Sometimes we’re just blown away by the commitment and love we receive from our participants. Especially determined teams like Sarah’s Angels! Lead by Bob Szafranski, Sarah’s Angels worked all season long to raise funds for NF research. How much did they raise, you ask?

They Raised $46,521!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SARAH’S ANGELS!

We reached out to Bob to ask a few questions about his commitment to Cupid’s Undie Run. Hopefully a few of his answers will help you and your team climb up the fundraising leadership board next year.

Who inspires you to fundraise for a cure for NF?

My daughter, Sarah, fought cancer for three years and lost her battle in 2002 at the age of 16. She gave me a mission – to take care of the people and organizations who took care of her during her fight. It was very intimidating; since I’m very private and really avoided talking to people I didn’t know – but I couldn’t let Sarah down. Since then, I have gotten involved in several children’s organization, such as Make a Wish of Central and Northern Florida and New Hope for Kids, an Orlando-area children’s charity. We even started a clay-shooting fundraiser a couple years ago to start putting money into the Sarah Szafranski Endowment Fund, so I’m starting to use everything I learned to build more on my daughter’s mission. I’m still not comfortable talking to people but I’m used to it now.

 

Why Cupid’s Undie Run?

I met Bill Brooks, the local race director for the Orlando Cupid’s Undie Run, during a social event. We got to talking about my mission and his dedication to his daughter, Lillie Anne and her fight against NF, and Cupid’s Undie Run. From there, it was an easy thing to decide to put together a team.

 

What is your fundraising strategy?

Continuous communication and feeding the team’s competitive spirit. I tend to bombard my team with several emails a week. In the emails, I encourage the team, recognize individuals who are earning donations, post the latest standing of the individual team members, as well as where our team ranks both locally and nationally. I like to stir up a little trouble by pointing out which team member has surpassed another member that week in the team ranking. My email campaign for 2016 started over 5 months out from the event. It’s been characterized as “relentless”. I actually had one guy write me, begging me to stop because he was “going to lose friends and clients” if he kept soliciting donations. However, that same guy raised about $6,700 this year, just barely squeaking by another team member at the last minute. It’s that kind of friendly competition that I like to create.

One thing we haven’t talked about and it’s the most important part is the incredible team we had this year – and last year. It’s a large team made up of mostly people who work in our local architecture/construction/engineering industry. Many of the people work together on various construction projects locally and have a great deal of energy, so they’re a lot of fun to team up with. I also organized two “Angel Gatherings” prior to the event to help build a sense of team. Everyone on the team understands that it’s not about the race, or the party, but about making a substantive contribution to a worthy cause, and I think that’s why we did so well.

 

What would you tell someone who has never done Cupid’s Undie Run?

Lots of people think they have to be physically fit enough to run a mile. They don’t – you’d know that if you could see me! It’s not about the run, or the party even though that’s a lot of fun. It’s about making a small effort, giving up a little comfort in order to help fund the fight to figure out how to treat and maybe even cure this terrible disease. It’s about stepping outside yourself for just a few hours to help someone else. Every time I started to feel uncomfortable asking people to give, I thought about how uncomfortable Lillie Ann Brooks and her family are every hour of every day. What does my five minutes of social discomfort matter?

 

Please take a moment to check out Sarah’s website www.sarahsangels.org to learn more about her.