Want to know how to raise money and have a great time? Just ask Lynn Bartnicki, who organized a dinner dance in the community where she lives in New Jersey. The event featured beautiful decorations, gift baskets to raffle, great food, friends, and a live band. Thanks to Lynn and her devoted team for raising almost $5000 for metastatic breast cancer research!
"I don’t look at myself as if I have a terminal illness. That is not how I feel. I feel pretty good most of the time and I am enjoying life every day. I am not done yet. I feel strongly about making a significant contribution by advocating for research which is so greatly needed. My goal is to be a fundraiser and a political advocate. There is so much to be done and I want to be a part of it for as long as I can."
Thanks, Barb Scott, for showing us how to grow a fundraiser and be successful even in a small town in Ontario! Here is Barb's story:
When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (mbc) in 2011, I had never heard the word "metastatic" before. And I certainly wasn't aware that breast cancer could metastasize, let alone be diagnosed at stage IV from the beginning. Thinking that I couldn't be the only one out there that had been fooled by the pink ribbon, I decided to do something about it.
While researching mbc, I learned that October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I approached a local restaurant in hopes that they would support my efforts to raise both awareness and research dollars for mbc. They agreed and that first "coffee day" raised $400.00 through coffee sales and donations.
With the first years success, I was excited to make year two bigger and better. After learning about the Metavivor campaign, "The Elephant in the Pink room", and how mbc could be compared to the elephant in the room, the first annual "Dancing With Elephants" was born. Along with the "coffee day", I (along with a couple of my sisters) set to work organizing a fundraising evening of music, dancing, silent auction, community painting, 50/50 draw and live auction.
Our budget was a whopping $0.00, so some creativity and resourcefulness was needed. We made posters by hand, we pounded the pavement to solicit donations for our auctions, we asked family and friends to help bake sweets for the evening, and approached local entertainers to ask if they would volunteer their time and talents for the evening. We even secured a suitable venue at no cost. To our amazement With the support and generosity of family, friends, local businesses and surrounding communities we were able to raise over $5000.00! Not bad for a community with a population of only 1100.
2014 brought about the 2nd annual Dancing With Elephants fundraiser as well as an expansion to the "coffee day" awareness and fundraising campaign. This year we had two additional restaurants in neighbouring communities taking part. One held a "burger day" donating proceeds from each burger sold, and another helped promote awareness and received donations on our behalf. After all is said and done, we once again raised over $5,000.00 to be distributed to two organizations dedicated to supporting research of metastatic breast cancer (MBCN and METavivor) as well as a local cancer care unit which is upgrading its facilities.
The community painting is a central focus of the evening. Guidance is provided by a professional artist for all in attendance to be able to take part in bringing the elephant to life.
The painting or "Celebration Piece" is symbolic of a community coming together, breathing life into a cause that is often neglected in the discussions around breast cancer. Although there has been progress in treatments for metastatic breast cancer, those living with mbc still await the elusive cure.
You may not "see" the elephant at first, but just as it takes a conscious effort to understand the complexities of mbc, you will need to take your time, let the colours dance before your eyes and soon you will see her come to life.
Even though this event has been localized to our small corner of the world in small town Ontario Canada, we will continue to expand to neighbouring communities each year and continue to raise some much needed awareness and research dollars mbc. Check out our facebook page "Dancing With Elephants" for information regarding mbc and updates regarding our fundraising events.
In memory of her mother, Ann Maskalenko, who died of metastatic breast cancer on December 28, 2013, 6th grader Kira Densford organized a movie night fundraiser at the town library under the guidance of her school counselor, Betty Schulthess.
The event was very successful and we thank Kira and all who supported her and honored her mother. Pictured above are Kira and her Mom at Monet's Garden in Givenchy, France in May, 2013 in happier days.
On September 28, 2013 Venice Beach Mermaids once again donned their amazing costumes and collected healing vibes, hope and money on the Venice Beach boardwalk. This year they focused on their friend Shannon who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and invited passerbys to "write a kind note to Shannon" which would be sent in a loving care package to her. All donations went to MBCN. We thank the mermaids for their awesome fundraiser and hope Shannon got a boost of the love and support they generated. Way to go, gals!
On October 13, 2013, Gainesville Country Club was the setting for an exciting mah jongg tournament in honor of Sara Bertrand, living with mbc for four years. Sara commented: "Wow! I ran a fundraiser for MBCN on MBC Awareness Day. I raised over $1,000.00 and more donations were promised. We played Mah Jongg and had a fabulous champagne brunch at my country club. That's right I am golfing now. I am doing things now that I always wanted to. Golf, knitting, sewing and traveling. and trying new menus at home. I am 4 years diagnosed MBC this month. Hoping for 4 more years times 10."
Thanks, Sara, for your enthusiasm. We are so glad that you raised money for us and were buoyed by the experience and the support you got from friends and family.
Kathy Thomas organized a "Jeans Day" at her office to raise money for MBCN and awareness of metastatic breast cancer. She was thrilled that her office donated a 40" flat screen TV that was raffled.
Kids in Molly Fuglestad's neighborhood wanted to support her in her struggle, living with metastatic breast cancer. The four youngsters held a successful neighborhood fair to raise money for MBCN. Molly is very proud of these kids! Read her summary of the event on the MBCNbuzz blog.
Cindy Hyde's office in Houston always did a fundraiser during October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this year was different. Cindy had developed mets and suggested that the fundraiser concentrate on the metastatic population---and she got to work.
