SCORE Northwest Connecticut Chapter Success Story

Like all enterprises, I suppose, mine started as an idea- a simple concept born from observations in my life. I began to nurture this idea. I researched it on the internet, looking for someone, anyone who had used the same idea and built it into something. I didn't find anything close to what I envisioned.

That vision was a website that would feature sporting events in the tri-state area that raised money for local charities. My experiences showed me that there are hundreds of small area charities looking for ways to fund their missions. Many of them ran sports events like golf tournaments, walk-a-thons, 5K, 10K, marathon and triathlon races, pool, dart and cornhole tournaments to raise money.

To help raise awareness about these fun events and the worthy causes behind them, my website would have calendars  and event profiles and blogs to tell  people the who, what, when, where, why and how of these events, and I would promote these events for free. I would sell advertising to cover the costs. At least that was the idea.

For a couple years I collected newspaper clippings about fundraising events in the Berkshire, Litchfield, Dutchess and Columbia Counties of the tri-state area. I also gathered information about charities large and small, learning about theirmissions. I accumulated all of the background information I needed to get my project moving. But that is as far as I got. 

(LEGACY -- DO NOT USE) My Challenges: 

You see of all of the skills needed to get my project off the ground, the only thing I felt comfortable doing was writing. But my business would require much more than that.  I would need a website, a pretty sophisticated one; I would need to register as a business entity with the state; and I would need graphics, photography and printing services; and a whole range of marketing expertise and on and on.

My Successes: 

Now a year plus old, has grown to over 300 events with calendars, a weekly blog and an upcoming weekly newsletter. There is still much to do, but we feel good about our journey thus far. I hope to continue to grow and improve this venture for the rest of my days.

Last year was awarded SCORE's Small Business Success Story of the Year. We are proud of this award because we believe we were recognized for our philanthropic mission.  Financial rewards will come, but hopefully will make a difference in our little part of the world.

How SCORE Helped: 

The enormity of those tasks paralyzed me. I didn't know how to move forward, so my idea remained just an idea until I met the Tragers. Mark and Lauren had all of the knowledge and experience that I lacked.  Together we forged ahead, and we created a website and a business that was just as I had envisioned it.

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

The takeaway here is that none of this would have happened without the help and support of Mark and Lauren Trager and SCORE. Absent their profound presence in my life, would still be just an idea.