Friday, August 24, 2007

Big Night for Voldemort

Last night Voldie held a huge success of a fundraiser for her Team in Training comitments. She has approached everything about this endeavor with fierce determination and creativity. I'm sincerely in awe of what she's been able to do in a short amount of time.

She convinced the manager of a neighborhood bar to allow her to hold this event in his establishment. He asked that she charge a cover and she declined saying she was bringing in a pile of customers he wouldn't ordinarily have and he'd make bank at the bar. He said OK, can you believe it? Indeed. The evening began with chatting, eating and drinks while interested parties bid on the items up for silent auction. Those bids were closed after a couple of hours and then it was on to the raffle---$5 tickets could get you a pile full of great stuff; I didn't win so that's been expunged from my memory. Its not my business to disclose her fiscal info but I think she sold about 100 tickets in the bar -- thanks to her long-time friend, an Episcopal minister, who chatted and flirted relentlessly to woo the money out of back pockets (she actually got the manager to buy $100 worth; I saw his hand on her glowing shoulder). I gotta say, if the ministers of my youth or adolescence had been more like this chick, I might be a bit more into church. She looked great and she sincerely knows how to have a good time.

Anyway, I didn't win the raffle. So next was the live auction for the major item-- 4 VIP passes to a taping of The Daily Show. These passes guarantee entry and best seating, early entry and scheduling within 3 - 6 weeks of request. Currently the wait for non-VIPs is over a year. Voldie and I have talked eternally about hopping a train to NYC for the day, maybe overnight, catching the show, having some fun and heading home. I was delighted that Comedy Central came through and we'd be able to nail down our plans. If I won.

I didn't. Some little friend of hers drove my max bid beyond the $200 mark I was willing to put out there. I dropped out at $300. I hate that I didn't get the tickets but I'm glad I've got my cash.

I did pick up some cool personal grooming products at just a bit below retail so that was cool. I'm impressed at the generosity of a great many corporate entities that donated items for auction: theater tickets, high end cosmetics, jewelry, gift certificates to top-tier DC restaurants. Amazing stuff.

And Voldie did that all on her own. She pitched ideas at people, she got goods, she found the venue and organized it. Hell, she even found people she didn't even know to allow themselves to be auctioned off in a date-auction. I'll bet my cBFF has learned and grown more through this part of the marathon preparation than she expected. Perhaps not; she does know everything.

I'm probably going to piss her off right now when I say I *don't* like Team in Training. I dislike the minimum fundraising requirements placed on participants; in my mind, it translates directly to a 4K dollar entry fee; the proportion of which actually ends up in the hands of Leukemia/Lymphoma researchers isn't even disclosed. With the fundraising running concurrently with training, I think that the LLS ends up (often) with cash in hand for supporting runners who don't get to their max and therefore don't get to participate. So the runner you put your support and cash behind gets nothing and the LLS has cash they wouldn't have had otherwise. I think the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society needs to rethink this strategy; it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I know I'm not the only one to feel this way. I've never given money to TiT (had to do it, sorry) in the past. I've always told those soliciting such support about my misgivings (briefly) and made a direct donation to LLS in honor of that person, as well as my sister Beth.

In this case, I'm happy to support Voldemort. Its been really pleasing to watch her progress, share her excitement and funny stories about some of the lame excuses provided by folks not wanting to fork over goods or cash. And most of all, if Voldie is going to do something for medical research, I'm glad its for Lymphoma.

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