Esperanto@UIUC: Update and Request for help with LK plans
Esperanto@UIUC, our local group in Champaign, IL and a registered student organization at the University of Illinois, is busy busy busy. I think we have somewhere around 9 new members who will be coming to the beginner meetings, as well as a very active and dedicated group of about 10 advanced speakers of the language. We now have weekly beginner lessons (consist mainly of reading and translating "Gerda Malaperis") and weekly advanced discussion tables. So far, we've chatted at the discussion tables, watched Russian cartoons with Esperanto subtitles, and played games. I love it--it's a tradition to stay. We'll see how it grows.
Let me tell you loud and clear: we want to bring everyone we can to the LK this year. There is the interest, there is the dedication, but the money is difficult to procure. This week we're having our first bake sale. There will be cookies, hot cocoa, and perhaps necklaces and bracelets with Valentine's day-themed Esperanto phrases on them. I'm willing to have as many bake sales as it takes to get these great young minds to the LK, but I fear bake sales alone are not enough.
My financial goal is to get the price down to about $60 per person (to give you a college student's perspective, I have $44.74 to my name at the moment and no job prospects). This isn't that hard with help from our university, but would still require us to raise at least $50 for each person.
On top of that, the university only reimburses RSOs the money they promise. With plane tickets (about the same price as train tickets, but take 2 hours instead of 24), I'd have to somewhere obtain the capital to buy ~$200+ plane tickets for the group. I know at least 5 people will be coming with me, and there's no way I can raise $1000+ through bake sales. I'd like to avoid asking money from the Esperanto travel fund, as there are students across the states who don't have such helpful university funds.
Please give me any advice you can think of to resolve this issue, and any untapped resources I may have access to.