This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 44th Annual Lou Malnati Cancer Research Benefit--a huge thank to you the Weiner family for the invitation and the Malnati family for the entire evening. Those of you who are on the receiving end of my relentless emails for the board I am on, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, understand that philanthropy for cancer research is something important to me.
It's easy to get caught up attending these benefits or fundraisers solely for the social aspect--and trust me, they're fun (especially when Saturday's event was Derby themed!). You're partying for a damn good cause and what's better than that?
As we sat around the table on Saturday night watching a tribute to Jean Malnati (currently battling cancer herself), every single one of us was crying. There were speeches made and hugs given to this gracious woman who was described as the most giving, loving, spectacular person they've ever met--for the money she's donated to the events she's organized to the way she raised her family.
It's those moments that remind you why you attend these events, why you're on a junior board, why you volunteer. At times it can seem like a burden, another event to add to your schedule, another meeting after a long day at work. To remember you're fighting for those that have no known cure to their battle is what is most important.
I currently serve as the Event Chair for UCCRF Associate Board and need that reminder at times--how selfish is it to think I sometimes sigh at the thought of a meeting or working on soliciting donations for a large event? Horribly selfish, really. The event on Saturday re-opened my eyes on how important giving back and supporting those who are fighting a battle so much larger than anything we could imagine is.
Being on a junior board or volunteering doesn't mean you've had to of been directly affected by cancer--a disease without a cure can never have enough support.
An hour a day, a week, a month--whatever you're able to give back will make a difference.
Lou Malnati Cancer Research: http://www.loumalnatis.com/community
University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation: http://cancer.uchicago.edu/help/research-foundation/