By Spondylitis Association of America
Barbara Schiller held a dinner at Poor Herbie’s in Madison, NJ to raise funds for SAA and spread awareness of ankylosing spondylitis in her community. Barbara is a long time SAA member and a co-leader of the Morristown, New Jersey SAA Sponsored Support Group.
What inspired you to do the event and fundraise?
I wanted to raise money for SAA and I couldn’t make a large donation by myself. I wanted to do something for everybody. Also, I just wanted to see if I could do it!
How well did the event go?
I thought it was very successful. People came away from the dinner very educated about spondylitis. The restaurant was packed! I felt that even the newspaper articles about the event reached people and helped raise awareness. We had two local newspapers that picked up the story about the dinner along with the online versions of the papers.
What was your favorite moment?
When one of the donors walked in with roses and a large check (laughs)! One of my girlfriends surprised me—she wasn’t suppose to make the event but ended up coming with the flowers and a donation. In addition, support group members came with their families. It was such a wonderful turnout from the community.
How much did you raise?
One big surprise is that Poor Herbie’s decided to donate a portion of money from all the tables—not just those who picked up a flyer to donate. We ended up raising almost $1,400 for SAA.
Anything else you’d like to mention/talk about?
I think to pull off a fundraiser like this you have to be able to approach people and be a coordinator and delegator and to stay on top of things at all times - otherwise people may lose focus. Overall it was a great challenge and I am very happy how it turned out.
Thank you to Madison Pharmacy who donated balloons for the tables—blue balloonsmdash;that gave the event a very festive atmosphere. Thank you to Stop & Shop for donating the fruit basket we gave to the printers. Also, the corsage from SAA for Poor Herbie’s was very nice!
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