Like most of us, Cindy really didn't know too much about metastatic disease when she was first diagnosed and neither did her friends. She turned to MBCN and found several articles from the website that she emailed and posted at the office, including "The 13 Facts Everyone Should Know about Metastatic Breast Cancer."
"People were shocked by the information; they had no idea," says Cindy. "Several of them forwarded the articles to friends. I think that's why they were so supportive of the idea of donating to an organization dedicated to education about MBC instead of the usual ‘pink only' donations."
In addition to donations, Cindy raised money from making and selling pink and black ribbons and MBCN t-shirts. She was gratified by the response. Here she is in the MBCN t-shirt, pictured with some of her co-workers.
To honor and show support for Deb when she was first diagnosed with mbc, her co-worker nurses held a Basket-Bingo event with raffles, door prizes, food, fun and they offered information on metastatic breast cancer to help raise awareness of the disease.
Below is a letter received by MBCN from Page Kissinger ... her words will touch your heart as she speaks for so many of her co-workers and friends.
June 24, 2010
Hello. My name is Page Kissinger and I am a co-worker of Deb Mumma as well as a close friend. Deb was diagnosed with breast cancer and also found out that it was Stage 4 and also that she had areas on her femur, liver and spine. This was devastating news for everyone that is close to Deb. I felt absolutely helpless as to how to help her or even know how to be her friend. Deb herself is a very private person and kept a safe distance while she digested the whole situation. I knew Deb would not want any special attention paid to her because of the "cancer."
Now I have to confess that during her most desperate times, I do not feel that I was a very good friend to her and her husband. While she was unable to work and activity was restricted, I did not visit or call like a friend should. I admit it was selfish on my part, I didn't know what to say or do and I was scared. Deb never left my thoughts or prayers, I prayed for her every night and morning, but just never picked up the phone to call. I don't know why. Because of this, I decided that we needed to help her in some way. Knowing Deb, I know she would not allow us to do anything just for her. I knew she found a wealth of information and comfort through your network. That is when I got the idea to have a fundraiser for MBCN in honor of Deb Mumma. We decided to have a basket bingo and we had the physicians and other co-workers from the hospital sponsor and donate money to help carry this out. It was a great success which finally brings me to the purpose of this letter.
We were able to raise $2000 that we are donating to your organization in honor of Deb Mumma. I know you will be able to put it to good use by helping others the way you were able to help Deb. Your organization provides a very helpful and needed service and we, the CCU nurses and staff, are pleased to be a part of that.
On behalf of the CCU Nurses and Staff, Most Sincerely Yours,
Page M. Kissinger, RN
Lisa Winkler hosted Spin For A Cause at herin memory of her sister Sharon Raics and donated all proceeds to MBCN.
I was so fortunate to attend the MBCN Conference at Dana Farber. The whole experience moved me especially when Deb Tincher of Ohio spoke about how she put together a fundraiser in her local town. I thought wow I could put together a birthday celebration with my family and friends! I knew I needed help to pull this fundraiser off so I thought of all the people in my life who could assist - example: create an invitation, find a restaurant, work on a menu, collect raffle prizes, pick speakers who can educate the participants about Mets BC.
All in all - it took 3 months to put it together and I am proud to say it turned out to be a terrific success!!! In my "Thank you" speech I said "Life is beautiful, despite its ups and downs:
It's times like this when my happiness has no bounds. Let's pray that each new day will bring only good things to report... To my family & friends, thanks again for your love & support!"
Susie (57 years & still counting)
Enjoy viewing the photos!
Susie Samuel's 57th Birthday Fundraiser
@ Plaza Diner in New York on Sunday April 11, 2010
I was diagnosed in May 2009. I couldn't return to my classroom but liked to go back and visit.
As a teacher I wanted to educate everyone in my community about Metastatic Breast Cancer. I found MBCNetwork.org to be helpful in teaching me and giving me resources. I decided to hold a fundraiser for MBCN. We had games for children, raffles for adults, entertainment and food. I spoke about my diagnosis and we had literature for people to understand this disease. But most of all it was a very fun evening for all.
Here are some pictures of the event.
For one magical night each year, Colleen Logan Hofmeister and her buddy Pam Burford serve as guest bar tenders at the Sayville Yacht Club located on the Great South Bay in Blue Point, New York. All tips go to MBCN, and Colleen and Pam make things more interesting by dressing as pirates.
Aaaaarrrrggggh cancer, you're messing with the wrong gals!
Suggestions for next year's costumes would be greatly appreciated.
A judge by day... a singer by night.
Regina decided to help raise funds for MBCN by using her singing talent!
She, and her friend Helene, held a cabaret night — SING FOR THE CURE: SONGS OF HOPE, JOY AND COURAGE.
She and Helene did exactly that — singing songs of hope, joy and courage for us all. She generously gave the proceeds to MBCN to help support our programs.
The first time I decided to raise funds to support the work of MBCN, I wrote a letter to all my friends and family — including the mission of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. In the letter I included my personal story of dealing with metastatic breast cancer and how I am presently living with NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE for the past 15 years.... and counting!
I let them know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am. My words tugged at their heart and they generously donated. The donations I raised paid for the production of the first t-shirts MBCN gave to all participants in cancer walks who requested a shirt - to help get that word ‘metastatic' seen by the public.
The next time I decided to help raise funds, I did basically the same thing — but this time with phone calls. Actually, I found making the calls to be easier.
Additionally, on my 60th birthday, friends and family donated to MBCN, in lieu of buying gifts for me. And, my partner continues to honor me with donations to MBCN.