Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DIY Paint Tube Decor for Your Relay For Life Event!


I made these really cool paint tubes to use as decor for our Relay For Life event, and when I posted this picture on Cancer Man's Facebook Page there was an overwhelming number of you who wanted to know how to make them!  Ask and you shall receive!


Don't worry- I will show you how to do the roller at a later date! 

To make things easier, I decided to make a video for you, which you can check out below! 


Here are the labels I used for this project.  To save, simply right click, and choose "save as" :) Each one is standard printer paper size so you can print them at home!





Have fun creating!

As always, with HOPE,
Cassi

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Breast Cancer: What I learned from a survivor.

It's October and everywhere I look I am seeing pink pink pink!  This makes me happy, because it wasn't that long ago that this subject was taboo.  One of my friends, Sandi Berri, is a breast cancer survivor and has been doing something wonderful with her Facebook posts this month.  Each day, she is posting what she learned about breast cancer while going through it!  I think it is SO important for us to remember the women and men behind Pinktober.  Each time I see a pink awareness ribbon, I don't see just a cause- I see a person.  This is an incredibly empowering act as a volunteer- it keeps me focused on WHY I am working so hard to raise funds.  When things get frustrating or hard, it is the SURVIVORS and the fighters that keep me pushing forward. 

Today I want to share Sandi's posts for the first 7 days of October (with her permission, of course!).  Sandi is a teacher, and I really appreciate the way she is teaching us all this month.




October 1! Since this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I shall share things I have learned about this disease. 1.) You can have Breast Cancer but not have a lump or a mass. Mine started in the mammary ducts. Although it was in an area 6cm X 5.5cm X 12cm (yes! Centimeters not millimeters) there was no lump or mass. That is why mammograms are encouraged. I noticed skin rash, bruising and itching and called for a mammogram!


Oct.2! Lesson #2. My cancer was fueled by estrogen. Had I gotten a hysterectomy earlier in my life, it would have decreased my risk by 25%! Not one doctor nor gynocologist suggested it, instead, one decided I needed something else that actually increased my risk by 18%! We trust doctors but ask questions, gain knowledge, and now we can google the heck out of stuff! Use the internet before you make a decision! Avoid ALL hormone replacement and birth control if you have a risk of cancer!

Oct 3. What I learned #3. Medicine has changed greatly in the 30 years since my mother's diagnosis. Now they can tell how fast it grows, the cell make up, estrogen and progesterone reception, and other traits to best treat that specific cancer. Mine was growing 10 times the rate of the average growth rate of a cancer and considered very aggressive but because it is still hormone receptive, the doctor says we can control it better. My chances will never be zero but the longer we go without it coming back the lower my chances of having cancer again will be. I have meet many women who had cancer 15 or 20 years ago and are still going strong! They all inspire me!

Oct 4. #4! You are not alone! I was comforted by the many family and friends that supported me for which I am eternally grateful. I was surprised to learn some of my friends had already experienced Beast Cancer before I knew them, and was befriended by many that learned of my diagnosis and wanted to help with advice and encouragement! As one friend put it, we are sisters now! I honor those that went before us into this battle who have volunteered for research, which my mother was a part of. I praise the ones still fighting bravely, and I pray for the researchers to find a real cure! I am glad I have a God of love, strength, encouragement, faith, and bravery for He sent me His angels on Earth to help me through! Trecia Harper, Cynthia Taliaferro Malone, Dona Henson Sherrill, Shirley Hilliard, Oleta E. Bryant, Stacy Walker Cooper, Stacyia Stiletto Dillard, Christy Edelen's Mom, and many others!

Oct 5. #5! Cancer is called the silent killer because there is not usually any pain, especially with breast cancer. There are however, other signs so listen to your body! Every year when schools starts it takes me about two weeks to adjust my sleep patterns. Last year after about 6 weeks, I was still wiped out when I came home from school, I would get real sleepy driving from school or long drives on the weekend. I couldn't get through a Saturday or Sunday without a nap or fall asleep at 9pm! This continues the rest of the first semester. My body was working so hard trying to fight what was going on, I was worn out but at the time I didn't know, I just thought I was getting old, needed vitamins, even got a B12 shot! Then when the other symptoms showed up (and I googled them) I scheduled a mammogram. Please, listen to your body, sometimes it is yelling for help! Ladies, if you can't get your mammogram this month, go ahead and schedule it for your regular screening, that way it is done and set! But if your body says, "Hey!" Like mine did between mammograms, better listen and get it checked out ASAP! Better safe than sorry! Mine was a close one!

