Friends of Music fundraiser based on classic board game, but with Chelmsford focus
CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (November 6, 2023) – Those looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind holiday gift that will benefit a worthy cause will be happy to learn that Chelmsford Friends of Music (CFOM) has created the perfect present.
Chelmsfordopoly The Sequel is based on the classic Parker Brothers and Hasbro board game Monopoly but features places around Chelmsford.
“It’s played the same way as Monopoly, the key difference being that all of the spaces are sponsored by local businesses,” CFOM co-president Kerrie Moore explained. “Boardwalk and Park Place, for instance, are replaced with Druzy Rose and Graze. The money is sponsored by several businesses. The cards and deed cards are also sponsored.”
Proceeds from the sales of the board games will go to CFOM, a non-profit booster organization that supports musical programming within Chelmsford Public Schools.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Chelmsford Friends of Music as a resource for our music students and programs in the Chelmsford Public Schools,” said Christy Whittlesey, coordinator for fine and performing arts at CPS. “These dedicated parents and caregivers provide support for our elementary, middle, and high school students in myriad ways.”
The group works to raise funds to help cover scholarships for college and music camps and grants for teachers to obtain new instruments or equipment, as well as provide assistance with enrichment activities like Stringfest and Jazzfest and registration fees for competitions.
“CFOM’s mission is to help ensure the best possible music education program in the Chelmsford Public Schools,” said Ms. Moore. “We work in collaboration with the music teachers and directors and try to meet their needs.”
Like many organizations after COVID, Ms. Moore said CFOM had been struggling to find and keep active volunteers, but wanted to remain a viable financial support for the music programs.
“Our funds were dwindling and some of our former fundraising sources were too difficult to run with the volunteers we had,” Moore said. “Our small but committed fundraising team met in early June and somebody suggested that we bring back Chelmsfordopoly since it was very successful 11 years ago when it was first created as a fundraiser for South Row School.”
Ms. Moore said she and fellow CFOM members Erin Tallent, Katie Wolman, Sara Hessleton and Ginger Skoog put in countless hours creating the game and submitting it so it would be available in time for the holidays.
“The success of this project not only demonstrates that our CFOM members are dedicated to providing students with the best musical experiences possible while at CPS and beyond, but also that the Chelmsford community at large believes in our programs and our students,” Dr. Whittlesey said. “Thank you CFOM and Chelmsford businesses for all your support!”
Making the game
CFOM members worked with Opoly-Games, a printing company in the Midwest that specializes in making Monopoly-style community game boards.
“They have been so helpful, walking us through every step of the process,” Ms. Moore said of Opoly-Games. “The game pieces are standard pieces, but the cards and money are sponsored by community businesses.”
For the cover and box design, Ms. Moore said CFOM put out a call on Facebook for submissions.
“We got some beautiful pieces of art from several community members,” she said. “We were contacted by a very talented artist, Emily Moreau, who had a unique style that all of the board members really liked. She offered to design the box and we couldn’t be happier. Her artwork is fantastic.”
And the community has fully embraced the fundraiser. Mere hours after launching the board game spaces for sale, Ms. Moore said the organization received an inquiry from Kristin Erhartic, owner of The Druzy Rose.
“She was so excited about the game that she and her friend from Graze purchased the first two spots,” Ms. Moore said. “We spoke to her later and she said that she loved the idea that years from now, she would have a space on the board representing her business. I think a lot of people had the same idea. … I love that we have businesses big and small represented – it is such a great representation of our community.”
In addition to the names of some local establishments, people might recognize at least one familiar face while playing Chelmsfordopoly.
“You’ll see that the schools are all represented and, yes, there are Jay Lang dollar bills,” Moore said, explaining the Superintendent of Chelmsford Public Schools was enthusiastic about being part of the game. “It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the game. He was such a good sport and I cannot wait until everyone gets to see it.”
Preorders for the board game are open right now, but Ms. Moore said the games will eventually hit the shelves at local stores and businesses, including Center Sports and The Druzy Rose.
Business owners who wish to carry the Chelmsfordopoly game at their shops or stores should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Games are expected to arrive in time for the holidays and are priced at $30 per game. But they are extremely limited, with only 1,000 games produced.
“I’m just so excited for the game to be available,” she said. “When all is said and done, it will be a huge boost for CFOM. We are in the process of expanding the scholarship opportunities and programs we can support. … We’ve seen the difference that community support of our programs has made and we are thrilled to be able to ensure that the support is funded for years to come.”
To preorder Chelmsfordopoly The Sequel, visit https://form.jotform.com/CFOM01824/2023preordergame.
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit www.chelmsfordschools.org.