These Are My Fighting Words

I totally need an assist here.  First, I haven’t asked you yet (this week) to please vote for me in the Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks Awards.  I’m up for Best Local Blog, Brooklyn chapter.  Click this and then vote and then come back to me.  Seriously. I’m in second place here.  (Update: Their site seems really buggy right now and isn’t allowing some people to vote.  Conspiracy?  You be the judge.  Anyway, every time you at least try, an angel gets his wings.  And so.)


Bossy, huh?  Well there’s more.  I need to figure out a way to work up some cash.  Many of my readers are also my brother’s readers (thanks for sharing, Fatty/Elden!), and know that he’s in the middle of a massive fundraising effort for the Livestrong Challenge Event.  There are four cities that it takes place in: Seattle, San Jose, Philly and Boston.  However, you don’t have to live in any of these cities to participate.  So I up and joined San Jose’s team a long time ago, and haven’t done anything since.


But NOW….

Then my brother got this guy, Mathew, to become a team captain for San Jose and he started sending out emails with suggestions on how to raise funds.  First, Mathew totally rocks and will from now on be MY team captain no matter what type of team I’m on.  He is my new Life Team Captain.  He successfully kicked in the instinct to pick my fight with cancer.  Cancer has bulldozed its way into my life in so many ways: Anson’s brother died of Leukemia.  My sister had Melanoma.  My father had Prostate Cancer.  My father’s wife had Breast Cancer.  My grandmother died from Breast Cancer.  My mother’s husband had bout after bout of various skin cancers.  One of my best friends from High School lost her 12-year-old son to Cancer.  A reader reached out to me to help one of her young students battling Cancer.  And then of course, there is my sister-in-law, Susan, who continues to win every day, but has been badly abused by Cancer.


So instead of saying “I wish there were something I could do to help….” and then moving on to my own life, I’ve got to stop.  I’m stopping right now to say the only thing I know to do is to try to help my brother’s team, Team Fatty, reach their goal of raising $500,000 to fight Cancer. Elden and his team have already raised $214,522 (as of this writing), which is amazing.  I’d like to ask all of my readers to help me raise that number. 


This is the
Part Where I Ask for your Help

The reasons I don’t donate to things, even when I believe in them are probably the same reasons you don’t.  I won’t list them because they’re all so trivial.  I’m asking you to put those reasons aside now, take the 30 seconds it takes to click on this link and give my personal fundraising page for Team Fatty what you can.  Five bucks.  Twenty, thirty, one hundred, or one million gives you the right to say you have picked your fight with Cancer.  I’m starting at $0.00 today. (Update: Actually I sent out some preview emails last night to my friends who responded with amazing generosity.  So I’m starting at $725.00).  Tomorrow it will be better.  That’s all I want.


And now for your suggestions: what do you think would be an effective way to raise money locally?  I was thinking a benefit dinner at a local restaurant.  Anyone have experience with that?  I’m wondering if the amount you pay out is worth what you bring in.  Raffles seem to be successful for the old Fatster, so maybe that’s an idea.  If you want to help me think of a way to do this, please leave me a comment, or send me an email.  If you live in the NY area and you want to help me put something together, drum up support, or donate something to a fundraising event say so! 


I do believe in this.  I definitely and defiantly believe that the only way to show our support of our loved ones battling Cancer is to step-up and do this.  Thanks citizens. 


31 responses to “These Are My Fighting Words

  1. I don’t know what it’s like in NY – if you can do stuff like this… but I tend to fundraise a lot for sea cadets here in Northern Ireland.A really good way is to take a bucket to a pub on, say, a Friday night (really good if there’s a match on!) and when everyone’s nice and toasty, pass it around. It usually yields quite a good amount of money!We’ve also organised ‘night at the races’ where everyone bets on a horse (or dog depending where you go!) and the winner gives all/most of the money as a donation. I’ll be super obnoxious too and give you this website:$1Publications/Guides-and-Manuals and there’s a guide to fundraising which is really good!Good luck!! I’ll definitely send some money your way once I get paid!

