On July 24th I was given an opportunity that I had never dreamed of… I was allowed to throw out the 1st pitch at a Major League Baseball Game; let alone doing it on home turf at Target Field. I received an e-mail from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) announcing that tickets sold on that day would directly benefit them by giving $4/ticket back to the association (as well, the dollars would be credited to my Tour de Cure account). My family has participated in the ADA fundraising event for the past 13 years. My younger brother was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes at the age of five. Two years later I was diagnosed at thirteen. The cause is very personal to my whole family and me.
We’ve participated in the Tour for the last four years and I’m always thinking of creative ways to raise more money for the ADA. When I found out about this Twin’s game, I thought it was a great way to get some friends who may not donate to the cause to do otherwise. I put the information up on my Facebook page and was shocked to learn that within 24 hours I had sold 45 tickets! My family and friends were so excited that they would get a once in a lifetime experience of walking onto Target Field before the game. I even had a handful of college friends who drove for more than 14 hours to come! I knew that if you sold the most tickets you would get to throw out the first pitch, which I thought would be such a wonderful thing to do. So I decided to add a BBQ at my house before the game and charge an additional $9/person which 100% of would go to the ADA. Now we had $13/person going straight to the organization! Nobody even flinched writing out those checks. All in all I sold 90 tickets raising $1,170 in additional dollars for the Tour de Cure!
When the 24th came around we had a beautiful day to host a BBQ with our friends and family who have supported me in my race to find a cure for diabetes. The seats at the field were great, everyone loved being about 5 ft. from Joe Mauer on the field for the parade, and my brothers got a kick out of me getting to throw the first pitch. I thought I would need security guards that day because both my brothers had said they were willing to do anything to trade places with me! All in all it was a wonderful event and I’m really hoping that they do it again next year.
I’ve realized that with fundraising you must be creative. Some people aren’t comfortable just writing out a check to a non-profit, but they are more than willing to participate in a fun day where all proceeds go to an organization. Just like my throw that day – I was concise with where I threw it, but I didn’t make it all the way to home plate. Sort of like fundraising, if your heart is in the right place for raising funds for diabetes, every year you will want to raise more and more dollars for a cause that effects people like my brother, myself, and 26 other million Americans. Will you join with me?
Diabetes Advocate & Speaker