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:
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.