  2. Oh! You could try a bake sale at Roan’s school before the end of year (that’s June in the US, right?).. Or a used clothing sale. There was one of those in Belfast a few weeks ago which was great – the group got use of a shop for free for an evening and had a night where people could come and go, sell and buy – but all the profits went to the charity. It was a really good and original idea.And for the fundraising guide I linked you to – it’s section 13 that would be the best to look at. Everything else is UK mumble jumble. Yeah. 🙂

  3. 50-50 raffles work well. Everyone pays $1, $5, whatever amount, to buy a raffle ticket. They can buy as many as they like. Then the winner of the raffle gets half the money, and the other half goes to cancer. Picks up not just the do-gooders, but the gamblers too!I’m the Team Captain for my company’s Relay for Life team here. I traipse around town with my official RFL Team Captain notebook, and ask for donations of items to raffle. We have gotten quite a lot that way (Wii, grill, big screen tv, $500 gas card.) Also, if you do a benefit dinner sometimes companies will pay to sponsor it, if you have some kind of program or brochure that you use at the dinner to advertise their generosity. Then all of the proceeds of the dinner can go straight to Livestrong, instead of paying expenses first.

  4. I donated a little bit of money, and I wish I could help out more as I live upstate in New York, maybe along the way I can help!

  5. You rule. A lot.

  6. Jodi…look what you’ve done almost overnight! Fatty is right…you DO rule! I’m flabbergasted to think that I’ve actually had ANY effect trying to get the team motivated…we seem to be making minimal progress at the moment (me too btw). One of your brothers SUPERPOWERS is getting people to do things…(thats how I got sucked in…apparently no kryptonite was available to save me at the crucial moment)..and it seems you have that same superpower! Good luck on your fundraising efforts, and it’s an HONOR to have you on the team!Mathew (Team Fatty San Jose Co-Capt)

  7. 50/50 raffles are usually pretty effective. Often the winner of the raffle donates their 50% winnings back.

  8. This is wonderful Jodi- I’m so glad you’re taking on this challenge…and thanks for the nod in my direction. I care so much about this cause as well, but sometimes lose sight of the immediacy of the problem. You totally rock – as if you didn’t know that already!As for fund-raising, I’ve had success with the raffle approach- hit up local businesses for donated items. At Gabe’s school we just raised $$ selling home-made ice cream. I know it’s the lemonade stand on the corner approach, but man, did it make people happy.Best of luck to you and your efforts. It gives me fuel to keep plugging away at my looong-term cancer-kicking goals.

  9. I love your ideas Amanda. There is something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy about getting donations from people who are toasted. I don’t know. It’s just twisted enough to make my dark heart smile. This is something I could put my husband in charge of , and something my husband would love doing. Thanks!

  10. I’ve never seen the 50-50 idea. I like the concept a lot. I’m pretty sure I could get some good loot for raffles, so I’m leaning more and more towards that. I also am really into the idea of not paying for expenses – all the money should go to Livestrong – and figuring out how to make that work. Looks like I’m going to have to get an official looking notebook.

  11. Courtney – the little bits of money are the goods, for reals. I think a lot of people don’t give anything at all (this is how I am) because they don’t feel like they can give “enough”. But just putting anything into the pot shows support and lends strength. So thank you.

  12. As Boy George said, “Do you really want to make me cry?”Thanks Elden.

  13. Mathew – you totally inspired me. When I got your emails and saw how much effort you were putting into this, it reminded me that I had done very little. And since this is personal – too much so – I’d better have the backs of my people. Yeh, Elden has superpowers for sure. He used to make me hit myself and then ask me why I was hitting myself. I’m still reviewing that in therapy. Nice that he’s turned these powers over to the side of good.Thanks for all your work!

  14. It is so funny that you wrote that because that was the first thing I wondered after reading about 50-50 raffles above. I may just print out your comment in 82 pt. font, laminate it, and have it sitting on the raffle table. You know – subtlety is my strong suit.

