Sunday, October 2, 2011

PDSA & ITP Awareness...and CAKE!

On September 24th, 2011 we hosted our 2nd Annual Platelet Disorder Support Association 5K Walk/Run in Oconomowoc, WI. This was yet another fantastic fundraising effort. It's tough to even imagine that all of this would have been possible from that first walk around the lake 3 years ago on Father's Day where my family and I raised $500 for PDSA. That marked PDSA's first EVER fundraising event.

The next year, I helped to raised nearly $8,000 by getting the "right" people involved, which sparked a national outpouring of support including other states hosting their own 5Ks and fundraising events for PDSA. Snowball that into this year where PDSA purchased some new fundraising software and the potential grew exponentially. Not only did we raise over $13,000 this year (and the number continues to rise), other walks throughout the country (and WORLD) have raised funds and awareness as well.

I came across this link just a few days ago and was blown away by the generosity of people. This gentleman, Lance, raised over $50,000 for PDSA earlier this month all because he knew Brian, a kid with ITP, and he wanted to do something about it.

The month of September, again, is recognized as ITP Awareness Month, which just continues to bring even more awareness to the disease. So many people have helped raise awareness of ITP and funds to support PDSA and I couldn't be more appreciative. It's a humbling position to be in when people are so willing to assist and eager to do so. Seriously, I had a couple of "moments" last weekend, just looking around at the crowd that gathered. Knowing we were all there together, for one purpose.

Danny's team from Wells Fargo!

One 14-year old girl, Liz, who has ITP, raised over $1500 and brought 39!!!! people to walk with her. She was on "Team Liz" and her mantra through her disease has been Live, Love, Laugh, Liz. That was the saying on all of the t-shirts her friends and family wore to support her. They were an amazing group of people; so supportive of Liz.

Another 14-year old girl, Emily who also has ITP, raised over $2000. She raised over $1000 last year. Think about that! She's 14!!!

Both of these girls are only teenagers, dealing with a difficult disease that not many people, INCLUDING doctors, fully understand. But this walk/run has given them purpose and an opportunity to do SOMETHING about it, which is exactly why I started the walk 3 years ago. I couldn't heal my Dad, but I AM a planner!

Our medalists!

Our fundraising efforts have been grand this year. Better than I could have imagined. My co-coordinators, Kim, Trudy and myself, asked anyone we could think of to donate gift certificates, tickets and memberships to our raffle. We got a license through the state and raffled off gift baskets that were each worth $750-900 each.

We had the:
Dream Date Deal (gift certificates to about 25 restaurants, a one-year family membership to the Milwaukee County Zoo and a one-year family membership to the Milwaukee Public Museum), the
Sizzling Sports Spectacular (tickets to the Milwaukee Wave, Milwaukee Admirals, Milwaukee Bucks, a Milwaukee Bucks autographed jersey, Milwaukee Brewers goodies and a heart-rate sports monitor), and the
Priceless Packers Package (autographed football with all of the 2011 Super Bowl champs and staff and tickets to the Bishops Charity Event plus other Packers swag).
The raffle alone raised around $2200!!

And we're already planning for next year. Kim has a dream that we'll give away a Disney Vacation next year!! We'll be doing the Dream Date and hopefully the Packers again. But stay tuned for more raffle information. I'm excited to see what we'll come up with for next year. It'll be better than this year, if you can imagine!

Also, Lance, the gentleman in the link I included, has expressed an interest in helping us out with our fundraising efforts next year. Peak Performance, the gym where he trains, has a chain in Hartland, WI. Think of the possibilitities.

And all of this from a little walk around Fowler Lake 3 years ago. And I can't wait to do it again on September 29, 2012.

I love you, Dad!

If you'd like to donate to the Platelet Disorder Support Association, please check out our link here:

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