Adams raises $33,000, wins Des Moines competition
By Molly Moser
Brandon Adams swept the My People App-rentice: Des Moines competition, winning first place of 50 contestants and returning home with a cash prize and many valuable new relationships. Since The Press last interviewed Adams (see the Jan. 22 issue), he has accomplished all three tasks the competition posed.
During the first task, Adams urged readers to connect with a webpage for his invention, Arctic Stick. His pleas were successful, bringing him the most connections and earning him an interview on celebrity entrepreneur and competition host Tana Goertz’s radio show, “Hey Tana! Time.”
The second task required Adams to show his sales skills. By advertising Arctic Stick in 10 major papers like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, he was able to breeze past the other competitors.
The third task was about strategy. “It was a true apprentice task, figuring in expenses, breaking even, and making a profit on top of that,” said Adams. In this case, the profit benefitted Adams’ chosen charity, Endure Iowa.
“I picked this group because what they do is raise money for cancer victims, both civilian and military, in Iowa. I was moved by their story, and I picked them even though they were the underdog.” Competitors selected one of five organizations, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Iowa Chapter, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa, and Best Buddies® Iowa.
By the third task, only five competitors remained. Each had just 12 days to raise as much money for their chosen organization as possible. Adams quickly set up six fundraising events for the next dozen days, and admits he couldn’t have done it without the help of former contestants who joined his team after being eliminated from the competition.
A party bus, a pancake breakfast, and an Oscar’s party led up to Adams’ big event, a fundraising auction at Miss Kitty’s Dance Hall and Cyber Saloon in Clive. Richard Arndt: Live, Loud, and Acoustic provided musical entertainment, and the auctioning of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was the highlight of the evening.
In preparation for the auction, Adams made radio and television appearances on Van and Bonnie in the Morning, Great Day with Tana Goertz, and Des Moines’ Channel 13 News. He booked Miss Kitty’s just one hour before filming a TV commercial advertising the highly successful auction.
Adams also challenged himself in several tests of physical endurance in honor of the charity. He vowed to spend up to 72 hours in a tent (in early March), raising $100 per hour until he reached his goal of $7,200.
Following the successful completion of that fundraising goal, he collected pledges for a 13-mile, “Run till I drop,” event. Adams ran at the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Clive until he simply could not take another step. Prior to the run, Adams spoke with the son of Endure Iowa’s founder, a Marine who had recently returned from overseas. “After so many miles, your legs go numb and you’ll feel no pain,” the Marine assured Adams.
“He was right. I got to nine miles and my feet were numb. I ran the last mile till I literally couldn’t feel anything, and I hit the ground,” Adams told The Press.
In total, Adams raised $33,776 for Endure Iowa and earned himself a spot on the Endure Iowa board. "These people honestly became my family. I gained a close relationship with them and will be working with them for years to come," said Adams, speaking of the Robinette family, who founded the organization.
The next competitor, Allie Marten, raised $18,000 for the Iowa Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In total, the five contestants gathered $60,000 for their chosen charities.
Following the great success of the eight-week challenge, the ambitious Clayton Ridge graduate is working on his latest venture, opening a Des Moines based marketing company. He continues work in the family ice business, keeps busy selling local real estate, and is ready to move forward with his product, Arctic Stick.