  15. Le La Lu – You know what you’ve been through is wildly terrifying and how you’ve come out on the other side is magnificently inspiring. I think the grass-roots lemonade stand on the corner approach is right up my alley. Plus I have an arsenal of cute little Brooklyn kids I can put to work selling ice cream, lemonade, whatever. Thanks for your encouragement, and truly if anything I do impacts you and the other people in my life who have been bullied by cancer in a positive way, I have totally accomplished my goal.

  16. Great ideas. We just did a fundraiser here in our little town in Colorado for a family battling cancer. We invited everyone that had ties to them: their employers, church goers, cycling community, friends, and the press! They did a spotlight on them and the event on TV and the newspaper. We served dinner, had an auction of donated items, and had musical entertainment. We charged $15 a person and most paid double that to come in. Very, very generous offers with the auction too. We made close to $25,000 that night! Good Luck. Spending a little of your own time can render great results!

  17. I’m so psyched that you’re on OUR team! San Jose has the dubious honor of being not quite so blatantly successful as the other cities but I’m pretty sure having a rock star like you is gonna help. That and Matt!

  18. $920 according to the little thermometer. It even takes Aussie dollars.

  19. What a huge success – you’re really so great at this type of thing. Howzabout you fly out this way again to help me Kellene! Ro Ro would love to see you. Me too. Oh yeh – HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

  20. Oh man I hope I can live up to your expectations. I have to admit that I’m really encouraged by how amazingly generous everyone has been. What a great thing to come together for.

  21. Awww shux Big Mike. You’re a good dude. Thanks.

  22. Just wanted to let you know the site to vote for you is still giving a “server error” when voting!! Conspiracy I say!

  23. Can I be creative and donate money for the Livestrong challenge as a ‘payment’ for letting me read your blog? I am still from the old fashioned generation there is no such things as free stuff. Everything with a value has a price – your blog has an added value for me, like giving me an insight in ‘real’life in NY. Therefore I am more than happy to pay something for it!And maybe another fundraising suggestion: is there anything you can do with your self defense training? ‘Fight against cancer’ sounds like a very good theme? Have a parent-kid tournament event and the entrance fee goes to LAF?

  24. Jodi…you’ve now surpassed my LiveStrong total in just TWO DAYS! You are flat-out SMOKIN! Keep it coming!!!And btw, I STILL can’t get a vote in for you…here’s what it says after I hit “vote”: Oops,This page does not work yet. I think there IS indeed a fix in the works.

  25. Jodi…you’ve now surpassed my LiveStrong total in just TWO DAYS! You are flat-out SMOKIN! Keep it coming!!!And btw, I STILL can’t get a vote in for you…here’s what it says after I hit “vote”: Oops,This page does not work yet. I think there IS indeed a fix in the works.

  26. Tried to vote for you but it says the site is being updated for the first time in 8 years. Why now, then?Anyhoo, raffles can be great. If you’ve got a good raffle item, you can sell X amount of tix for say, $100 bucks each, with maybe 2 drawings for cash along with the main prize winner. For example, I’ve seen recently a car auctioned off. It can be donated, or sometimes the dealership will sell it for a low amount. This one sold 2,000 tix for $200 each) with 2 opps to win $500 in prizes. They sold tix over a few months, with one big event being when they drew the winning ticket. It yielded nearly $150K. Check with your State Dept. of Justice for raffle rules, though.

  27. Voted twice. Now I get to read your post.

  28. I’ve got a great idea for a raffle that will be both lots of fun (you’ll be requested to participate with the winners) and should generate a solid amount of donations. I couldn’t find your email address and don’t want to spill the beans in the comment section so please give me a call or shoot me an email 845.485.7349.

  29. Just so you know I tried to vote today and no luck! Still not working.

  30. Judging by the love Roan showed for “spreading the word” on Sunday, I say you give him a hat, a monkey, and a sign that says “ask me why I need cash.” You’ll make a killing.

  31. My friends and I just did AIDS Walk NY. A couple of our team members were guest bartenders for a few hours at a bar. We invited all our friends and had them invite their friends, etc. At the end of the night they divvied up all the tips and their portions went to our AIDS Walk Team. We raised about 300 bucks on a Monday night. And it was lots of fun too!

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