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Digging Deeper
CHORI CARES! Fundraising for Holidays

“At the same time the economy is so difficult, it’s in such a state that the people who need help need it more than ever and I know that those of us who can will give whatever we can.”

As the holiday season begins, CHORI CARES!, a group of CHORI administrators, staff and scientists who volunteer their time to help the community at large, is back in action again.

“People that want to give back to the community, it’s a way to help them do that, we do the work and they donate their time, money or creativity,” says Karen Catanese, a CHORI staff assistant and the current Chair of CHORI CARES!.

Along with their monthly bake sales, CHORI CARES! has organized monthly pizza sales as well, the proceeds of which go toward the annual Adopt-A-Family program. Every year, CHORI and Children’s Hospital team up to provide some extra funds and gifts to make celebrating the holidays possible for families in need. This year, CHORI will be teaming up with the CHRCO Oncology department to try to provide that little bit holiday cheer for families that would otherwise have to do without.

“Each family is dealing with a family with a very sick child in addition to other hardships,” says Betsy Lathrop, a CHORI administrator and member of CHORI CARES.

The Adopt-A-Family donations will be the culmination of CHORI CARES! fundraising events, which include the bake and pizza sales, holiday food drives, and the now annual basket raffle.

“For the food drives, we just put out a couple barrels throughout CHORI and remind staff to drop something in. All of it goes to the Alameda food bank, and we’re hoping to do two full barrels of food donations before Christmas,” says Ms. Catanese.

The basket raffle fundraiser is just now gearing up, with the announcement coming the first week in December for CHORI staff to put on their creative thinking caps and come up with some fun basket ideas.

“We had some really great ideas last year, like a Say Cheese basket with a digital camera in it, or a Escape to the Snow basket, or one having to do with the New Year,” say Ms. Catanese. “We were a little hesitant to do it this year, what with the economy, but it went over so well the last two years we felt we should try it again.”

Any lab or group of peers, such as tech support or the front office, can get together to create a theme for a basket, to which all the individuals then either contribute money, or provide some kind of thematic item. The baskets then get wrapped up to go on display, and CHORI employees can buy raffle tickets to try and win them.

“We’re acknowledging that people might not be able to give as much this year because of the economic situation,” Ms. Catanese says.

As Ms. Lathrop points out, however, “There are fewer donors in the program this year because of the economy, so we’ve been given 19 families to provide for this year – which is no small task.”

But CHORI CARES is digging deeper to try to get the job done, and hoping CHORI staff will follow suit.

“At the same time the economy is so difficult, it’s in such a state that the people who need help need it more than ever and I know that those of us who can will give whatever we can.”

For anyone interested in participating in the basket raffle, the holiday drawing will be on Dec 18th at the annual Christmas party, and tickets will be on sale the previous week, so baskets need to be completed by the second week or so of December.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 8:19 AM

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