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.