View Full Version : OT: Raising Money for a Kid with Cancer

06-21-2012, 07:04 PM
Okay, I tried to word the title in a way that would get people to click, without tricking them into clicking on something that didn't interest them. And while this post is longer than most will want to read, I have bolded the key parts (for your convenience :)).

I have been put in charge of the Auction Committee for a fundraiser being held in September. I would REALLY appreciate any advice/help you could give me.

Background information: Some friends of ours recently found out their 15-year-old son has cancer. After a rugby game back in March, Porter (the son) noticed some swelling just above one of his ankles. Since rugby is a physical sport, he didn't think much of it - he assumed he had been hit or kicked there, and he put a little ice on it. When the swelling hadn't gone down a few days later, he mentioned it to his parents. A few days after that, they took him to the doctor, and the doctor ordered some tests. To make a long story short, this otherwise-healthy kid has something called Ewing Sarcoma - a fairly rare form of cancer that is diagnosed in about 200 Americans a year (mostly children and adolescents).

Porter just finished his fourth round of chemotherapy. Next month, they are going to amputate his leg, just below the knee. From there, they will do more chemotherapy. In a best-case scenario, that will be it - other than regular testing throughout his life. If it's spread, they'll start over - but the chances of him surviving drop significantly, at that point.

This is a WONDERFUL kid from a truly decent family. I know everyone says that, in situations like this. But Porter has been so inspiring through all of this. I've never been more proud to know someone. He doesn't complain. He's always positive and giving. He's humble. He has such a net-positive impact on society! And his family are always the ones there to help, when things like this happen to other people. One of the high school football players in Porter and his siblings' former school collapsed and died playing basketball a few months ago. Despite the attention Porter's family was already putting on helping Porter, they all led the charge to raise funds to help the kid's family with funeral expenses. These are truly solid people!

The fundraiser: There is a non-profit group here (called Anything for a Friend) that chooses a small number of people each year to help with fundraising events. They basically just organize these events utilizing donated time and resources from friends and family members of the recipient. So, they don't have a paid staff - 100% of what is raised is passed on to the family. Porter's event will be held at the end of September. We're planning on 2,500 attendees (based on the size of the community, and previous events Anything for a Friend has done). There are several facets to the event (a 5K, donated food, games, etc); but the one that should raise the most money is the silent auction. That's where I come in.

I am essentially in charge of a committee with 10-12 other people. Our job is to come up with 75-100 "baskets" for the silent auction. These could consist of anything from, say, a movie night (movie tickets, a restaurant gift certificate, babysitting) to much larger items (travel packages, etc). The baskets should sell for anywhere from $20 to several thousands of dollars.

What I need: Part One: Advice, to begin with. In charity functions you've attended, have you seen baskets that have been especially popular? With a lot of this, we're just trying to leverage relationships. Those of us on the committee are simply scouring our lists of friends, family, and business contacts for items that could be donated. One person's neighbor owns a car detailing business; so they are donating a handful of full-service detailing certificates. Another person is an attorney; so his firm is donating hours of legal consultation. One of my neighbors is the legal counsel for a large, Utah-based company that has court-side Utah Jazz season tickets; so he is donating the company's tickets for a few of the games.

On the other hand, I want to go after a few baskets that are "home runs" - baskets that have enough real or perceived value to get the event's attendees into something of a bidding war. I would anticipate these items coming from companies with which I don't have a current connection. I'd love suggestions from some of our more creative members here. What have you seen that has worked?

What I need: Part Two: More, if you are willing. Certainly, if you have anything of value you or your business/place of employment would be willing to donate - well, I wouldn't turn you away. It is 100% tax deductible; and your company will get recognition on event signage, t-shirts, the event website, etc. What's more, you'll have the warm feeling of contributing to a truly good, worthy cause.

I would also love any ideas you might have on how to get in doors like the Broncos, Rockies, and Avs to solicit meaningful donations. Salt Lake City is the closest market for all the Denver teams, other than the Nuggets. I would love to talk to someone about possible memorabilia, garb, tickets, etc. Any thoughts on that? Does anyone here have contacts they'd be willing to put in touch with me? We have pretty good connections on the current football coaching staffs at BYU and the University of Utah. I think we'll have solid packages from both of those schools. I'd love to add some professional teams to that mix.

If you have ANY ideas that you think could assist me with ANY of this at ANY level, I would love to hear them. I can provide documentation for the event, if there are questions. Feel free to PM me. TJ, if you don't have an issue with it, I can put a link for a website that's been done for the event and Porter here, as well as the website for the non-profit. But basically, if you've read this far, and have suggestions that could help me, you will absolutely have my gratitude.

06-25-2012, 05:30 PM
Okay, a few of you have offered suggestions (and financial help) in REPs and PMs. The offers for financial help honestly really warm my heart. I would never accept (this isn't the place for that); but I hope karma bounces back your way for being willing to do so.

Otherwise, this thread isn't exactly thriving. So, I'll keep it simpler and shorter. Does anyone know who at the Broncos might be in charge of charity work? Surely, they must get requests all the time. Since we're considered a Broncos market, I wonder if they might be interested in donating some Broncos garb for the auction. I'll just start calling and sending letters, if no one here has a suggestion as to who might oversee the process.

By the way, in case you are interested, this is a slideshow done by the family for a local event. We'll be advertising the September event at a booth, and this will be looped in the background.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mLzZyIBqzzY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>