Monday, January 17, 2011

Going beyond the minimum

Each and every walker, in the Susan G Komen 3 day - 60 mile walk, makes a commitment to raise at least $2300. So as you sign up for this journey, you are making promises to do some pretty tough things. You will need to train countless hours to have the stamina to make the distance on the 3 day. 60 miles is your goal, and very few people sign up for this walk with the intention of taking the "sweep" vans.

I remember my daughters, who each on separate days, had to take the van due to injuries, looking absolutely devastated. That goal is so important, it is impossible to believe that after all the prep you have done, anything would prevent you from completing all 60 miles. So when something has the audacity to interfere, you are angry and disappointed at the same time.

The fundraising is difficult, especially in these economic times. But the promise is just as significant as the promise to walk. If you do not reach your $2300 on the day of the walk, if you want to walk , you have three choices, beg (and that doesn;t work...)... or give them your credit card, or give your credit card and then beg. I remember two girls who had come up short and did just that. They gave their credit card # then made a sign and pinned it to their backs saying... "we didn't make our minimum, please help!" I was one of several people who handed them something on the walk. Everyone who walks knows how hard this fundraising thing can be.

I know I am somewhat guilty of starting my efforts, in some people's minds, too soon. I know to some people my constant focus on this event becomes grating and annoying. I also know that last year I was the #3 fundraiser in the SF 3 day. And so I sit at the beginning of this year and I am looking ahead to the training and the fundraising and I am attempting to decide how to go about both.

This weekend I created a survey and sent it out to 200 people. Slowly the results are coming back in. I was looking for guidance about whether to continue our very success Wine Wars again this year. It is a lot of work. But it is also very fun. At Wine Wars the generosity of the community helps to create an evening of wine, food and fun. There is an auction (now both silent and live) and a raffle. A great band donates their time. Fine wineries donate their wines. The result is amazing. Even in a very slow economic time we raised crazy money. So I wanted to know if what I felt was indeed true. Do people enjoy Wine Wars and would they come again.

So far 86% say yes. I think that is pretty compelling... so far. So I think it is safe to say, we will be holding at least one more Wine Wars. We already have our caterers committed :) and donations pledged for items for the auction and raffle. Today I sent out letters to some businesses and I will continue to do that for awhile amassing what I hope will be an exciting and long list of things to be bid on. I am looking into creating an online silent auction that will dovetail with the one at the event. And I hope and trust we will once again break some records and continue to make a difference.

To tell you the truth any doubts I had about going for the maximum in $$$ for the 2011 walk were erased after I received that phone call from Brittany.

When Brittany called to thank me and my team for our fund raising efforts I heard in her the same fears I had when I was fighting Breast Cancer. She is a young mother with small children. This current diagnosis is a recurrence of Breast Cancer. Her age and her kind of Cancer are frightening to be certain. But I also heard in her voice something every Cancer patient should have... hope. Brittany has hope because she is part of a study, funded by Susan G. Komen, where she is receiving life saving treatment. If I ever considered taking the easy way to the 3 day, I threw that away when I heard her say "I plan on walking in the 2012 3 day."

So friends, neighbors, family and everyone else.... excuse me as I shamelessly and unapologetically grate on your every last nerve trying to make as much money as humanly possible for this cause. I cannot stop because if I do, I would be letting Brittany and women like her down. I survived. I owe to it them to give them the chance to survive too. So they can like I did, see their children grow. So they can feel the sun on their faces and the wind at their back as they enjoy their own lifetimes. I can't stop because there is still so far to go.

If you would like to chime in on Wine Wars and how to make it better, please click on this link and let me know your thoughts. An no worries, if you don't want me to know who you are , I won't. But if you do want me to know who you are please enter in your name somewhere in your response. THANKS

Click here to take survey