Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Kidney-versary!!!!

Ten years ago today, Jeanne received her kidney transplant. Somehow, it seems fitting that on a holiday where we take time to remember those that sacrificed for our country, I also get to remember the sacrifice that Susie made by donating her kidney to Jeanne.

I still remember that day rather vividly: rushing out very early to be able to see them off to surgery, only to end up having the surgeries delayed until almost noontime; trying my best to keep myself busy in the afternoon by leaving the hospital for a few hours; later in the afternoon, back at the hospital, pacing, pacing and more pacing waiting for Jeanne and Susie to finally get out of surgery; then finally seeing Jeanne back at the room and being amazed at how good she looked. It definitely was one of the longest days of my life. But looking back now, I think I need to count it among one of the best days as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

thanks to my first two walk sponsors!

I got an email today from Michelle who let me know that she's received two positive responses to my sponsorship requests. The first is from Dutchess Building Specialists, who has made a cash donation. Brian and his team define professionalism in the home remodeling business. They did a fantastic job on our kitchen four years ago and we're having them back to finish our basement later this year. The other donation is from the Hudson Valley Renegades, our local minor league baseball team, where we've enjoyed many a summer evening over the last 14 years. They've sent along a coupon for game tickets. My sincere thanks to both of them for supporting our walk.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

News and Notes from May Chapter meeting

Wednesday night was the May meeting for the Hudson Valley Chapter of the PKD Foundation. News and notes:

The Albany walk, which was previously reported to be off, is now back on!

The PKD Foundation will be holding a series of conference calls for volunteers, where they will provide training in areas such as corporate sponsorship, media relations and recruiting.

The target date for the Walk website to be up and running is mid-June.

United Way of Westchester County is holding a Walk for What Matters on June 7th. The way this works is that you can form a team (or walk individually) and the funds you raise go to the charity of your choice. I think this is a great concept for those many local charities that are too small to organize walks of their own.

GINA passes!

Like many other charities, the PKD Foundation now takes vehicle donations. So, if you've got an old clunker sitting around that you need to get rid of, consider donating it to the PKD Foundation. You'll be helping a good cause and getting a tax benefit at the same time.

The bulk of the meeting was then spent discussing the status of the various committees. The focus right now is on getting corporate sponsorships and in kind donations of food and raffle prizes. It seems we currently have a little over $1000 in corporate sponsorships committed and are off to a good start on food and in-kind donations. The big items still to be covered are a tent, a helium tank and plaques/trophies.

I've agreed to help Michele out in the area of corporate sponsorships by trying to recruit additional sponsorships in the Dutchess County area. About a week ago I sent out nine requests for corporate sponsorship and hope to get another five or so out this weekend. One company was kind enough to respond and respectfully decline, but I haven't heard back from any of the others yet. This is the first time I've ever attempted this sort of thing. Turns out it takes a good amount of time to track down contacts, put together letters and get the packages out. And later, it'll take more time in followups. I hope that at least one company comes through with something to make it feel like it was worth the effort.

Unfortunately, Diane wasn't there to give an update on Media/PR. I've agreed to help her out by handling publicity in the Dutchess County area, but I'm feeling pretty ignorant of what to do at the moment. I understand that this really needs to get going over the next couple of months, so I'll have to be a quick learner.

The conference call originally planned for May 12th is cancelled.

There will be a support group meeting at Michele's house in White Plains on May 28th, subject to cancellation if there are no RSVPs.

The next chapter walk planning meeting is scheduled for June 3rd.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Upcoming PKD Foundation, Hudson Valley Chapter & Walk Events

Walk for PKD Planning Meeting
Wednesday, May 8, 2008 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bedford Hills Community House
74 Main Street, Bedford Hills, NY

Walk for PKD Planning Conference Call
Monday, May 12, 2008 (tentative)
8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Date to be finalized at 5/8 meeting
Focus on Sponsorships and Publicity
Contact for call-in information.

PKD Support Meeting
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Michele and Matt Karl’s Home
White Plains, NY
Call 914-953-1163 or email to RSVP or for directions. ** NOTE: If there are no RSVPs, this meeting will be cancelled. So, please call if you are interested in attending. **

Walk for PKD Planning Meeting
Tuesday, June, 3 2008
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bedford Hills Community House
74 Main Street, Bedford Hills, NY

All are welcome at the Support Meeting or as we continue planning for the 2008 Hudson Valley Walk for PKD. Join us at a Walk Meeting to learn about what goes into making the walk a success and how you can get involved!

Can’t make it to the meeting? We are holding the Planning Conference Call just for you! This is a way to help anyone in the Hudson Valley get involved!

For information on the Walk for PKD or Walk Planning Meetings and Calls, please contact Heidi Cambareri, Hudson Valley Chapter Coordinator, at 914-953-1163 or