Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Countdown to Relay: The Fundraising

(Photo by Steve Ringman, the Seattle Times)

Fundraising has always been one of my favorite parts of Relay. Debbie and I, two of the more competitive people in the world, always loved the 30 day push just before Relay...where nothing was impossible and the sky was the limit. Without deadlines, nothing would get done!

Ultimately, to me, the fundraising isn't about the dollar's what the dollars do that counts.
Survivors make it personal
Researchers make it happen
Supporters make it possible.

Over the past few years, I've been invited to speak at a number of different Relay events. 90% of the time, this is the topic I'm asked to speak on. For the Leadership Summit this fall in Reno, I'm in the process of completely redesigning the fundraising workshop to incorporate some of the top fundraisers from our division. I'm really excited to see how it's going to turn out.

Occasionally, you hear stories about how people choose to raise money that are so unique that you almost can't believe it.

Laura D'Asaro is one of those stories. She's a junior at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. She decided to break the world record for a crawling. Crawling. Actually crawling around the track. Honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to crawl around the track...but she did. She trained throughout the spring...and here's an excerpt from the Seattle Times feature on her:

Crawling into the record book
Seattle Times • June 8, 2008

Now, it's safe to say Laura D'Asaro crawls faster than anyone on record. At least faster than anyone on record with Guinness.

The Nathan Hale High School junior set a new world speed-crawling mark Saturday by covering a mile in 22 minutes and 4 seconds — on her hands and knees. The old record, held by a Toronto man, was 23 minutes and 45 seconds. "It's my best time yet," said the 17-year-old.

D'Asaro's feat was the culmination of months of hard training and preparation. In addition to setting a world record, she raised more than $4,000 to fight cancer.

For weeks D'Asaro practiced by crawling around her neighborhood, on the Burke-Gilman Trail and at her high school. "You can only train for crawling by crawling," she said.

On Saturday, D'Asaro covered her first quarter-mile lap around Woolsey Stadium at King's High School in Shoreline in less than five minutes, her hands covered in thick gloves and her knees protected by heavy padding. She had duct-taped elbow pads to her shoes to keep them from ripping apart. "Come on, girl," some supporters yelled. She was doused with water several times to keep her cool.

Her father, Eric D'Asaro, followed her with a video camera, to document the achievement for Guinness.On her fourth and last lap, the crowd got excited. "Let's go, Laura," they began to chant. "Eye of the Tiger," a song made famous by one of the "Rocky" movies, played in the background.

When she reached the finish line — shaving more than a minute and a half from the previous record — the crowd erupted.

In case you want to see actual video footage...check out this YouTube video from the Times:

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