In September (LY), I wrote about an experience I had with an Alzheimer’s Town Hall meeting. In my 3 minute opportunity to speak and share my family’s Alzheimer’s story, research to find a cure as fast as possible was the theme I felt focused on as my passion. Some spoke of Alzheimer’s care, others awareness and still others spoke of programs for families and those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Eight months later I haven’t been swayed away from research as a passion, but realized awareness is really a key component to raising money to more quickly find a cure. Through the Alzheimer’s Association and a tribute site to Marcia, and the generous donations of many, we have raised about $27,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
On June 9th, inspired by Marcia, Branchburg is hosting a 5k run/1mile fun walk called “Branchburg Race Against Alzheimer’s, a Quest for a Cure” to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research. This fund raiser came to life by 16 year old friend of my daughter’s, Mike Napoli (Mike is 17 now). Mike and his mother, Judy, have really put this event together and have done an amazing job of first learning how to go about such an event, and have logged hundreds of hours researching, talking to people, creating websites, getting insurance, and a whole host of other activities I can’t begin to get my head around. With two weeks to go before the race/walk, 234 people have committed to the 5k and another 94 for the walk. Mike created the event website for registration, donations, information about Alzheimer’s and our personal story. For the most part, our marketing has been word of mouth, flyers posted wherever we can get them posted, and an article in a local newspaper, preceded by Facebook marketing. My daughter got the Facebook marketing going, reaching hundreds of teenagers. I posted on my Facebook page and reached another dozen or so adultsJ. Friends have “liked” and posted the website page, while others have sent emails to friends of friends. While we are excited about the number of registrations, we are also getting donations that impress all of us, and leave me humbled and speechless. Our goal was to raise $20,000, but we’ve already passed that goal and are working on $30,000. This doesn’t include the 200 Euro’s I received in the mail from a friend of Marcia’s from Austria.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Customer Marketing Group, a Houston based consulting firm owned by a long-time friend, Stew Bishop, who has been there for me throughout Marcia’s illness. I can’t thank him and his company enough for their support. CMG is sending two people/friends from Houston for the event and is organizing a simultaneous race in Houston to support the cause. AT&T is another sponsor who has stepped up to help this cause, and is giving us support from one of the largest and well-known companies in the United States. We’ve been also supported by Detour Bars with donations of bars, shirts and bags, as well as countless donations of time and money by more than I can thank here.
The coolest thing and most exciting thing to me is the reach of the event. We have friends and family coming from Colorado, Texas, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and more!!! So many people I can’t wait to see!
It’s not too late to come to Branchburg on June 9th, and certainly not too late to donate. Our website is: http://mikeatteammarcia.wix.com/teammarcia#!home/mainPage
For a first time organizing a fund raising event the Napoli’s, and to a much lesser extent, the Stanford’s, have learned an awful lot about what it takes to run an event like this and look forward to a fabulous day.