This post is part of a new DipJar story series on animal welfare fundraising. Subscribe to hear more stories like this one.
Max is a golden retriever and also happens to be the Mayor of the unincorporated town of Idyllwild, California. This was the result of a hugely successful fundraising effort by the Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild California. Here’s the story as told by Janice Murasko of ARF Idyllwild:
As the director of Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends, I am continually challenging myself to come up with creative fundraising drives. Our most successful to date raised $32,000! Idyllwild is an unincorporated municipality, hence we have no city council, mayor, anything… we are under the auspices of the County of Riverside. We decided that our little town (fewer than 5,000 full-time residents) needed a mayor, and because we are a strong, pet-centric community, it was a natural conclusion that the mayor should be a pet. We started with recruiting candidates and ended up with 13 dogs and 3 cats throwing their hats into the ring. Then followed a two-week campaign period where the candidates’ campaign managers (a.k.a. their guardians) ran full-out campaigns with signs, flyers, and meet-n-greets. The election was four-days long wherein each candidate had a bucket on a table in front of the post office (no home delivery here – everyone must go to the P.O. to get mail), and constituents voted with their dollar bills. Each dollar was the equivalent of one vote.
Max’s guardian, Phyllis, has taken the mayorship to levels never imagined, so much so that Mayor Max has been given his title in perpetuity! He was elected in 2012 and has followers literally all over the world. Because our mayor will always be Max, we’ve come up with other fundraisers to keep our doors open, although none nearly as successful as the mayoral election.
Congratulations to ARF Idyllwild and to Janice. You’ve just won yourself a DipJar for this amazing story!
Max’s website: http://mayormax.com/
Max’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mayor.max.3