Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'It's crunch time for my marathon fundraising efforts to help rhinos'

In The Red
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The Independent Online

Ok. Right. Deep breaths. There are precisely two weeks until the marathon and I'm starting to panic. Really panic. Not because I'm concerned about my fitness (I've done one 20 mile run so I should – provided the cheering crowds prove to be as much of a morale boost as everyone says they will – be fine. Ish.)

No, my panic is stemming from the fact that my fund-raising deadline is fast approaching, and I'm still a few hundred pounds short of my target. The whole point of signing up for the marathon was the fund-raising. I'm supposed to be earning two-and-a-bit thousand pounds for Save the Rhino.

Rather like a fad diet, it all went very, very well for the first three months (the pounds slipped on, as it were). Recently, however, things have plateaued. It's difficult to keep up the momentum: what once was chirpy cheerleading gradually becomes annoying nagging, and what once was a goodie-filled jumble sale stall becomes a monument to all the things that people just don't want to buy.

Anyway, I mentioned last week how I'd be spending Easter planning my last fortnight of fundraising – and that's exactly what I've done. What I've come up with is a five point plan, snappily entitled The Alice's Last Minute Oh My God it's Just Around The Corner Marathon Panic Plan. This is it:

1. Sell

Not cakes and bric-a-brac (I've saturated my market), but big things that I don't want but will raise money quickly. eBay will be the way forward. I hope.

2. Save

Not my strongest point, I know. But the lives of a few hundred rhinos are a slightly more compelling reason than the prospect of my end-of-the-month bank balance. Anyway, I have to give up alcohol for the next few weeks in preparation for the big day. Money saved on my social life = money that can go into the collection tin.

3. Enforce

All those promises, that is. All of my appeals have been couched in "don't feel you have tos". No more. Now is the time for me to chase up all those promised donations that have yet to emerge.

4. Advertise

I've become such a marathon bore that it's hard to believe I haven't already bent the ear of everyone I know, but it seems I haven't. A recent birthday party proved it when half the guests didn't have a clue I was in training. So now is the time to get the word out. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace: you've been warned.

5. Beg

At which point: Please, please, please can I have some money for the Rhinos? Many readers have (very kindly) already donated but for those of you who haven't: just a fiver would do it. You can donate at www.justgiving.com/alicerunsthemarathon. Thank you!

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