Lesson #6! Sugar! It causes many problems! Diabetes, obesity, and it feeds cancer cells! With today's availability of foods we are overloading our systems with sugars and carbs that act as sugars. When I do a PET scan I go 24 hours without sugar and carbs then they inject a sugary substance to see if there is any activity of excited cells because the cancer up takes the sugar faster than normal cells. Beware of sugar and carbs if you are at risk. Happy Tuesday!

**Side note from Cassi**
You can read more about sugar and cancer here from MD Anderson: Does cancer love sugar?
and here:
from The Mayo Clinic.


Oct. 7 #7! You find out the strength of your family and friends relationship! Blake has been my rock! He has been so patient and understanding with me. My children have stepped up and done the little things of daily life for me and Haley has been so helpful! My entire family has been my support, brother, sister, and nieces and nephews! My friends have provided encouragement with phone calls, prayers, cards, and Facebook! I have the most compassionate fellow workers and the best school where I teach! They helped me so much and it was my first year there! They didn't even really know me! Lol! I can't tell you how much all that means to me! It is hard for me to rely on someone else but for the last year I have learned to lean on others a bit. Not sayin it will be a habit, but for right now, I appreciate the help. This lesson was learning to allow others to help you! I am fiercely independent and just letting someone help me out of bed was hard! But I am learning that it is okay to ask for help!



Thank you for your insight, Sandi! If you like posts like this, let me know in the comments below!

With HOPE,
Cassi

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hope Shines On - Limited Edition Luminaria Bags For The Holidays!

I am super excited about this!  But first...

As this blog has become more and more successful, I have been thinking a lot about ways that we can take our mission to cure cancer a step further by using it as a tool to raise more money for American Cancer Society.  I didn't want to fill the blog with ads, and I know you are all already working hard to meet your own goals, so I didn't want to ask for straight up Relay donations.  My solution?  Ask you all to do something you already do.  Shop on AMAZON.  If you are anything like me, Amazon is your go to source for online shipping.  Here's how it works.  When you want to shop on Amazon, click this link:

Shop Amazon and support our fundraising efforts!


And Amazon will send me a percentage of your purchase via the Amazon Associates program, which I will turn around and donate!  The percentage is anywhere between 4 and 10 percent, which is much higher than the Amazon Smile program.  I am so excited about this opportunity, and really hope you all will make your purchases through these affiliate links, so that we can fund more cures faster!

Now, back to the show :)

I noticed in surveys last year, we were asked if we would be interested in something like this, and it is obvious that ACS listened!  From now through November 7th, 2015 you can purchase (or fund raise by selling!) this palm-sized metal keepsake, embellished with a Relay For Life logo and antique silver finish and strung with a decorative purple ribbon, with a $35 contribution to Relay For Life.


IT'S A FLIPPING RELAY FOR LIFE LUMINARIA ORNAMENT!  I seriously need a TREE full.  A PURPLE tree full. 

And obviously, I would love for you to buy yours from Cancer Man - but I also want to share this with you so you can use it for your own personal fundraising.  I mean, we are all in this together, right?

Here is Cancer Man's Facebook post on these:

I think this is really cool...
Christmas is coming up and we have the perfect gift for you to give someone who has EVERYTHING. Make a 35$ donation to my Relay fundraising here....(click limited edition keepsake) http://tinyurl.com/RelayKeepsake and you will get this really awesome luminaria bag ornament. You can personalize the card so you can give it to a friend in memory or honor of someone. i think it would be a really special way to remember someone at Christmas the gift is beautiful but the gift also helps us find a cure and helps me reach my Relay goal.

And.... let's face it. Im going to talk you out of at least 35$ this year anyway, so you might as well get something super aWESome with your money to!


And here is my post (and guys, you can totally use my words I don't mind at all!)

Christmas is a magical time of year, and today I want to share a special way  you can honor or remember someone with cancer this year, and for years to come.

This is the first time we have done something like this, and I think it is absolutely fantastic.  As someone who looks at Christmas as a time of giving, instead of receiving, I can not think of a better gift.  In fact, if I had nothing but a tree full of these for Christmas, I would probably be the happiest person alive.

What is this little rectangle thing?  It's a luminaria bag.  If you are not familiar with Relay For Life, we hold a very special ceremony at each event, where we light these bags in honor, in support,  or memory, of someone who has had cancer.  Anyone who has attended one of these ceremonies can tell you it is nothing short of life changing.  It is a moment of happiness, grief, and bonding like nothing else I have ever experienced.  To a Relayer, each bag represents a loved one- A LIFE, that should not be forgotten.  A battle that was won.  A child, a spouse, a parent, a friend, or a loved one. 

This holiday season, I ask that you consider giving just one of these as a gift.  They are limited edition, and come with a beautiful box and gift note.  You can ship it directly to the recipient, or to yourself.  Not only will you be giving a gift that keeps on giving, you will also be supporting Cancer Man​ in his mission to create more family Christmas memories for others.

