Wednesday, Students For Responsible Business officers and members gathered to set-up and help host Eat2Defeat, a benefit dinner for cancer fighting nutrition awareness where proceeds fund-raised went to American Cancer Society. The turnout was 63 guests and we had a lot of other support from people with well over $2500 worth of in-kind donations as raffle entries and products for guests to enjoy. Guests really enjoyed themselves at the event with rave reviews from the deliciously prepared food to the lighting and classic Frank Sinatra that set the mood. What guests seemed to talk about the most was about the speeches they heard that nice from our keynote, Ali Shapiro and my personal words given as a welcome for the event.
Ali’s talk couldn’t have been more perfectly tailored for this occassion as she made the connection between the challenges of facing cancer and other terminal illnesses and the challenges of leaving the comfort zone and status quo of Corporate America and pursuing a more passionate, personalized career as an entrepreneur. She highlighted 5 lessons that dealing with cancer AND being an entrepreneur has taught her. Some of these lessons included being comfortable about being different, learning to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity, dealing with fear and challenging it, and knowing the difference between being cured and being healed—being healed is a choice a person makes to continue living life to the fullest despite adversity.
As for my personal speech, it almost didn’t happen. I was running around organizing the event and was not fully prepared with how to talk to people who know me about a side of me, they may not have known as well about. But with the encouragement of some of my roommates and friends that attended, I knew it was time to step up with courage. So I told the room about where my love of food came from, what the dinner table meant in my family, and how thankful I am to have been raised in such a loving kitchen. When I look back at those good times, I used to see it as something to get sad about but now I see the positive blessing it has been in my life and I wanted to personally thank such loving people in the room for giving me that. After the dinner, a close friend of mine who rarely ever shows emotion, told me he was proud of me— because he never has seen me open up so candidly about the hard stuff in life and he thought a lot of it. The day after the event I talked to a friend of a friend who was invited to the dinner. She lost her father just in September, and we talked about how we barely knew one another but we still were there for each other and are proud of what we all are doing despite adversity. Finally, my best friend and I had dinner the weekend after the event. Her dad has cancer now as well and we talked about how our families are so different but we have so much in common with how we deal with the difficulties in life. All these instances point to one epiphany for me: More importantly then fundraising over $1000 for ACS, is the gift of “crowd-funding” love and support and sharing a more personal side with your network. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the Eat2Defeat event!
- Our initial fundraising goal for this benefit dinner was at least $500 to go to ACS and we ended up raising $1002.56 after this event! So we doubled our fundraising goal
- Start-up/Motivation for project: we were prompted to do this fundraiser in Dr. Jean Wilcox’s Entrepreneurial Marketing class..it started with an idea and $10.00 seed money.