How I Achieved #RelayForLife #GrandClub 2017

As a Relay For Life participant, we are challenged to raise $100 or more for the American Cancer Society (ACS) each relay season.  If we do this, we become a member of the Hope Club, helping cancer patients get much needed one on one peer support, rides to treatment or even free lodging at a Hope Lodge with their caregiver.

One of the more coveted challenges is attaining Grand Club status (where you raise $1,000 in an event season).  This post was written as a guide to show how I reached Grand Club, and to empower other Hope Club participants to bump their fundraising in an effort to one day live in a world where people don’t have to hear the words, “You have cancer.”

So, my 6 biggest steps to becoming a 2017 Relay For Life Grand Club member were:

1) I believe in the ACS mission (to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer).

2) I volunteer for ACS year round, and I post the activities I participate in on most of my social media sites (Relay, Strides, you name it, if I’m available to help out, I do). Currently, I volunteer as an Area Leadership Team member, helping to train and mentor other volunteers in Nevada and beyond. I have also served on the Event Leadership Team of my home relay (RFL of Las Vegas) since 2012.

3) My co-captain, @cindi_kay, and I hosted bake sales at our work office throughout the relay season.  Along with some of our friends, we donated homemade cookies, cupcakes, rice krispee treats, popcorn mixes, brownies and other goodies.  We also made sure to have the ACS Fundraising App readily available so people couldn’t get away with saying they didn’t have any cash.

4) As a sports enthusiast, I made sure to collect as many donations around big games as possible.  Two of my biggest money makers this year were selling Superbowl Squares and doing a March Madness Tournament Bracket (all for bragging rights to the winners).

5) I don’t believe in asking other people to do something if I’m not willing to do it myself so I made a personal donation. ACS asks volunteers to raise money for important programming and ground breaking research. Pretty much one of the  easiest ways to get that money is by:

6) Making the ask.  I asked my closest friends and family to support me in my effort to support ACS, and because they see me involved throughout the year, they rise to my challenge. I registered (early in the season), sent emails, posted on Facebook and my most significant fundraising happened this year by sharing my RFL donation request Facebook post via Facebook Messenger.  I sent messages (making them personal and sending to people individually) asking if they could splurge as little as $5 to help me reach my goal.  Of the more than 30 messages I sent, only 1 person donated the $5 I asked for, all the others gave at least $10, and one person even gave $100).

One Saturday morning a few weeks before our event, I got up early and was intentional about getting Grand Club status that day.  I was close to it (had already raised a little over $700 so I didn’t have far to go).  After sending the Facebook messages in the morning, my friends and family had pushed me over the $1,000 mark by about 6 pm that night.

Was it easy?  Sort of.  Did it take time?  Yes, but I have spent countless hours and years devoted to celebrating, remembering and fighting back.  If you were to ask some people around me, they might tell you that I bleed, breath, sleep and eat purple 💜.  I am passionate about this cause and maybe a little over zealous at times, but when you find something you love doing and want to make a difference in the word, you do it wearing a huge smile.  Can you reach Grand Club?  You betcha!

Sara Velasquez

Sara at the 2017 Relay For Life of Las Vegas #VegasRelay


A question for you: What would you be willing to do to boost your fundraising efforts?

Would love to hear/see your comments, so post them below.

One thought on “How I Achieved #RelayForLife #GrandClub 2017

  1. Great post, Sara! Your passion for Relay For Life is evident by the activities you participate in during Relay season and throughout the year. Congratulations on reaching Grand Club status again this year! I’m honored to serve with you and even more proud to call you a friend. Never quit doing what brings you joy. CK

    Liked by 1 person

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