Now that the Yelp Gives Local contest is over, our fingers are crossed that we have managed to pull out a victory. Going into the final day we had a 700 vote lead, but Yelp doesn’t show the vote totals on the final day of the contest. They will let us know by the end of December whether we won the $5,000 first prize.
From what I could tell, we not only had the highest vote total in Chicago, but we had the third highest vote total in the entire country! This speaks to the strength of our community and the extent of care people have for the work we are doing.
PJ Karafiol, our Board Chair, noticed that we fell behind on the first day of the contest. He got on Facebook, reached out to his former students, and voila!, suddenly we were in the lead (at least, this was very much what PJ’s perspective was when he texted me then). The next day, our site coordinator at Lane Tech, Katie Delisle, started to encourage her students to vote. Let’s face it, Lane Tech is a BIG school, and she texted me how our vote totals were really taking off. My sister in North Carolina, a famous writer (I’m not kidding, you can check her website if you are curious, and then I can take credit for her future book sales), was happy to take credit for our success:
So, there are a lot of thank yous to go around. On top of our good fortune with Yelp (knock on wood), we had our most successful fundraiser to date on Giving Tuesday. Over 200 people donated, and we raised $21,473, almost 25% of our annual budget. The DePaul Math Department gave $1200, and UIC Math donated another $500. My former students, and the former students of many of my math circle colleagues chipped in from all over the country. And, of course, current math circle families gave over and over again!