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.

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day

This morning, following a very early wake up call, Meso Foundation supporters came together on Rockefeller Plaza to raise national awareness of mesothelioma. This was the third consecutive year that the Foundation organized this awareness event.

The Meso Foundation group was visible throughout the three-hour morning show in their bright yellow shirts. During the second hour of the program, Savannah Guthrie briefly interviewed our own Rich Mosca (a meso warrior and board member of the Meso Foundation).

Here are a few other photos from the event.

Also on the 26th, the Orioles, during their game against the Toronto Blue Jays, recognized Meso Awareness Day by featuring information about the Meso Foundation on the jumbotron screen.

Orioles Game Group photo Orioles 2

Today Show and the Baltimore Orioles

Here at the Meso Foundation, every year we try to make Meso Awareness Day bigger and better. With your help and the help of all of our supporters, the buzz this year has, in fact, been louder than ever. The events that have already taken place have been an enormous success, and we know that those still to come will follow the same path. We will create a handy summary of all accomplishments as soon as this week is over. Until then, please note these upcoming events:

100_0407TOMORROW MORNING, September 26th, please tune in to the Today Show. As has become tradition, Meso Foundation staff and supporters will participate in the audience of the show and, hopefully, will be given a few seconds of air-time to tell the nation why Mesothelioma Awareness Day is so important to all of us.

TOMORROW AFTERNOON, September 26th, the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to display Meso Foundation’s logo and information about Meso Awareness Day throughout their game, encouraging their fans to visit curemeso.org to learn more and to donate.

A full Meso Awareness Day event schedule is available at www.curemeso.org/events.

The John Pavlick Miles for Meso 8K & Family Fun Run

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, Olga and Sarah Pavlick will be hosting a timed 8K race and a 2K family fun run at Burke Lake Park in Virginia. The run starts at 8 AM and more information about this event, which is sponsored by the Simmons Firm, is available on the event’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JohnPavlickFightMeso

Pavlicks-8k-2011-003_blogJohn Pavlick was diagnosed with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in July 2008. Although his prognosis was grim, John was determined to fight. Moreover, his wanted to make sure that his case at least be used by researchers to help others in the future. His journey began at Presbyterian Memorial Hospital in New York City one month after his diagnosis and his courageous battle ended just a few months later, on November 13th. He was only 60 years old.

The John Pavlick Miles for Meso 8K & Family Fun Run, which is now in its third year, began shortly after John Pavlick’s passing. His wife Olga and daughter-in-law, Sarah, were determined to do something to honor his memory. They wanted to raise awareness of mesothelioma and they wanted to continue John’s desire to help others through research and patients services. One day, walking through Burke Lake Park in Virginia, where they live, they fondly remembered that John and Olga often took walks in that park. That sparked their idea to organize a run/walk along those same trails!

This year, Olga and Sarah hope to focus even more than usual on those affected by the disease, so they established an Honor Wall to remember loved ones lost to mesothelioma and will be printing the submitted names on their race t-shirts as well. “We want to be a place where families can come together and honor their loved ones, provide support for those fighting meso now and educate others about the disease,” said Sarah Pavlick.

We want to wish the Pavlick family the best of luck with their event, and would like to encourage those of you in Virginia to attend. If Virginia is not in your neck of the woods, take a look here at all the other events that benefit the Meso Foundation planned around Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

New Balance Products Raise Money for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

Kevin with his dad.

Kevin Connelly, a New Balance sales rep from the Chicagoland area, became inspired to host a fundraising event about six months ago, right after his dad’s diagnosis of mesothelioma. In search for more information about mesothelioma, Kevin decided to attend the Meso Foundation’s Symposium. It was at the Symposium where the pieces to his event puzzle started coming together.

Kevin felt that, to maximize his impact, his event should reflect his own interests and should allow him to use his expertise and resources. Finally, it dawned on him! He realized that he could partner with the retailers he works with on a daily basis to help raise awareness, and money.

He pitched the idea to his retailers asking them to donate part of the proceeds from New Balance merchandise to the Meso Foundation, and a great number of them agreed.

Getting some of them to commit to a day and amount of donation has been challenging, but Kevin didn’t take “no” for an answer. Here is the list of participating retailers who committed for September 2012:

September 21st- 23rd
Naperville Running Company
34 W. Jefferson
Naperville, IL 60540
September 26th
Holmes Shoes
4700 N. University
Peoria, IL 61614
Holmes Shoes
1150 W. Carl Sandburg Dr. (Sandburg Mall)
Galesburg, IL 61401
September 26th
Holmes Shoes
3636 Ave. of the Cities
Moline, IL 61265
September 26th- 29th
Mosser’s Shoes
2460 W. Wabash
Springfield, IL 62704
Mosser’s Shoes
6 Convenience Center
Champaign, IL 61820

Now that this year’s event is underway, Kevin is already planning for next year. He has lots of ideas that he just didn’t have time to implement this time around, and that will make his fundraiser even more profitable. He feels that including an online shopping component, for example, would allow him a far greater reach. Also, perhaps, changing the time of his fundraiser to a month other than September (as September is not a very good retail month in general) could yield him larger contributions.

“What I hope to do in the future is to piggyback off of other promotions that the retailers run,” says Kevin. “If I can get them to donate a portion of their sales from those days, this would be a huge success,” he adds.

The Meso Foundation is very proud of Kevin and of all our volunteers and community members who work hard to raise money for mesothelioma research, patient support and education, and for advocacy to end mesothelioma and the suffering it causes. We urge you to support Mesothelioma Awareness Day by participating in one of our community events and by supporting our volunteers’ fundraising efforts.