Holiday Fundraising Challenge in Review

Learn more about our mesothelioma fundraising effortsOn November 24th, the Meso Foundation presented the community with a mesothelioma fundraising challenge: raise $10,000 by the end of 2013. The Peace. Joy. Cure Holiday Fundraising Challenge, as it was called, had a big catch. A long-time, individual Meso Foundation donor with the wish of remaining anonymous would match every dollar donated to the fundraiser. By December 20th, we were very close to our goal, having reached $9,892. However, this is when the game changed. Hanne Mintz, another long-time Foundation supporter, stepped up to match an additional $10,000 raised through the Peace. Joy. Cure Holiday Fundraising Challenge. This brought the goal up to $20,000 with only 12 days left to reach it, and every dollar was to be matched.

We reached out to our community through Facebook, Twitter, email, and our blog to spread the word about our fundraising challenge, and we were met with huge success. The meso community did not simply reach the $20,000 goal, but they surpassed it. When the fundraising challenge ended on December 31st, we had raised $32,876 in donations from a total of 60 generous supporters.

The Meso Foundation’s community put in a huge effort to meet our challenge. Not only did they submit donations, but they also encouraged friends and family to do the same. Ivana Mihajlovic, a 4-year mesothelioma survivor and Foundation community member and volunteer, started her own email campaign to promote our fundraising challenge. We shared Ivana’s efforts with the rest of the community and encouraged them to follow in her lead.

With the match, the $32,876 raised through the Peace. Joy Cure Holiday Fundraising Challenge has now become a total of $52,876! These donations will go towards funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; providing patient support services and education; and advocating Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research.

The Meso Foundation is extremely grateful for the community’s participation in the Peace. Joy. Cure Holiday Fundraising Challenge. We would like to sincerely thank Hanne Mintz and the anonymous donor who matched these gifts, as well as everyone who has donated and participated in our general year-end appeal. It is with your generosity and support that the Meso Foundation continues to do its work to advance mesothelioma treatments and provide patient support.

Mesothelioma fundraising efforts never stop. Donate today and help find a cure to mesothelioma.

Peace. Joy. Cure: A Meso Fundraising Challenge

Ivana Mihajlovic

Ivana Mihajlovic, a 4-year mesothelioma survivor, recently volunteered at the Meso Foundation office

As the end of the year is upon us, we would like to update you on our “Peace. Joy. Cure” holiday fundraising challenge. The challenge began on November 24th with a goal to raise $10,000 in online donations by the end of the year with an individual Meso Foundation donor willing to match every dollar up to $10,000. Now, the game has changed! Hanne Mintz has stepped up to match an additional $10,000. This brings our fundraising goal up to $20,000, and every dollar will be matched!

With only 12 days left in the challenge, we have currently raised $9,892. We need your help to get to $20,000 by December 31st! You can give now by visiting our fundraising challenge page.

Are you wondering where your donations will go or how they will be used? The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by it. Your donations will go towards funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; providing patient support services and education; and advocating Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer reviewed scientific research to establish more effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $8.2 million to research.

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Aside from donating, there is more you can do to help with our fundraising efforts! In conjunction with our fundraising challenge, Ivana Mihajlovic, who is a 4-year mesothelioma survivor and Foundation community member and volunteer, began her own email campaign to encourage friends and family to donate. We would like to encourage you to use the following email template to join Ivana in her email fundraising efforts. Simply use this template to send to your own friends and family explaining why they should donate towards a cure for mesothelioma.

Dear, <First name>,

I am reaching out to you with these fundraising efforts because mesothelioma has personally affected me. <Explain here how mesothelioma has impacted you>.

As we wrap up 2013, I would like to invite you to join me in supporting the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. The Meso Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by it. This organization has challenged the mesothelioma community to raise $20,000 by December 31st. Every dollar raised within the online campaign will be matched by two long-time, individual Meso Foundation donors up to $20,000.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. Approximately 3,500 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year and an estimated one-third were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in Navy shipyards.

By giving to the Meso Foundation, your donations will go towards funding peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; providing patient support services and education; and advocating Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer-reviewed scientific research to establish more effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $8.2 million to research.

I encourage you to support the mission of the Meso Foundation and help us find a cure for this deadly cancer. Donate now at curemeso.org/fundraising/challenge.

Thank you,

<Your name>

Without the support of our community, our efforts towards curing mesothelioma would not be possible. We would like to thank everyone who supports the Foundation and works with us to eradicate this disease. To learn more about the Meso Foundation and our mission, visit curemeso.org.

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Fundraising Made Easy

Lava for Lance

Lava for Lance Triathlon

by Erica Ruble, Fundraising Coordinator, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

I am writing this month’s fundraising blog with a heavy heart. Friday, August 16th marked the 5th anniversary of the passing of my mentor and dad, Lance S. Ruble. It feels like forever since I have seen him and heard his voice, but like it was just yesterday that he passed away. The pain and sadness is still raw and real.

Reflecting on my dad’s passing, I am reminded why I continue to fundraise and channel my anger and sadness into something positive. I know many of you out there in our community want to contribute to finding a cure for this disease. Whether you are a mesothelioma patient, caregiver of a mesothelioma patient, or you have lost a loved one, fundraising will not only impact your life in a positive way, but will also have a profound effect on others that can be life changing.

