Courtney Pisano wanted a fundraising idea that would stick.
And when she found out there was a world record for creating Post-it note mosaics, she knew it was the perfect match for her philanthropic efforts.
“I wanted something no one had really done before,” Courtney said. “And I wanted something where a lot of people could come together and help.”
On Saturday, armed with 50,000 sticky notes and a team of dedicated volunteers, Courtney, 16, watched her dream come to life on the floor of Triangle Town Center, one small rectangle at a time.
Within 10 minutes of a self-imposed deadline, Courtney and her volunteers completed the mosaic and set the record by using 44,000 sticky notes on a design that was 2,750 square feet. It took eight hours to create the mosaic, followed by another three hours to unstick it.
Shoppers were able to purchase sticky notes for a dollar a square, and Courtney also collected donations from corporate sponsors.
The money raised will be donated to the Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh and the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford through Children’s Lasting Power, the nonprofit created by Courtney, a rising junior at Enloe High School.
“I’ve always done a lot of volunteering, and I’ve always had a love for children, “ Courtney said.
The young philanthropist has visited with the residents of both homes.
“When I saw them, I couldn’t walk away,” she said. “They are normal, regular, everyday girls in situations that aren’t their fault.”
Courtney is hopeful she can raise $5,000. Whatever the final total is, she plans to split it between the two homes and let them spend it as they like. She’s heard that a karaoke machine might be on the shopping list.
“They want to get things that make it seem more like a family situation,” Courtney said. “Something with happiness and fun.”
Courtney enlisted the help of volunteers to carefully place the colored squares in patterns.
“She comes up with good ideas, but I’ve never heard of anything like this before,” said Galen Pischke, a volunteer who spent six hours on the floor sticking down the squares.
“I’m taken by her creativity and enthusiasm, and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Carroll Cope, another volunteer, as she placed dozens of blue sticky notes into a row. “It’s admirable, and she is laying the groundwork for other people to think outside the box with fundraising.”
“Whether we break a record or not, raising money is a great thing,” said Leigh Pisano, Courtney’s mother.
The mosaic project is the largest fundraiser so far for Children’s Lasting Power, but Courtney doesn’t intend for it to be the last.
She’s already thinking ahead to next year when she is going to partner with another organization to try to raise $11,000 to build a kitchen for a school in Malawi.
Courtney says creating her own charity has given her the power to pursue meaningful projects.
“I make it my own thing and do it for a cause I really believe in.”