Thursday, September 17, 2009

9/17 Fundraising Meeting

What a rush of emotion for Chuck and me to enter the Edwin Shaw boardroom and find every seat around the large table occupied by people who wish us well. There were representatives from Barberton, Akron, Kiwanis, Rotary, Leave a Legacy, Salvation Army, Edwin Shaw and AFP (Association of Fund-Raising Professionals).

Chuck took his place at the head of the table and heartily greeted each person as each introduced him or herself and said a few words about how they knew Chuck and why they were there. A highly concentrated discussion followed in which a number of options were raised: mail appeal, internet appeal, major gifts solicitation, event with large auction items, help from Barberton Community Foundation, media coverage, TBI awareness, research for best cognitive therapy options for Chuck, a separate event in Barberton and Akron, making the PayPal button easier to access on the blog.

At one point, as the discussion jumped from topic to topic, our new friend Kevin O'Shea, TBI survivor, got up and gently invited Chuck out of the room to give him a small break from the voices and stimulus. Chuck returned refreshed a few minutes later. (TBI 101: need frequent breaks to prevent overload.)

Anyone who knows Chuck won't be surprised to hear that, after the meeting adjourned, Chuck jumped up and "worked the room." He greeted and spoke with every person there and, after everyone left, asked me to help him make a follow up call to our friend Elizabeth Wilson in Barberton because he was concerned he hadn't made enough of a connection with her.

A campaign has been conceived. New friends and warriors are joining the circle.

The next meeting is set for September 30 at 6 pm for one hour in the Akron Salvation Army Boardroom.

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