Transverse Myelitis Association
Volume 4 Issue 1
March 2001

Page 22

Raising Funds and Awareness

Raising Money for TM Research and the TMA
Paula Lazzeri


The following section of the newsletter presents a number of important fundraising activities that are currently underway or are being introduced with this publication of the TMA Newsletter. As you will read, our members and our friends are finding some very interesting ways to raise funds for TM research and for the TMA. We are really excited about all of the activity going on which also raises awareness in the public about TM. We hope that you will take this great opportunity to become involved in one or more of these efforts.

With this presentation of the fundraising events, it offers me the opportunity to share some information about the TMA's involvement in these projects, as well as some additional information about contributions to the Association. There have been families who have approached the TMA and have asked to make donations which they would like to have support the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelopathy Center. When a donation is made to the TMA specifying that these contributions be sent to the JHTMC; we make that contribution to Johns Hopkins in the name of the person or family who has made the donation. If a donation is made to the TMA for the purpose of TM research, those funds are deposited into the TMA Endowment Fund; the purpose of this fund is exclusively to support TM research. When a donation is made to the TMA without a specification, those funds are deposited into our operating account; the account which pays the TMA's operating expenses, the major portion of which covers the costs of education and outreach (the printing and mailing costs for our educational materials, membership directories and newsletters). We greatly appreciate your contributions to the TMA, and our great hope is that we will be able to expand our services as we continue to grow, based on your very generous support. All of the donations described above are fully tax deductible.

Cathy Dorocak is the Chair of the Reading for Rachel Program. Cathy works with the board of the TMA to conduct the program. There are no TMA operating funds being used to implement or promote Reading for Rachel. All of the printing, mailing, and supply costs, as well as long distance bills associated with Reading for Rachel are being covered as out of pocket expenses by the people who believe in the program (to fund research to find a cure for TM). All of the Reading for Rachel donations are deposited into the TMA endowment fund. As noted, this fund has been set up for the exclusive purpose of funding TM research.

The TMA is regularly approached about fund raising ideas. We encourage people to get involved and to act on their ideas; and many have. The TMA does not have the resources to assist all of these efforts -- either financially or with manpower. What we can do is serve to solicit help for you and to get lots of people involved. You will see from the fundraising articles that this is precisely what we have been doing. We will write letters of support, we will facilitate networking, we will help you put promotional materials together, and we will provide you with information. And we will assist you by promoting your program in the newsletter.

People are raising funds for Cody's Firststep Foundation, for the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelopathy Center and for the TMA. The TMA completely supports all of these efforts; we are a team working for the same goals. We all want to find a cure for TM! We want to share in Cody's first step, and Jim's and Rachel's. And until we find that cure; we want to find better treatments for the symptoms of TM, we want better education for physicians and healthcare workers who treat us, we want better information and education for ourselves, we want support and networking opportunities, and we want to bring greater awareness of TM to the general public. All of these efforts are worthy of your support. For those of you who contribute to the TMA and its goals, we are so humbly appreciative of that support.

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