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Let's Get Walks Going All Across the Country


reneek

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My name is Renee and I lost my father in Dec. 2002 to lung cancer and my mother-in-law just last month to it as well. I have a passion, as do all of you it seems, to raise awareness of this disease!

After my dad passed away, I was disheartened by the lack of attention given to walks. There seemed to be no corporate sponsorship or assistance, and no walks for people to gather in the name of this cause. Yet there were walks for almost every other cause out there. And walks, I believe, are one of the best ways to get publicity. They are also usually not very expensive, and make people feel like they are doing something!

So I decided to do something about this. Thus, last year in Nov. 2003, I organized (almost completely on my own) the 1st Annual Lung Cancer Walk & Rally. It took place in a suburb about 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, and was a huge success. We had a 1 mile walk (which was actually a nice distance b.c. even those who were slightly ill or out of shape could participate) and all of the money went to ALCASE. We had about 100 participants, but even more exciting was we were able to get several articles published about the walk and lung cancer, and were also on a couple of radio stations. A local station even covered the walk! Finally, people started to know that lung cancer does get attention and there IS a walk for this cause.

I share my story for 2 reasons! One is that we are planning the 2nd Annual Walk & Rally in the Chicagoland area, and it will be bigger than ever! So for any of you in Chicago, let me know if you want to participate.

2nd, it is my goal to have walks like this going all over the country! And I will do anything that I can to help people put them together. It is not as hard as it seems, as one can definately start small (remember, something is better than nothing). I have tips for how to get started, as well as letters and emails that can be copied and sent to your local papers and such. I will help coach anyone through the process, because it would be amazing to have walks across the country! And again, it takes some time, but is not that hard - after all, so many people have been touched by this disease, that they too will want to help, donate or attend.

Imagine the publicity we can get if we have several walks nationwide! I imagine that would give us some at least. But more important, people will begin to see that lung cancer IS an important cause and should NOT be ignored. Also, those that have been touched by the disease will finally have a place to rally and walk.

PLEASE PLEASE consider having a walk in your area. The money can go to any lung cancer cause you like. I promise, you will feel so rewarded if you just start planning. Again, I am here to help you in any way I can. Feel free to post here, send me a private message, or even email me directly at rkosiarek@broadviewinc.net

Together, we CAN do it!

Renee

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Hi. Just wanted you to know that I read your post about the walk in Illinois for lung cancer. I am a survivor and I live in Downers Grove, IL. I would like information on the next walk. Where it will be held and any other info you can get me. I would at least like to be there and participate in the walk. Thanks. Nancy O. You can either pm me or my email is recousa@netscape.net

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Lets think about having walks that benefit LCSC or your local designated cancer research center on behalf of LCSC. Alcase does not sponsor or aid in the maintenace or support of this website in any way, and we are not affiliated with them, even though on many planes we are all fighting for the same thing.

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i think there should be a HUGE walk, even if we did one in like 4 regions or so. one in the like New York, one in LA or that area, on maybe in Texas or somewhere around there. and wherever else. maybe organize a HUGE one so people could come all over and do it???? that way the word will get out. I mean if we are all standing in front of the GMA studios all happy about our walk?? how can it not get out?

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I vaguely remember some "Hands Across America" thing in the 80s - can't remember what it was for right off hand... I ALSO can't remember if it was actually "done".

Wonder if we could manage something like THAT - following some non-superhighway road going from coast-to-coast in the US? There seem to be SO MANY of us in so many different areas....

Just a thought...brainstorming without a brain today...

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I have been in touch w/ Renee and she has her walk scheduled for Nov. 6th in Chicago -- I am in the process of trying to coordinate a walk in the Southern New Jersey area on the same day. Renee has been extremely helpful in getting me the info needed to get the ball rolling.

I know that Renee works with ALCASE for her walk, I am attempting to work with LUNGevity (also based in Chicago). All of their proceeds go directly into grants for LC research. (I am waiting for a call back -- keep your fingers crossed that they want to partner up with me!).

It would be SO GREAT to have walks all over the country to kick off Lung Cancer Awareness Month next November!!!!! We could have several walks going on that benefit different organizations (including LCSC). The goal is to get the word out there and get some support going! Let's go guys, we can all do this!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here was my response about the CA walk:

Wow, that is such a neat coincidence on dates.

Anyway, I am thrilled you want to organize a walk! SO thrilled! Have you read the email I sent to Gianna? The same thoughts and ideas apply to you! And I must say, you wanting to do one in CA makes us COAST TO COAST! How amazing. You have brought tears to my eyes! I do hope you will organize one, as it really can be quite simple. And so meaningful for you & others! I promise.

I would love to talk with you about it. Please feel free to call me or let me know when I can call you. Also, I have a 3 page primer for how to do a lung cancer walk that I cut and pasted below. I can also send it to you, but I do not see how to do attachments here. Do you have a private email?

Also, I will help you with EVERYTHING, from press releases (if you want to do them), to posters (if you want to do them). I also am working on a website and can give you a page or two on it (I would do this for every city having a walk) This is my passion, and I am so excited to see things happening now!

You have already made a difference by reaching out!

Thanks,

Renee KOsiarek

630-357-2276

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I have been reading all of the input about the walks that you propose. I am in no position to help start one but I do have an idea.

How about having three of four different t shirts that the walkers could wear and maybe some extra that the public could buy at the walks. Put things on each one that informs. Just a thought with a couple of ideas:

One that shows a tombstone but instead of date of birth and death have the words "he heard that only smokers died of lung cancer"

One that says "lung cancer survivor it can be done"

One that says "I have lung cancer but it doesn't have me"

There are just so many ways that you could go with this idea. It would make the walkers feel like they were really getting the message out and any extra money could go to one of the Lung Cancer organizations.

