Nonprofits take note: A flash mob can help with fundraising.
The Police Athletic League will receive thousands of dollars after coming in second in a fundraising competition, organized by a store that let shoppers pick the winners.
Treasure & Bond, the Nordstrom-owned store that opened last August in SoHo, donates all of its profits to New York City children's charities.
At first, the company selected the charity beneficiaries on its own. But this April, it let shoppers vote for the winners amongst nine semifinalists.
"It's a new concept in philanthropy that we're happy to be a part of," said Karen Trank, the Police Athletic League's director of grants, who organized a flash mob outside the store to boost their votes.
On a rainy April day, the Police Athletic League bused in about 150 kids from six of its centers, along with dozens of parents and staff members. They marched down the street chanting, "PAL," broke out a choreographed dance routine to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" and then entered Treasure & Bond to cast their ballots.
"It's always especially cute when the kids get involved," said Paige Boggs, general manager of the store, located on West Broadway between Broome and Grand streets, which sells clothing and jewelry.
In the end, the PAL received 368 votes, second most of the nine semifinalists. The top four organizations all will receive an equal share of the store's profits.
PAL will share the store's 2012 fourth-quarter profits with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, while the other winners, the National Dance Institute and Girls Write Now, will split the third-quarter profits.
PAL hosts kids poetry reading
The Police Athletic League hosts an annual poetry jam at the Affirmation Arts gallery on W. 37th St. The jam, which was MC'd Thursday night by poet Kahlil Almustafa, featured readings from 29 students in grades first through eighth.
"It's amazing how our kids can be inspired by poetry and really put their emotions on paper," said Theron Corbin, education program manager at the PAL.