To purchase, simply make a $35 tax deductible donation here: (click limited edition keepsake) http://tinyurl.com/RelayKeepsake

Please help us by sharing with everyone you know!

ANDDDDDD- here are some great photos that I downloaded from Brand Toolkit that you can use with your Facebook posts.  Just right click and save to your computer!










Now, I have this strange ability to write posts on FB and Twitter all day long (Cancer Man does to- must be genetic!) but not everyone knows just what to say.  Guess what?  There's an info sheet for that!  I am copy and pasting for you so you can do the same :)



Relay For Life Keepake – Toolkit Social Assets

Message 1 – Announcement
Recommended timing: September 16 - 25

Facebook
You can shine a light all year long with a limited edition Relay For Life keepsake. Order now through November 7 at relayforlife.org/[EVENT URL].

Twitter
Shine a light all year long with a limited edition @relayforlife keepsake. Order now at relayforlife.org/[EVENT URL].

Instagram
You can shine a light all year long with a limited edition #relayforlife keepsake. Order now at relayforlife.org/keepsake.

Message 2 – Reminder
Recommended timing: October 5 - 16

Facebook
The Relay For Life limited edition keepsake makes a great gift for the holidays! Order now through November 7 at relayforlife.org/[EVENT URL].

Twitter
The @relayforlife limited edition keepsake makes a great gift for the holidays! Order now at relayforlife.org/[EVENT URL].

Instagram
The #relayforlife limited edition keepsake makes a great gift for the holidays! Order now at relayforlife.org/keepsake. #holidayshopping

Message 3 – Last Chance
Recommended timing: October 23 - November 2

Facebook
Now’s the last chance to order a Relay For Life limited edition keepsake for the holidays! It’s a great gift for everyone on your list or as a way for you to always keep the Relay For Life movement close to your heart this season. Order by November 7 at relayforlife.org/[EVENT URL].

Twitter
Last chance to order a @relayforlife limited edition keepsake for the holidays! Order by 11/7 at relayforlife.org/[EVENT URL].

Instagram
Now’s the last chance to order a #relayforlife limited edition keepsake for the holidays. Order by 11/7 at relayforlife.org/keepsake. #holidayshopping

This is an amazing fundraiser for the holidays, and you have all of the tools you need to pull it off right here!  What are you waiting for?  Let's make this a purple Christmas!

As always, with HOPE-

<3 Cassi


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Luminaria Bags - Adding Value, Selling Tips and Embracing a 100% Profit Fundraiser.



If you are a Relayer, you know that the Luminaria Ceremony is the most impactful event of the night.  To make the ceremony mean a lot, you need to sell a lot.  And why not?  You can't beat a fundraiser that is 100% profit!  Here are a few methods we have used with a lot of success to sell these special bags.

ADD VALUE
When we went through transformation, a fixed national price was set for Luminaria Bags so that we could have a uniform price at Relays throughout the country.  That price is $10.  Now, your event may not have this in place just yet, but hang tight, because it is coming.  I personally think this is a GREAT thing, you are going to sell bags, might as well have the donation amount match the importance and impact!  But here's the deal- when you are increasing the price by 50%, how do you increase the value of the item by 50%?  It's a simple answer- PERSONALIZATION!  Grab your markers, pencils, crayons, scrapbooks supplies, stickers and glue!  If you are crafty, get to decorating!  Not everyone is creative, or has time to decorate a bag, so be sure you let people know you will be happy to personalize a luminaria for them to include pictures, phrases, or to reflect that persons personality!  Here are a few we have made.






Not into coloring?  Check out these cute bags by Erin Funk.  They looked SO adorable on the track hanging together (Erin is going to be our Luminaria Chair next year and I am sooooo excited!)



Now, not everyone is crafty and that is TOTALLY ok!  You can still personalize bags!  Did you know you can run them through your printer?  It may take a few test runs, but it DOES work!  Each printer is a little different, but the ones it seems to be easiest with are the ones that have an adjustable tray.  Here are a few done that way! 


Looking for the PERFECT bag for someone who is going through treatment?  Turn a Luminaria into a encouragement card!  We made this one for Jace Hillard, who was coming to Relay for the very first time. You could charge each person $1 to sign it, or have one person sponsor the bag and pass it around.  It was a huge hit.