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Great thoughts here! I really appreciate them.

We did do shirts for the walk in Chicago this last year. I am planning on doing them again this year.

Last year, we had not only survivors, but family members as well who attended the walk. I think it is VERY important for them to have a shirt as well.

Last year we wrote "everybody with lung cancer is somebodys daughter or son, mother or father, sister or brother" - we did this to try and put a name/face to the disease! On the shirt, we had the picture of the ribbon with photos filling up the inside (from ALCASE). It was beautiful.

While I like the slogans suggested, again, I want to include not just survivors, but family members.

And while shirts are great (also a great way to get sponsors as you can include their logos on the back), they are not necessary. That said, I found a great company last year who I am sure would do walks for any area of the country at a great discount! I will give those who organize a walk that info should they so desire.

Again, our walk is Nov. 6th and I think, just knowing people are walking all across the country on that date for the same cause would be AMAZING! Wouldn't it? And again, walking around the neighborhood IS still a great step!

-Renee Kosiarek

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Bostonians??? there are a few massholes here (joking fun term) so maybe we can all get together for a walk in november.

NOW the only thing that I have a question about is raising the funds. I have done fundraisers before for other groups (been the head of) and I want to know the logistics surround donations and if you had non profit status and etc. (cause all that can get very confusing especially financially) I want to make sure if I try to help organize a walk/race in boston that all the basis have been covered.

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Wow! We might have a walk in Boston too! GREAT! This momentum shows that we do make a difference. Again, I will help you in SO many ways, and get you on our website once it is up (hopefully in the next month).

Great question about fundraising. You certainly can start your own 501c3 to do this, but I have so far chosen not to because I figure it is better to put the work in towards the walk than setting up a non-profit. So I chose an organization to give the money too that did work for lung cancer. I picked ALCASE, because I believed in raising awareness! Then, everyone made out their checks to ALCASE, and I forwarded the checks directly to them. Lungevity is great one as well, as is LCSC.

Here is what I say about it in my primer:

Pick a cause focused on lung cancer where you want your donations to go to. Some ideas are: A.L.C.A.S.E. (www.alcase.org), Lungevity (www.lungevity.org) and Lung Cancer Survivors for Change (www.lungcancersurvivors.org). You could also donate the money to a hospital with the agreement that it will be used for lung cancer research or give it to a local wellness house for lung cancer groups. Whatever you choose, pick a cause devoted to lung cancer that pulls at your heartstrings. Make sure, however, that they will provide you with what you need to make the walk a success. In Chicago, we needed a certificate of insurance to have the walk in a public place (such as a school). Therefore, our one request of the chosen charity was that they provide us with this insurance. Many 501c3 organizations with liability insurance will consider this request as they can often simply add your event to their policy. However, before finalizing your chosen charity, be sure to secure this promise for insurance should you need it. That said, if you do a simple walk, you won't need it.

Does that make sense?

Renee

rkosiarek@broadviewinc.net

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Well, like I said, I started thinking that ANY walk, no matter how small, would be great! But I got so excited that it did grow. We had about 100 people at ours, in part because of friends/family & also because I wrote several press releases and we did get some press attention! With press releases, I will help anyone write them - and walks are a GREAT way to get attention focused on lung cancer! This year, we are expecting 500 people, but again, I have a lot of energy for this cause!

Anyway, I chose to do my walk at a school track. I basically contacted several schools in the area, and most agreed to let us do it. A couple wanted to charge like 20$ an hour, but some allowed us to use it for free. Most wanted a certificate of liability insurance which I was able to get from ALCASE (they were wonderful). I did not need permission from the city, but I did check with them about this just in case (I just called them with the details).

If you are doing a small walk, I would imagine you can just walk around your neighborhood no problem. However, it can't hurt to call the city & tell them about your "informal, small walk."

If you want to do a larger one on the streets, you should contact the city. They will be able to talk to you about permits, police, etc. should you need it. That said, I wanted easy for my 1st year (and this year as well), and a school track worked perfect! Very very easy!

Great questions! Keep them coming!

Renee

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am making some progress in organizing the California walk...... I contacted a bunch of local parks as a venue....I wanted somewhere that we can walk, rally and do raffles, and ahve restrooms...... I will need to lay out $210 venue fee, $200 permit fee, and probably $500 insurance, but I am sure I will get that back.

I just e-mailed Rick and Katie. This board has helped me soooo much that I want to do the California Walk to benefit LCSC and have proceeds go to them. Profits will be a bit less having to buy insurance, but so what. I hope and plan to hit as many people up for money as I can :):):):):):):)

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Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you know that we are moving forward with a walk in Michigan. I am in the process of working with Karmanos (a local hospital) to see what support they could give us if part of the proceeds went to them. I have also contacted ALCASE but I have not heard back from them. I would also like to donate a part of the proceeds to this site - If Katie or Dave reads this please let me know if there is any support you can provide and the best way to contact you to discuss this further. I am planning for the walk to be in September (Unfortunately it is a little to cold here in Michigan to do a walk in November). I want to thank Renee for all her help so far. The information you have sent me has been great.

Does everyone know what they are calling their walk? Should we try to use the same name?

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That website reminds me of our Revlon Boycott!

They refused to acknowledge Lung Cancer at their annual "walk" saying that they were not getting into it because lung cancer wasn't a womens issue!

We bombarded them with tons of e-mails and letters- and promised never to buy Revlon again! :lol: We had about 300 members then.

Wishing much success for all the walks for LUNG CANCER!

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Guest Katie

You are SO right! How do you think I got all the forms and bylaws and other documents that we needed? By taking "looky-looks" at how other orgs. had done it.

With limited resources we use our hearts and our minds and anything is possible !!! Making a difference in this fight one step at a time!!!

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