This is my annual letter sent to many friends and family looking for support for the charity that is my passion: Pathways to Independence. I welcome all supporters and donations!
Dearest Family and Friends:
It’s Pathways season and I’m baaaack!!
For the 5th year I am deeply involved in the annual Friends of Pathways fundraising event, an annual party held in the Park Estates section of Long Beach to raise money for Pathways to Independence (PTI). Yes, that same organization you’ve been seeing in my signature line for the last few years. There are many, many fine charities, causes and organizations out there to support; many focus on finding cures and treatments for diseases, education, helping children who are sick or starving, helping the homeless, the helpless and the deserving. I have gladly written checks over the years and most of my money was channeled toward health issues (MS Society, City of Hope, American Cancer Society, Team in Training, etc.). It was when Cam and I attended this event ourselves, as guests, in 2007, that I was finally moved to action, to do more than write a check.
PTI serves the Orange County and Long Beach area and it has grown now to 42 women in the program with over 260 graduates. PTI provides housing, healthcare, educational costs, car repair, psychological services and mentoring to young women who come from the most horrific backgrounds and who have been living below the poverty level. These women, who come from all ethnic backgrounds, commit to attending school full time with the goal of a B.A./B.S., they commit to working part time, to keeping up with their healthcare (dentist, eye doctor, general doctor visits), seeing a psychologist once a week and working with a mentor. Over 100 medical professionals donate their services and they are joined by auto mechanics and other service providers in a network of 300+ volunteers who support Pathways to Independence. Some of their stories are told in a book that came out last year titled “Butterfly Tears”.
While not everyone makes it through the program, the success rate at PTI is over 80%. Pathways graduates are now teachers, attorneys, social workers, nurses, in medical school and are changing our world as we helped them change theirs. More than 90% of every dollar raised go right back to the program. This event raises one third of the annual budget for Pathways. Last year we raised $320,000 net for PTI. Stop and think about that amount of money. It’s really overwhelming and it’s all pulled together from May to the event in October by a group of women, like me, who are passionate about this.
This is the 16th year of the Friends of Pathways event, started by 4 women who wanted to keep PTI from closing its doors. Three of these women, Lisa Mais, Gayle Wright and Johnna Bryant, still head up the event. I’ve worked on the auction committee the last 4 events, running the silent auction tent for the past 3. Cam started volunteering at the events in 2009. This year I stepped up to the steering committee.
So, let me tell you that I know you are asked frequently to give and that you can’t say yes to everyone. I respect and honor that. If you’re at all interested, I encourage you to check out the website below and maybe to pick up the book about PTI, “Butterfly Tears”. It’s available on the PTI website, the book website below, on Amazon or by Kindle. Proceeds of the sale go back to PTI. If I’ve peaked your interest a bit more than that, I have some options for you to consider, and these can even be combined!
- Attend our event “Rockin’ Memphis in the Park” on Saturday, October 6th. The cost is $100 per person ($75 tax deductible) and includes food from 31 Long Beach/OC area fine restaurants, beer, wine, soda and water, dancing, FABULOUS silent and live auctions. We’ll have rock-n-roll music from The Hodads all evening long as we stroll a street in Park Estates that’s been turned into Memphis, complete with Graceland and Beale Street. As this event sells out every year we are expanding the event to 500 people for the first time this year. We still expect a sellout, so buy your tickets NOW at www.pathwaystoindependence.org .
- Buy some raffle tickets. $100 buys you 12 tickets, $25 for 3 or I’ll even sell you 1 for $10. The Grand Prize is a trip to anywhere, with a credit for $3,500 to plan a trip with Surf City Travel. 2nd prize is $1,000 and 3rd prize is an iPad 2. Send me a check (made out to Friends of Pathways) and I’ll get you in the raffle and send you the stubs. I have sold the Grand Prize winning ticket 2 of the last 4 years, so I’m a lucky person to buy them from!
- Purchase a sponsorship. It starts at just $500 and gets you some advertising. More money gets you more exposure, tickets and reserved tables. (Contact me for specifics)
- Donate an item we can put in our silent auction. If you have something from your business, contacts, a week in a vacation home, something you bought and would like to donate, please let me know. Our event is known for having the best silent auction around, with most items and baskets starting at a $100 value. Our live auctions items are exciting, too!
- Send in a donation through the web address below or send me a check made out to Friends of Pathways.
- JUST WISH US LUCK WITH THE EVENT! You mean so much to me that I wanted to share this passion with you, but I’m happy if you just give me your well wishes and save your dollars for something that moves you as much as this does me, something about which you are passionate. It doesn’t matter where we do good, just do good.