I have the privilege of speaking with many of you in the meso community about fundraising. I hear your concerns and uncertainty about hosting your own event and I understand them. However, it is important to remember that fundraising does not have to be a daunting project. It can be easy. When I began my fundraising efforts years ago, I wrote a simple letter about my dad and mesothelioma to send to family and friends. It was a great way to ease into fundraising because it was cost effective, there was no deadline, and it was relatively simple to get started.

There are plenty of other easy ideas to jump start your fundraising efforts. A dress down day at your workplace or school is one of them. For example, employees or students can make a contribution to the Meso Foundation and are able to “dress down” (i.e. wear jeans or a hat) in exchange for their donation. Another fundraiser that many community members find stress-free to implement is a “meso night out” at a favorite restaurant. For this type of event, you designate a specific night at a restaurant of your choice and invite your friends and family to attend. The restaurant then donates a percentage of sales to the Meso Foundation from the dinners ordered by your group. Having a captive audience in a setting like this provides a great platform to educate friends and family about mesothelioma.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job as Fundraising Coordinator is talking with meso community members and hearing how passionate and excited they are after they host an event. There is something unique about being able to take something negative, scary, and unknown like mesothelioma and create a positive experience not only for you, but for others as well. National Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26th, and now is the perfect time to plan your fundraiser. Please reach out to me by email, phone, or on Facebook with your questions. I encourage you to join me and the meso community and be a part of our fundraising efforts and our MISSION: CURE MESO.

Be a part of the cure. Donate to the mission to cure meso today.

A Fundraising Campaign is Born

Giveby Erica Ruble, Fundraising Coordinator, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

I lost my hero and father, Lance S. Ruble, to mesothelioma on August 16, 2008. Determined to make a difference and learn more about the disease, I attended my first Symposium in Washington, DC in 2009. It was at this conference that I was inspired by the meso community – specifically by Shelly Kozicki – to begin raising funds for this orphan disease. Shelly had lost her husband Craig to mesothelioma and began fundraising in his memory. I was determined to do the same for my dad.

As I flew back to my hometown, I began brainstorming about raising funds for mesothelioma. Like so many of you out there in our meso community, I had never asked for any type of monetary donation in my life. Even when I was in grade school and we had to sell $1.00 chocolate bars for our school fundraiser, my parents would just buy the whole box. We were always too timid to ask people to make a contribution, but now all of that has changed.

I began my fundraising efforts with a simple letter campaign, putting pen to paper and sharing my dad’s story. I sent this letter to over 250 family members and friends. What I received in return was overwhelming, yet beautiful. The notes and donations came pouring in, and my letter campaign raised over $27,000. A fundraising campaign was born and this was now my new mission in life. To date, our family has raised over $223,000 for mesothelioma research and we are just beginning.

I will be writing monthly about my fundraising efforts. I hope you will join me in this movement to raise funds for mesothelioma. Knowing that there is a family out there who is just like yours and mine is one of the biggest motivations to give back. They are scared, they are not sure what treatment to choose, and most importantly, they want their loved one to LIVE.

We all have a chance in life to give back and help others. This is your opportunity! Whether you are a meso patient, a family member, have lost someone to the disease, or just want to support the cause, I urge you to get involved with fundraising. On a personal level, fundraising has helped me to heal and make sense of my dad’s passing. Of course I still question why this happened, but by giving back and helping others, my dad’s legacy – the man he WAS and STILL IS – lives on.

If you would like to contribute to the efforts of mesothelioma fundraising and raising mesothelioma awareness, you can join our cause. Donate to mesothelioma research today.

5th Annual “Quartermania” – this Saturday in St. Charles, MO

This weekend, in St. Charles, Missouri, Shelly Kozicki will be hosting her 5th Annual “Quartermania. This year’s event, just like all previous ones, has completely sold out to a crowd looking forward to bidding, prizes, food and friendship.

If you’ve never attended a “Quartermania”, you may wonder just exactly what it might be. Basically, it’s a bidding contest in which you bid quarters on your favorite prizes (which you get to choose from a list of over a hundred). The game is fun because for as little as two quarters, or up to a maximum of eight quarters, you can win pretty much anything ranging from baseball tickets and restaurant gift certificates to week-long vacations. This year, available items include St. Louis Cardinals jerseys and 2013 tickets, $100 gift certificates to Macy’s, Saturday Night Live tickets, shatterproof and waterproof video cameras, LCD TV, Callaway Driver valued at $300.

This event generally attracts between 300-400 attendees annually, and their collective bids result in about $15,000 raised each year. Shelly works tirelessly for several months prior to the event, calling local and regional businesses, getting prizes from the auction, making the items look nice for the event, promoting the event and selling tickets, getting food and drink donated, and much (much!) more. But to Shelly, every minute spent working on Quartermania, is absolutely worth the end result.

Through Quartermanias and other fundraising efforts, Shelly has now raised nearly $250,000 for the Meso Foundation and its peer-reviewed mesothelioma research program. The dollars Shelly raised have already funded two mesothelioma research projects and she is now working on a third. One of these projects includes the study on “Targeting Mesothelin by Human Antibodies for Mesothelioma Treatment” conducted by Mitchell Ho, PhD, at the National Cancer Institute (NIH).

Shelly started fundraising in 2007. Tragically, she lost her husband, Craig, to mesothelioma in 2009, but she never stopped believing that a cure is possible. Nowadays, she dedicates her events to Craig’s memory and is inspired to continue her work by so many friends affected by mesothelioma whom she met through her events and the Meso Foundation. As she will tell you this Saturday, there is much more work to be done and she won’t be stopping until there is a cure. To support Shelly’s fundraising efforts, click here to make a donation.