come up with together."
Bissler said that due to the difficulties, she has lowered the goal to $3,500, but is still hoping to hit $5,000 or more. The money is specifically for CMN Hospital’s COVID-19 Relief Fund at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
"The cool thing is all the money is going to the local Akron-Cleveland chapters so it’s not going somewhere nationally," said Bissler.
Mayor Nick Molnar said the approximately $1,100 Bissler provided should just about cover the costs of overtime for police officers and service department employees working at the fireworks show.
"It’s a nice thing," said Molnar. "We’re trying to ask people to contribute to that because it’s obviously a good fund to help children in need."
Bissler is a realtor with the KB Group of RE/MAX Traditions, with offices in Beachwood and Streetsboro. She and coworkers donate a portion of their commissions to CMN Hospitals.
"We work closely with that charity," she said.
The drawing’s grand prize winner and a guest will have an opportunity to become crew members for the day aboard the famous RE/MAX hot air balloon. The flight date and time are dependent on the weather.
"It’s learning to operate the balloon as a crew member," said Bissler.
Other prizes include gift cards to area restaurants and businesses.
There are several ways to enter the prize drawing:
• Liking the KB Group of RE/MAX Traditions Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KBSellsOhioHomes
• Uploading a photo of the entrant’s best selfie or fireworks shot from the July 4 event to their Facebook page and tagging @KBSellsOhioHomes and three friends.
• Making a $5 Donation to the Children’s Miracle Network via the KB Group of RE/MAX Traditions fundraising page at https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/fundraiser/1205/. Every $5 donation counts as one entry into the drawing.
The contest runs through July 11, and winners will be announced on July 15.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.