The Big Dig — which allows kids of all ages to operate heavy construction equipment — last year raised about $70,000 for the Great West Division of the American Cancer Society.
But as organizers raise their sights toward a $100,000 goal for this year’s event, they’re bumping into the immutable limits of time.
There’s time for only so many folks to hop onto heavy equipment — a bulldozer, haul truck or the like — and take it for a spin around the Rilite Aggregate pit in south Reno, says Greg Mason, a Reno advertising man who is helping to organize the Sept. 21 event. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Instead, organizers this year are focused on building corporate sponsorships for the Big Dig, says Mason, the president of GMAA Group LLC.
Those sponsorship levels run from $25,000 to $500. Sponsors receive packages that can include tickets to the Big Dig, gift items such as T-shirts, meal tickets and inclusion on Big Dig advertising.
Sponsorships also provide admission to the event for kids from Boys and Girls Club of Northern Nevada.
Construction and mining companies are among the likely sponsors, Mason said, but a wide range of businesses are potential participants. (For details about sponsorship packages, see renobigdig.org.)
The Big Dig, which has drawn national attention from the American Cancer Society and other groups as an innovative fundraiser, was launched in 1999. Last year, about 600 people experienced the event.
Cashman Equipment, International Game Technology, Granite Construction, Q&D Construction, Rilite Aggregate, the Nevada chapter of the Associated General Contractors, Pape Machinery and K7 Construction Inc. are among the organizations that already have made major commitments to this year’s event.
Granite, Papé, Cashman, Komatsu and Q&D provide equipment and operators for the Big Dig.