Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thank you

The last few days have truly been inspiring.

I’ve never been good with fundraising. When I was a kid I remember hating going door to door for Brownies or 30 hour famines…and I’m pretty sure my mom has a story about me eating a bunch of chocolate bars instead of selling them to raise money (though that may be more of a ‘fat kid’ story than a ‘fundraising’ one). When I signed up to do the Ride to Conquer Cancer, I knew one of my biggest hurdles would be having to ask people for money. REALLY ask. $2500 ask. Aieee. For the first few months I sent emails out, made a few status updates, nothing too huge. But lately, despite feeling horribly awkward and pushy and aggressive, I’ve had to push it...and I’ve been totally blown away.

I’ve had comedians who have shitty jobs give me $20. I’ve had friends who aren’t working give me $50. I’ve had co-workers donate to various small fundraisers I’ve had around the office, and co-workers take the time to sign up for a dollar-for-dollar gift matching program my workplace does, thereby doubling their donation. I’ve had strangers come out to shows and donate, friends give me donations I never thought possible (or in budget), and even got an amazingly heartfelt email and donation from a complete stranger who heard I was doing the ride. People throwing in $2 or $5 or $0.50…whatever they can afford, they give. I can’t even begin explain how much it’s blown me away.

I’ve had a few benefit shows and couldn’t believe how happy my friends were to support me and support cancer research. They gave their time, energy and subway fare to come out and help me raise money. And they were seriously fucking hilarious while doing it.

Even more amazing are the stories I’m hearing and the encouragement I’m getting. From a comedian coming on stage and talking about his mother who is currently dying from the disease, to a friend sending me an email and sharing her story with me, to survivors thanking me…I even had one guy I met while I was out on a training ride telling me that he was currently going through chemo and thanking me for participating (he even challenged me to do it again next year and ride along with him). All these people have been tremendously affected by cancer and are sharing their stories with me and are thanking me –truly thanking me- for doing this ride.

When I think about all the encouragement, donations, support and kind words, it’s overwhelming and I get misty-eyed. The fact that I’ve reached my fundraising goal when the majority of my friends are broke actors who can’t pay their phone bills is just astounding. The fact that my friends have come out to do shows when they have eight other shows and four other rehearsals on the go just totally blows me away. And the love and encouragement I’m getting from everyone is totally inspiring.

So I guess what I’m saying is thank you. To quote Chicago, “You’re the inspiration” (minus all the stuff about our love lasting till the end of time. I haven’t bagged you…yet.)

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