Kristin Boese’s KB4 Girls New York Now Dream Extreme? FTW?

posted by Just Kite It
Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 1:21pm EDT

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by Jessica Valenzuela

Some peeps would probably simply shrug and say, “so the event changed roll with it.” And for the most part I can live with change. How information is shared about change is crucial. This is where the organizers of the KB4 Girls New York event falls short.

There were thirty women who signed for the KB4 Girls New York event which we actively promoted and supported sometime late April to early May. In a matter of two weeks all the required 20 slots were filled. Kristin Boese, professional kiteboarder behind KB4Girls who we all admire and respect decided to open it more to 30 slots. I was thrilled! A number of my girl friends who kite in New York signed up, including a handful of newbies.

Without any proper information shared with the participants, Kristin decided to partner with Linda Argila, a professional “fundraiser” from  Solutions New York. At no time was Linda formally introduced.  Linda’s character came by way of an email on July 28 with a Dream Extreme flyer announcing a fundraiser event that offered an opportunity to kite with Kristin Boese while donating to victims of domestic violence. I ignored that email thinking it was a different event from the KB4Girls in New York. On August 4, I reached out to Kristin for clarification after seeing they fell on the same dates. Kristin replied with little information saying that “yes, this is the KB4girls event. All KB4girls events are fundraising events only that this one is going to be bigger and raising more funds.” I thought to myself well, I guess that is fine if Kristin wants to raise funds around the KB4 Girls event.

It was fine until I unearthed that the fundraising around the event would impact the thirty women who already signed up in April/May. It was brought to my attention yesterday by an attendee who reached out to me and someone from the  New York Kiteboarders Forum. The thread showcases a number of dismayed participants talking about the “sudden fund raising  requirement of $1,000″ to attend the KB4Girls NY. Someone from the forum even called it a “classic hustle.” This is the email from Linda:

Hello Ladies! Thank you so much for your support and cannot wait for Dream Extreme! Your involvement will save lives. *Everyday New York City shelters provide emergency housing for 1000 people escaping domestic violence. More than 60% are children.** *

1. Please call my office at 212 737-7896 to complete registration for clinic, and other details.

2. Keep in mind that clinic participants have a *fundraising commitment of $1,000*. (Space is limited so we must enforce this commitment).

3. To get started and help you meet your goal: go to *www.challengetotriumph.com *to create your personal fundraising page.

4. All are welcome to Join the Dream Team Committee. You do not have to be a clinic participant to attend event and join the committee. Many spectators, instructors, volunteers, etc. will be creating personal pages to help raise awareness and funds. Please spread the word. Have a great day, Linda

A number of participants phoned Linda for clarification about the fundraising requirement. According to the participants, a few times Linda was very frustrated by the questions and apparently hung up. She also mentioned that the reason for fundraising is because “Kristin does not have money to come to New York.” What what? Does Kristin really need 30K to host an event? From my experience at the KB4 Girls Sherman Island fundraising was not involved. I basically contributed $200 for boat gas money, beer and fruits.

I reached out to Kristin and Linda expressing my disappointment over the poor communications management surrounding the changes to the KB4 Girls New York event now called Dream Extreme. Kristin shared that “Linda is handling the event and I do not know much about it” Oh really?! An event by Kristin Boese, but she does not know that someone is fundraising money so she can come to New York?! Then I received an email from Linda saying how the “1K will cover for costs of the lessons, instructors are flying from out of the country and a great cause.” My response “1K for beginner lessons can buy a beginner 5-days of three hour one-on-one lessons at a proper school, why fly instructors in from outside the country when there are many local instructors in New York? Lastly, what value does $1K offer a non-beginner participant?” Linda further stressed that “US$50,000 has been raised from corporate sponsors for the event and that feedback has been great.” Am glad that a significant amount of corporate money is going to the event, so why hustle the thirty participants who signed up?

In a world where crowdsourcing is an accepted approach to raising funds for  startups, awareness, causes and personal projects why partner with a high-class “fund raiser”? There are a number of available crowdsourcing destinations that have helped fund many startups, projects and causes including Kickstarter, IndieGogo and Crowdrise to name a few.

We’re not adversed to supporting a cause, but when changes to the original expectations/requirements are made it has to be clearly communicated not shoved down our throats. Moreover, imposing a new set of requirements to participants who signed up months after registration and a month before the event is simply not cool.

The original thirty participants who signed up was looking forward to a chill weekend to kite, hangout with a bunch of women and meet Kristin, a major force in the growth of women who kite. That is what we signed up for. Not a weekend of fundraising parties and glamour in the Hamptons. We have that in the Big Bad Apple.

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