Alert Number 79
Date: February 19, 2005
High Fives Everybody!
I am delighted to report that we have now met our target for fund-raising for Project Alpha. I cannot begin to tell you how much PC and I and the rest of the Topics team appreciate your generosity. The grassroots support it represents is truly the power that keeps us going. Neither of us particularly enjoys fundraising. But you folks have made it as easy as it gets! We treasure each and every name on our Acknowledgments page.
Our original target for this clinical trial was to raise $75,000. The $2,000 in honorariums PC and I got from Berlex for attending their patient seminar went directly to Mayo, reducing our target to $73,000. As of today, thanks to a very generous additional donation of $2,700 from Kurt Grayson to put us over the top, we have made our target. Thanks Kurt! Even before this latest donation you were already a "Gold" donor; your generosity is much appreciated by me and by every one who supports CLL Topics. We will be publishing shortly on this website the formal grant application from Mayo Clinic, as well as other details. Please do read it and, as always, your feedback is welcome. Project Alpha belongs to all of us, and we can all take great pride in its launch. Just the fact that we were able to come together in defining this project, that we could actually go out and raise this kind of money (all of it from patients and their families), that we could get top-rated experts at the Mayo Clinic interested in working with us, all of this has huge impact on our credibility in the research community. These days, when I write to a new researcher or a company such as Quest Diagnostics, I can point with pride to this first-of-its-kind project. People who would not have returned my calls or responded to my emails a year ago, do so now and feel comfortable that they are dealing with a reputable organization. Someone said my middle name is "Chutzpah" - you can bet I will be using every last bit of credibility we have gained to get us the attention we need, especially when it comes to designing patient-friendly clinical trials.
With this major project underway, we will no longer be in active fundraising mode. Any money that does come in will be used for on-going expenses of the website (small numbers, since our overhead expenses are very small). As always, CLL Topics, Inc. will be scrupulously transparent in publishing all our financial information on the website, for all to see. Down the road, if and when money gradually accumulates in our coffers, we will look for new projects to sponsor. My preference would be to use our hard-earned money sparingly, only as "seed money" in support of projects that we consider important, to attract bigger donations from other funding agencies with deeper pockets. The support of our pro-active and cohesive CLL Topics community should be of great value all by itself, even if it is not accompanied by a big check.
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