When the IMF started its member fundraising program several years ago, we had no idea how our members would respond. Would they be intimidated? After all, "fundraising" is a daunting word to some of us. Or would the opportunity of being proactive on behalf of themselves and the myeloma community give them a sense of empowerment? For those of you who have not worked with us yet, I want to take this opportunity to inspire you by sharing stories of how some IMFers went about making fundraising FUN! We hope that you will see that no idea is too small and that you'll join the growing number of IMFers who work with us each year.
I am proud to report that 2005 turned out to be a banner year for IMF member fundraisers around the country! IMFers have organized everything from letter-writing campaigns and garage sales to marathons, neighborhood walks, golf tournaments, parties, and entertainment events. I'd like to acknowledge and thank them all for their enthusiasm and dedication to helping the IMF continue its mission of working toward prevention and a cure.
Some of you wanted to celebrate special occasions with donations to the IMF in lieu of gifts. Our thanks go to Mort and Dorothy Abelson who celebrated their anniversary with donations to the IMF. Our thanks also go to the Bren Family, Shirley and Robert Brunn, Susan and Frank Emanuele, and Edith and Richard Scanlan. Ann and Joseph Peters requested IMF donations in lieu of wedding gifts! Katie Smith celebrated her 11th birthday in honor of her Nana and donated money raised for raffle items to the IMF. We thank them all for thinking of the myeloma family while celebrating their own festive family occasions.
Letter campaigns requesting donations have been extremely popular this year. Laura Lea Frank wrote letters in honor of her brother Brian. Trooper Benson Klein's letters asked for donations in lieu of gifts to celebrate a milestone birthday (see Fall issue). Other IMFers participated in this year's Mail For The Cure campaign and raised over $7,000 in just a few months!
Some of our artistic friends shared their talents via the IMF website www.myeloma.org. Kristi Difford's myeloma awareness jewelry was a big hit again this year, and we welcomed Pam Larsen and her beautiful crystal awareness keychains (Multiple Colors for Multiple Myeloma). Irma Catlett's scenic cards continue to be a hit for the IMF. Kathleen Tezla's letter-pressed Christmas cards, each featuring an historical background about a familiar Christmas symbol, were very popular during the holiday season. Sharon Newman's lovely Purim baskets were distributed throughout her community.
Our sports enthusiasts came together for the 6th Annual JC Golf Tournament, the Heuer Memorial Golf Tournament, the Leona Cravotta Memorial Golf Tournament, the Danielle Mosher Memorial Soccer Tournament, the Run for Mike, and the Walk For Bob. And "Team Milers" Tony and Kendra Goffredo ran the Rock & Roll Marathon for the IMF. (All of these events have been covered in prior issues of Myeloma Today).
Young Anthony and Kayla Tenboer enlisted their family and friends to raise money by collecting cans and bottles in their community in honor of their grandfather, Wayne "Whitey" Tenboer. Celeste Montalvo-Jackson organized the Ride for the Cure in honor of her dear friend, Darrell. Marjorie Morgenroth set up a table with the IMF banner in front of her local Stop & Shop to raise money and pass out awareness materials. Gabriela Spear, who had previously raised money for the IMF by having a "Locks of Love" party, organized this year's Family Fun Day. Robin and Michael Tuohy's children, Allison and Michael, showed their initiative by setting up a lemonade stand in honor of their Dad. Ron Charlton donated a car to "Cars For Causes", which resulted in a very nice contribution to the IMF. Once again, the wonderful Naomi Margolin organized the successful annual Multiple Musicians Against Multiple Myeloma event in memory of Lee Grayson. And Carol Rossi not only started a new support group in Rhode Island, but she and her family put together "Rocking in Rhode Island" to honor her mother and raise money for the IMF.
We are very grateful to all our IMFers who contributed their time, imagination, and hard work to benefit the entire myeloma community each year. The IMF is committed to working with you to continue to raise community awareness and funding for educational and research programs in the field of myeloma.
I look forward to hearing from those of you who would like to join the growing IMF family, and to work together toward our common goal...a cure for myeloma. To do this, simply contact me, Suzanne Battaglia, at SBattaglia@myeloma.org or 800-452-CURE (2873) to request a FUNdraising Guide. I am here to answer any questions you may have and to discuss your ideas about this worthwhile program.