Images of quarters printed on paper strips were taped end-to-end in a quarter-mile display at Lansing Mall this past spring. The strips of paper represented donations made to the Eaton Area Senior Center’s new carpet fund. The goal was to collect enough quarters to stretch a full mile — 63,630 quarters to be exact.

Though the Center did not reach its goal by the time of the unveiling that spring afternoon, the attention it garnered — especially the senior citizen-led flash mob — from local media helped push the fundraising effort over the top this summer. In total, EASC’s quarter mile fundraiser netted more than $17,000 in two years. The total gives EASC a head start on its next mile, said executive director Cindy Miller.

“We needed a way to raise money to replace our carpet that wouldn’t take away from our normal operations,” Miller said. “We thought this was a different way to raise money.”

Replacing the carpet, which was installed in September by Custom Home Interiors in Charlotte, cost the Center slightly more than $15,000. The remaining money will be put in a fund for ongoing maintenance of the building, which is 14 years old.

“As the Center continues to get older, it’s going to continue to need repairs,” Miller said. “Having this kind of fund in place will certainly help.”

Miller said the quarter mile fundraiser came from a similar campaign she headed up while working for a different non-profit group more than a decade ago. This time around, however, she came up with a way around sticking actual quarters on tape.

“I can still remember how long it took to peel all those quarters off,” Miller said.

Now, donors get plastic tubes that can hold $10 worth of quarters. Once they fill three of them, they get a printed strip of quarters that includes a place to write their name or an “in honor of” or “in memory of.”

Miller said all donations are tax-deductible.EASC carpet