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A Little Creativity and a Lot of Hard Work Goes a Long Way

When your fundraising goal is $3,500, sometimes you have to get a little creative. Take it from #ESR18 rider Cheryl Drake, who looked for something sweet to help her fundraising efforts this year.
Her friend Lynn suggested having a pancake breakfast at Ferris Hills Senior Living Complex (where Lynn works) and Cheryl was sold. It was a win-win for all involved – the seniors enjoyed breakfast and entertainment, and community members were able to view the beautiful facility.
The price was $10 per person, and while the dining space was limited, the breakfast still had more than 75 people. To set her breakfast apart, there was also a Dixieland band playing, which is something Cheryl suggests to other riders looking to put on an event.
“It’s good if you can get some kind of entertainment to make the event unique,” she says. “Some musicians really enjoy just playing and don’t need to be paid, especially if they know what the cause is about. The morning time was good because most are available at that time.”
To help spread the word about her event, Cheryl turned to email and attached a flyer with additional information. Because there was limited seating, she did not use social media or create a Facebook event.
In total, the breakfast made $1,000+, which Cheryl and Ferris Hills split.

Cheryl’s Fundraising Tip

Her biggest advice for fellow Empire State riders? Hard work! Besides the pancake breakfast, Cheryl has dedicated a lot of time to fundraising.
“I sent out over 200 emails to friends, family, YMCA workout groups that I go to, church friends,” Cheryl says. “I wrote letters and attached my ESR business cards and hand-delivered them to my dentist, insurance agent, car dealership, hairdresser, deli (anyplace I go to frequently).
“I always carry my cards with me, and when the ride comes up in conversation, I hand them out if they want more information.”
And Cheryl can’t wait to jump on her bike for the 500+ mile adventure across New York State.
“My friend Melissa is a cancer warrior, and she asked me to join her on this ride,” Cheryl says. “I love that promotion of this ride has brought me in contact with other community programs that benefit cancer recovery, such as bone marrow screening.
“I also like that by talking up my ride, I can spread the word about the research that Roswell Park is doing.”