May Marathon Walk Update

A Hero of our own

I’ll start this month’s update with some exciting news: Our team will have its own Walk Hero this year.

Jillian raised almost $7000 last year.

Jillian Emmons, who serves as one of our NETwalkers Alliance co-captains, has been named as a Walk Hero–and as our team’s official Walk Hero partner. What that last bit means I am not 100 percent clear on, but given the small number of Walk Heroes—one for each mile—this is a singular honor for both Jillian and our team. I know you will all join me in congratulating Jillian on her appointment.

By the numbers

Our official numbers, as of this morning, have us at five Walkers officially signed up and $7,639 raised so far. That’s good for fourth place in the team standings. However, I have an additional $2,000 in donations from my latest direct mail campaign that have not yet been credited. That will not move us up in the standings—we trail third officially by about $2500—but it does keep us on the top page of the leader board. The top team has raised nearly $13,000. We’re closing in on $10,000.

…this is a singular honor for both Jillian and our team.

The standings, though, are less important than what we are trying to do for NET cancer research. Jillian’s becoming a Walk Hero creates a platform for raising awareness about NET cancer. Every new member we pick up is one more spokesperson who also helps raise awareness. Every event we hold is another opportunity to spread the message about this disease and what it does.

The personal touch

Sometime in the next two months, our local daily and weekly newspapers will run stories about my personal Marathon Walk effort. They’ll run a picture of me striding along on a training walk. But the important thing about those stories will have nothing to do with me. They will give me the opportunity to tell our NET cancer story to an audience that may not have heard it before. That chance to educate people about this vile disease is every bit as important as the money our events will raise.

Jillian’s becoming a Walk Hero creates a platform… 

A few months ago, we received a check from Safeco Insurance because of the efforts of the people at W. T.  Phelan in Belmont, MA last year. In the next few weeks, we will create a photo-op with Matt Kulke and others to formally present that $3000 check. We could just have submitted that check and moved on. But that presentation, again, gives us an opportunity to get the word out about NET cancer and carcinoid syndrome and the ongoing research the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is doing in that area.

Create Walk opportunities

As you think about your next event, please also think about it in those terms. As I say all the time, if you need me to come talk at an event, I’ll be there unless I’m already promised somewhere else. I’m sure others on the team can make similar offers. But each of us has a NET cancer story to tell—and those stories matter.

We could just have submitted that check and moved on.

While many of you know something about Walking with Jane, the foundation I set up after my wife died, most of you only know the webpage and what we do with DFCI. In addition to that, among other things, we give scholarships at the school Jane and I taught at and at Bridgewater State University, where Jane did her undergraduate degree and some of her graduate work.

Activity ideas

This year’s recipient of the BSU scholarship is Devin Kenney—a double major in chemistry and biology, who is also pre-med. He and his brother run a small company that does reptile shows. He has offered to do a show for free for us as a fundraiser. I have no idea how to make that work, but if you do, I offer you his services. Just let me know what your plan is and I’ll put you in touch with him.

…each of us has a NET cancer story to tell…

We are also looking for t-shirt sponsors again this year. I’ll have a letter shortly I’ll send out to team members for soliciting those. Sponsor levels include: platinum for $1000—the company logo on the front of the shirt; gold for $500—the company name on the front of the shirt; silver for $250—the company logo on the back of the shirt; and bronze for $100—the company name on the back of the shirt.

Moving ahead

We already have two platinum levels from money donated last year after the shirts were printed—including Safeco Insurance—and four bronze sponsors from people who jumped the gun locally, knowing I was going to ask. You can start without my letter if you want, but I must have all sponsors in hand no later than August 15.

We are also looking for t-shirt sponsors…

Saturday, I was at a local craft fair. The weather was too nice, so we didn’t do very well, but we made a little money and we educated a few people. Next week, we will do a meat pie supper for Relay for Life and a yard and craft sale in early June for the same group. I’m working on a mini-golf tournament and a comedy show and another direct mail campaign for the Marathon Walk. And I’ll set up a booth at additional craft fairs over the course of the summer. I’m retired and widowed. I have way too much time and not enough to fill it with.

The learning process

But I’ve learned a lot about fundraising and NET cancer both along the way. I’ve learned to listen to what people are saying. I’ve learned that there are people who know how to do things I have no clue about—and if I ask them how to do it, they’ll be glad to help me figure it out. The people in the Walk office are more than willing to get you together with people who know how to run a golf tournament—or anything else—and you should use them as a resource when you can.

I have way too much time and not enough to fill it with.

And I’m always here. If I don’t know how, I’ll find you someone who does. And if no one does, we’ll figure it out together. You can always email me at walkingwithjane@gmail.com.

Facing the Walk challenge

Jillian raised almost $7000 last year. Virtually every idea she had was brand new to both of us. Some worked really well. Some crashed and burned. But the one thing I know about NET cancer patients is there is no quit in them. There’s no quit in their caregivers either.

…we’ll figure it out together.

So here are the three challenges for this month: 1.) If you are not signed up yet, get signed up; 2.) recruit at least one other person to join our team; 3.) Raise some money. With 144 days standing between us and the Walk, we just need to keep moving forward.
Talk to you in June, if not before.
Pax et lux,
Harry
Jillian (right) is a Walk Hero this year. She is also one of our co-captains.

Jillian (right) is a Walk Hero this year. She is also one of our co-captains.

Posted by walking with jane on May 6, 2015

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