Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's not about the swag, but...

When my mom was undergoing treatment for breast cancer a few years ago, I formed a team to participate in my area's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k walk event. I figured I couldn't really do much to help my mom aside from giving her emotional support... I couldn't take the chemo and radiation for her, couldn't make her cancer disappear, couldn't snap my fingers and make the situation go away... but I COULD raise a few bucks for breast cancer research in her honor. Thanks to some fabulous teammates, our team ranked pretty high in fundraising for our event. If I recall correctly, I think we were number two, and one of our members was number one in fundraising by an individual. (We were all so proud of her!)

I haven't done it again since then, so when a good pal told me she was thinking of forming a team for this year's Making Strides event and asked if I'd be interested in joining her, I immediately said "Hell yeah!" She got the team registered last week, and thanks to a few crazy generous donations (Mom, Dad and a wonderful angel who wishes to remain anonymous) I've already exceeded my fundraising goal of $500. Woohooo! I'm thinking I should probably bump my goal a bit higher, considering there's still over a month and a half until the event. I'd LIKE to raise a gajillion dollars, but times are tight these days so I'd settle for $750 or $1000. Take THAT, breast cancer!

Anyway, I was looking at the sheet from the American Cancer Society that lists the "awards" for individual fundraising. You know how it works... depending on the amount you raise, you can choose a plastic cup or a tote bag or some other kind of tchotchke emblazoned with a pink ribbon and the event logo. It's a really nice thing for the ACS to do, but what the heck do I need another plastic cup or tote bag or tchotchke for? Don't get me wrong... I'm not in this thing for the prizes... but if you're gonna bestow awards in appreciation of the participants' fundraising efforts, why not make it something really useful instead of just a souvenir? And I had an idea for that...

You may recall that I've recently discovered Nordrostm's incredible lingerie department, right? Nordstrom's, that magical place where you can find just about any size bra you could ever need IN STOCK! (I love them.) But their bras are not inexpensive. So as an optional alternative to the pink-ribbon-emblazoned souvenirs, wouldn't it be cool if the Making Strides folks could work out a partnership with Nordstrom, and offer gifts cards worth $5 for every $100 raised that could be used in their bra department? Just think of the great PR it would be for Nordstrom, AND it would bring shoppers into their store. I think it's a great idea. But maybe it's just me.

At any rate, it won't happen this year, so I guess I'll just enjoy my plastic cup or tote bag. Like I said, I'm not participating for the awards anyway. My greatest reward is just knowing I've done a small part to help fight breast cancer. And to be fair, it really IS a nice-looking tote bag.

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