For this month’s “Dealership Spotlight”, we’re introducing you to an owner that is incredibly passionate about the fundraising industry and loves to share that passion with others. Thumbs Up Fundraising joined the Butter Braid® Fundraising team 20 years ago. In fact, they just celebrated their 20th anniversary in March! The owner of Thumbs Up Fundraising has enjoyed every minute he’s spent with each of his groups. Through his dealership’s unique and delicious fundraising programs, he’s shared his love of fundraising with kids and adults like all while helping them achieve their goals.
Bob Grew learned about Butter Braid Pastries and its dealerships through a couple that was part of his church community. That couple was Curt and Lyla Frank. Those names may sound familiar. That’s because Curt and Lyla are two of the owners of LaBraid Fundraising, the business featured in last August’s “Dealership Spotlight”. The Franks approached Bob about opening a dealership in his town of Essexville, Michigan because there was no dealer in that territory at the time.
Bob and his wife, Kayleen, visited the Franks at their home and tried a few pastries for the first time. They were very impressed by the quality of the product and knew it would do a lot of good for groups fundraising in the Michigan area. The two talked it over and decided it was something they could do in their spare time as a hobby. Both Bob and Kayleen already had full-time jobs, but they loved to help others. Plus, it would be a nice way to give back to their community. The Grews officially opened their dealership in March 2003.
Changes to the Dealership
Since the Grews already had full-time jobs, they started their business out very slowly. A few years later, Bob lost his job in construction. He took this as his sign to dive headfirst into his dealership and work on expanding the business. Owning and operating Thumbs Up Fundraising has been his full-time job ever since. Kayleen still has her job working for a chemical company, but she spends a lot of time contributing to the dealership behind the scenes. In fact, Bob says she’s the brains of the operation while he’s the face.
One of the biggest changes Bob has made to the dealership over the years is the name. When the business first got started, it was called “Braided Delights”. Several seasons had passed by and Bob and Kayleen overhead many of their group leaders calling the product by their company name. So, they decided it was time their dealership got a new name. After all, they had a lot more than just “braided” delights to offer now. After many days of considering their options, the couple settled on Thumbs Up Fundraising as the new name of their dealership.
Thumbs Up Fundraising has done a lot to help its groups in the Michigan area. Bob always goes above and beyond to help his groups because he loves seeing how excited they get when they surpass their original goal. “Seeing the joy on people’s faces when they realize how much they raised in their fundraiser and hearing how much they enjoyed the product…there’s nothing like it,” Bob explains. “I’m constantly hearing from group leaders that they want to run these fundraisers again the next year or season. It’s a great feeling to know you made that connection and helped support these groups.”
Group leaders and sellers love it when Bob comes to talk to their group during kick-off events. His passion for his products and programs is inspirational. He helps to get every seller excited for their upcoming fundraiser. Since 2003, Bob has been able to share his love for fundraising with bands, schools, animal shelters, scout troops, women’s groups, church groups, and more.
With 20 years in the business, Thumbs Up Fundraising has been able to partner with many different groups. Each group is unique and has different goals or causes that they are fundraising for. According to Bob, some of the most memorable groups he’s fundraised with are the ones that go out of their way to support a cause they really care about. After all, it’s a feeling Bob can relate to very well.
One such group wasn’t really a group at all. One girl came to Bob to ask for his help running a fundraiser for the local animal shelter she worked at. This wasn’t an event put on by the animal shelter; it was just this one girl looking to raise funds for a good cause. She ended up selling 182 pastries. Every day, she was out there knocking on doors and contacting anyone and everyone she could think of. Bob says it was incredible to see a single person do so much to make a difference.
Another group that Bob remembers fondly is a women’s church group that wanted to raise money to buy flowers. These flowers would be donated to members of the community as a way to cheer them up. The women had been hearing stories of people in the area that were down on their luck or victims of circumstance, and they wanted to do a little something to brighten their day. They decided to host a fundraiser to raise money to purchase those flowers then went around town and donated them to various individuals, families, and businesses.
Connect with Thumbs Up Fundraising Today!
The Butter Braid brand is fortunate to have someone as passionate as Bob Grew on our team. Bob truly enjoys the work he does and is committed to helping each of the groups he works with achieve their goals through delicious, hassle-free fundraising programs. If you are in the Michigan area and looking to start your own fundraiser, give Thumbs Up Fundraising a call or sign up online today! After you have the chance to work with Bob Grew, you and your group are guaranteed to give your fundraising experience two thumbs up.