Lawrence schools’ deputy superintendent wants to surpass Bill Self’s $10,000 goal in Boys & Girls Club fundraiser

For perhaps the first time in his adult life, Bill Self may finally have some competition — not on the basketball court, but in the philanthropic world.

The 15-year coaching veteran, who led the Kansas Jayhawks to 14 consecutive conference titles, is now striving to raise $10,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. Anna Stubblefield, the Lawrence school district’s deputy superintendent, wants to raise him a dollar more.

Both Stubblefield and Self have pledged to rappel down Lawrence’s seven-story 888 Lofts building Aug. 25 as part of the Boys & Girls Club’s “Over the Edge Global” fundraiser. Participants must first raise at least $1,000 from their family, friends and fans, but Self — and now Stubblefield — have much bigger goals in mind.

“I just thought it would be fun,” says Stubblefield, who joined Lawrence Public Schools in 2008. “Because to go ‘Over the Edge,’ honestly, they’re just asking each participant to raise $1,000. So, when he went above and beyond, as an educator and a member of the (Boys & Girls Club) board, I thought, ‘Well, at least I can try.'”

Stubblefield loved basketball growing up, she says, and often found herself using the courts at various Boys & Girls Club branches around her hometown of Kansas City, Mo. She’s also served on the Lawrence club’s board of directors for the past six years, and considers the organization “an extension of what we do for our students every day” in the Lawrence school system.

Self, who actively participated in Oklahoma City’s Boys & Girls Club as a kid, is also a longtime supporter of the Lawrence branch — but he’s never done anything quite like “Over the Edge” in his philanthropic efforts, he says.

“I’ve never scaled a building or bungee jumped or done anything that is remotely comparable to what we’ll be doing on this day,” Self said in a press release back in May. “But I’m excited and it’s for a good cause. Hopefully it will generate a lot of interest from a lot of people.”

Alissa Bauer, the Lawrence club’s director of marketing and communications, says Self’s involvement appears to be doing just that. Stubblefield, fresh from her one-year stint as the district’s interim superintendent, is also drawing attention to the cause, Bauer says.

“We’ve got 30 people that have registered online. We’re trying to get to 80,” Bauer told the Journal-World last Thursday. “Having Dr. Stubblefield and Coach Self working on getting the word out is just phenomenal.”

Stubblefield says she has also enlisted a contingent of local educators for “Over the Edge.” While “they’re all doing it at their own pace,” she says, “some are making great progress.”

As of Friday afternoon, Stubblefield’s online fundraising page said she’d raised $790. Self’s total that day was $476. Her official goal is $10,001, just one dollar more than Self’s.

Like KU’s beloved coach, Stubblefield says she’s never done anything quite like “Over the Edge.”

“Amongst my friend group, they’re like ‘You’re doing what!?'” says Stubblefield, who contends she’s “not a thrill seeker.”

“I don’t know how to prepare. I’ll just show up. I know they do some training the day of,” Stubblefield says. “I think if I prepared it would probably make me more nervous. I’ve done rock climbing, which is not really the same.”

For more information on “Over the Edge,” including fundraising pages for Stubblefield, Self and other participants, visit www.overtheedgecwe.com/Lawrence/sponsor-a-participant.

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