Help St. Jude End Childhood Cancer

September 14, 2016

By Deborah Allen, GFWC Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children Chairman and Jolie Frankfurth, GFWC Director of Junior Clubs

What do GFWC clubwomen do when you ask them to reach a goal? They meet that goal and reach even higher! Since launching the GFWC National Team to help raise funds through the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, clubwomen have exceeded the 2016 goal set for GFWC by starting over 25 teams nationwide in over 17 markets. By hosting teams in multiple markets, GFWC has helped raise awareness for St. Jude in their fight to end childhood cancer, the leading cause of death by disease for U.S. children past infancy.

GFWC began a partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis, Tennessee. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Although families never receive a bill for treatment, it cost nearly $1 billion to operate St. Jude in 2016 with more than 75% of those funds raised by public contributions with an average individual donation of $35.

As many of you are getting ready for your St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer event, other clubwomen are raising funds through GFWC Virtual Walk teams. Whether you are walking in an event or raising funds for a virtual team, there are resources available to GFWC clubwomen:

  • Final Incentive Challenge: Any participant who receives ten online donations during the month of September will be entered into drawing to win 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. There will be one winner per city.
  • As a GFWC Clubwoman, you are welcomed to visit the National Teams Zone on race day. Check in to the race, collect your swag, and then head to the National Teams Zone! Let the St. Jude volunteers at the National Teams Tent know that you are a GFWC member. There will be snacks and goodies as well, so it is a fun place to meet before the opening ceremony!
  • Listen to the GFWC/St. Jude webinar for more fundraising and events resources:
  • After the walk/run events are finished, GFWC team fundraising pages will be able to accept donations until December 31, 2016. Remember to report all of your efforts in the Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children category! Send pictures to GFWC of any events held as well as race day festivities!

It’s time to celebrate! Use social media to show your team’s success. Consider issuing a St. Jude Challenge to another GFWC team, state, or region to see who can be the first to raise $1,734. If you think that’s a tough challenge, ask the GFWC Junior Board who hosted a St. Jude Party at the August Board of Directors meeting.

The GFWC Junior Board was full of surprises as they hosted the St. Jude Pre-Race “Kick-Off” Party for the “Amazing GFWC Team BOD” to set the stage for other clubs and states to follow as we kicked off the September St. Jude Children’s Research Center Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.

Themed after The Amazing Race TV series, the black and gold invitation encouraged all 200 members of the GFWC Board of Directors and GFWC Staff to join in the pre-race festivities to help St. Jude in “Finding Cures & Saving Children.” The event was a simple gathering that included games, prizes, and a signature drink at the “Watering Hole.” In Amazing Race style, attendees ventured through ROAD BLOCKS, where they had to eat the contents in a Dixie cup in hope of finding the St. Jude logo; “Crack the Code” before getting around the DETOUR; YIELD at the “Find a Cure” table in which they selected gift boxes to help move one step closer to “finding the cure” inside; and FAST FORWARD through the printed race track while leaving their signature “thumb” print at the Finish Line.

Prizes were distributed throughout the evening from the winners at each of the game locations.  Laptops were set up with Junior Board members assisting to register walkers, virtual walkers, and state and/or club teams. This was an added plus for those members who were unsure as to how to get their teams registered.

The evening closed with a thank you from Jolie Frankfurth, GFWC Director of Junior Clubs, who announced that donations from that evening’s two-hour social event totaled over $2,400! What a simple way to accomplish a fundraising event, support a GFWC Partner, and encourage interaction between the Board of Directors.

What did your state or club plan in support of September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? #GFWC4Children



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