Selling Tips
Every now and then someone says something that just sets off a light bulb in your head- my buddy Jeff Liscum did that for me this year when he posted a video on Facebook to promote luminaria bags.  Instead of asking people to BUY them, he asked people to SPONSOR them.  Genius.  Doesn't that sound better?  It ADDS VALUE.  You are asking someone to honor or remember someone by sponsoring a bag, instead of asking them to buy yet another thing from you.  Check out his video- it is a GREAT example of how to get the message out there.  Facebook is a great way to ask people to sponsor your bags, and videos are often viewed more than a text post! 

  video



Another lightbulb moment came this year when I watched a live streaming video of Joe Gillette (AKA- Relay Daddy) at Brooklyn Sings!  Now, when I checked this afternoon Joe's current PERSONAL fundraising total was at $36,131 so needless to say, this guy knows what he is doing!  During Brooklyn Sings Joe did something called a glowstick ceremony, and let me tell you, if you are looking for a way to show a group of people WHY they should join u in the fight against cancer, this is the way to do it.  You just need to be somewhere that you can lower lights.  This is my version of what he did- feel free to use this and change it up as needed.




 (Photo Courtesy of Joe Gillette)

Ladies and gentleman may I have your attention please? 

We come together today to renew our fight against cancer through American Cancer Society and to celebrate our efforts thus far.  Our team is passing out glow sticks to you, please do not light them yet.



Thanks to your support and efforts, we are able to give cancer patients right here the support they need and deserve.  We give them rides to treatment, counseling, a home away from home, wigs, and most importantly HOPE for the future.  Our researchers are making progress by leaps and bounds thanks to technology that can study cancer at a molecular level.  US death rates are down 20% since 1991, which means there have been 1.3 million lives saved.  But, we aren’t done yet- cancer is still touching us all, and we need your help now more than ever.



One aspect of this celebration is to honor those touched by cancer who were, and are an important part of our lives. 



Cancer has no preference.  It takes young, old, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, best friends, old friends, and dear friends.



(DIM THE LIGHTS)

-If you are a cancer survivor, please light your glowstick and hold it up now so we can honor you.



-If you have been a caregiver to someone who has had cancer, please light your glowstick now and hold it up, so we can thank you.

-If you have lost a family member to cancer, please light your glowstick now and hold it up.



-If you have lost a friend to cancer, please light your glowstick now.



-If you have ever known someone with cancer, please light your glowstick now.


-And finally, if you are one of the lucky ones who has not been affected by cancer, but you want to stand up with us to fight back against this horrible disease, please light your glowstick and hold it up now.

Take a look around ladies and gentlemen.  This is why we are all here tonight.  Every light you see shining has a person behind it.  Maybe it’s you, your family, your friends- we are all in this fight together.

Now I want to ask you to think about the person you had in mind while you lit your glowstick.  At the front check in table we have luminaria bags- on the night of Relay For Life, we will light these bags, and have a special ceremony where we honor or remember those people.  The suggested sponsorship amount for these bags is just $10, and we would love to make sure your loved one is celebrated that night.


On behalf of the Mighty Misfits Relay For Life Team, thank you so much for joining us tonight in our fight.  We are so grateful for such a supportive community, friends, and family for helping us end cancer once and for all.





For more info on Brookyln Sings, be sure to check them out on their  Facebook page.
Speaking of Facebook, challenge yourself to find someone to sponsor a bag from each state using Facebook!  Tell your friends and family what you are trying to do, you will be surprised how many will be willing to help you out!  Now, this does not mean post it once and give up, make follow up posts saying what states you have, or message friends from different states telling them what you are trying to do!


Next up, set up a table with decorating supplies around town.  Already going to soccer practice, have a booth at a craft show, having a survivor dinner?  Bring your luminaria bags with you!  Be sure you bring a sign that clearly explains what they are, as well as some samples. 



Are you reading this trying to find a way to motivate your team or fellow volunteers to sell more luminaria bags?  Don't worry, I didn't forget my fellow leaders!  Host a contest!  The prize doesn't have to be expensive, let the winner pie the chair or staff partner, give a way Relay swag, or a prime parking spot!  You will want to post this challenge on Facebook, Twitter, IG, via Event Manager Email, and at meetings!



 I hope your mind is full of new ideas!  Be sure to stay tuned, next week I will talk about different options for displaying luminarias bags at your event!

Do you have an awesome luminaria program in place?  Share below so we can learn from you!

As always with HOPE-
Cassi

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Relay For Life Fundraising Club Social Media Badges 2015

Hey guys!  Short and sweet blog today :)  ACS branding released these awesome Social Media Fundraising Club images last week, and I thought those of you that don't have access to the toolkit would like to have a place to get them.  These are PERFECT for posting on Facebook and Twitter (heck, they are square- put them on Instagram to!) when asking for donations.  Make it your profile picture with a link to your fundraising page, or print one out and take a selfie with it!  For those of you who are running Relay Facebook pages, use these to recognize teams, and individuals for are hitting new levels.  Everyone loves a little shout out for a job well done!

What are you doing with Fundraising Club images?  Share in the comments below!
























PS- Cancer Man has his eyes on Purple Club this year, think he can make it?