By: Jake Marcus
So we had our 4th annual Team Intestinal Fortitude event last night. Every year we are very apprehensive as a group of how the event will end up but every year it exceeds expectations. To say this year was no different is a broad understatement. This year was by far our most successful event to date.
Over the past few months our committee has been working tirelessly to get an unreal amount and quality of auction items. Yesterday, me, Brian Teague, Carol Augustyniak, Enid Marcus, Brenda Contois, Kristen Brabants, Carol Lang, Brook Berman, Torrey Browne and Isabel went to Thorny Lea at around 2PM to set everything up. We had a great 90inch screen TV that Kristen Brabants made an awesome slideshow on that looped throughout the event. We finished setting up all the items by about 4:30PM and then went back to the venue around 5:30PM as the event was planned to start at roughly 6:30PM.
Team Challenge, CCFA's half marathon training program had a booth at the entrance for people interested in participating in the summer races. Torrey Browne served as the doorman and did a great job while Carol Lang led a group of people who checked everyone into the event. Stephanie Weinstein and Meredith Keach were filming "The Show" at our event so myself, my father, and my mother were able to interview with them early on. Also, Glenn "Monty" Montgomery manned the DJ station throughout the night and did a great job. Guests began to file in around 6:30PM as expected and by 7:30PM the venue was already piling up. We sold out the 250 capacity so we expected the place to fill up but there were definitely a lot of people there early.
Even though there were a lot of people, all guests were pretty evenly dispered between the open bar, food table, and browsing the auction and raffle items. We also had a lot of our committee handing out raffle tickets. Thorny Lea waiters were also serving hors d'ourves and sliders on trays.
Around 8:30PM we did our speaking portion of the evening. While it took a few minutes to quiet roughly 250 people down, my father began the speeches by thanking his parents Enid and Arnold Marcus as well as David and Karen Howe, all of whom have been instrumental in our success (the Howe's joined our committee this year and have been very vocal and generous in helping our organization grow). He also discussed how we are getting closer and closer to a cure stating "it's not about if we find a cure, but when we find a cure", as well as discussing how much we have raised since inception. Next, our Managing Director, Brian Teague, recapped the year in review by talking about the Narragansett Summer Run and other races we have participated in. Following Brian, Senator Brian Joyce and Senator Tom Kennedy were kind enough to say a few words about our organization and discuss how important it is to the community. I followed the Senators by discussing my plans to run the Boston Marathon this year under CCFA along with Meredith Keach, Marty Weiner, and Keith Weiner.
I also handed out the 2nd annual Man and Woman of the Year. All the winners this year are original committee members and have been instrumental to our success through active participation in e-mail chains and at our monthly meetings. This year, we had a co-man of the year, which was awarded to Jonathan Adams and Jim Messinger who have both helped with new ideas and planning, as well as a lot of other things along the way. The woman of the year was awarded to Carol Lang, and it is really hard to put into words how much she has done for our organization.
The event continued and everything ran extremely smoothly. The feedback was all extremely positive and just glancing around the room it was obvious that everyone was having a great time. I am glad I was able to chat and catch up with so many people and thank you all for coming and I hope you had a good time.
Now, for the bottom line numbers on the success of the event as far as fundraising: Going into the night, we have raised roughly $60,000 since December 26th, 2013 through only donations. The night of, through EXTREMELY GENEROUS donations, raffles, auction items, and ticket sales, we raised the total amount to a whopping $198,900!!!! Three months into our yearly fundraising campaign we have already eclipsed our former year high of $162,000. That now brings our total raised since December 2010 to $619,000!!
Here's to continuing the success this year and having an even BIGGER event next year. It's hard to believe the amount of money we have raised for the cause. Our initial goal our first year was to raise $12,500, which even we though was lofty. However, we blew that out of the water our first year raising $162,000. It was grown even greater since then. We joked early on that we should set our long term goal at $1 Million but obviously thought that was a little crazy. Due to the help of people like you, that dream goal is actually a reality. Thank you all.