Sunday, August 03, 2008

More about money

On the night of September 5th you may not want to be watching CBS, ABC, or NBC, if you want to avoid a show about cancer. Stand Up To Cancer will be on then, 8pm et/pt. Here is the web site:
http://www.standup2cancer.org/. I just found the site, and am still trying to find out where the money goes after they raise it. They have a shopping site - but I couldn't get it to open up (if it is open yet), so I don't know what they are selling. There is a contest to be present among the celebrity phone bank that night (I guess they could have just gone to the local ACS office and rounded us up to do the work, like folks do immigrant day laborers). And there is a Launch a Star area, where (this is heartbreaking to me) folks can buy a star and put someone's name on it, adding to the Constellation. That is a group I sure don't want to be among - I don't want to be 'remembered' at any Relay for Life, either. There are already stars purchased in the constellation, but I didn't check them to see if I knew anyone. 12,000,000 of us in the US have had cancer diagnosed - I am not sure they have big enough servers to put all those names in. And I would rather you spent your dollar on something else locally. Look around - your community has human service agencies that support folks with chronic conditions - donate there. Look around your neighborhood and church - someone that is going through cancer treatment could use some concrete help. Take their kids to soccer practice or bring dinner by for the rest of the family. Buy a gas card for someone making daily visits to radiation or regular visits for chemo. Visit your local cancer research center and bring pizza for the hard working researchers, so they can concentrate on the life-saving work instead of their growling tummies. (Now THAT is a group I would like to champion in a tv show or big screen movie - the scientists that too often anonymously manage herds of mice and microbes, running clinical trials on humans, hunting for that answer to either better treat or cure cancer.) I just don't know what celebrities are going to do to actually get money to the research labs. Their press releases http://www.standup2cancer.org/theshow/press don't address the funding pipeline question (hope that money will be raised, but it goes where?). There is a great section about emailing congress to increase funding to NIH http://www.standup2cancer.org/getinvolved/congress - I am glad that they put that in there. Backing for the program seems to be from the Entertainment Industry Foundation http://www.eifoundation.org/, with a grateful thank you to Ken Ziffren, a prominent Hollywood lawyer. Congratulations for them getting some anti-cancer entertainment together in this dark fall TV period resulting from the writers' strike. My heart will be with all present and viewing that have been touched by cancer personally. But I am not sure how much all of the hoopla will impact me or other cancer fighters. Question - what commercials are going to be run during a special like this? The mind boggles.
(added August 17, 2008 - cheeky) Ok, I know more about this fund-raising effort as the days go by, and it is starting to look better than it did at first glance. I recently located additional information on how funds raised by the SU2C effort will be used at the American Association for Cancer Research site: http://www.aacr.org/home/public--media/stand-up-to-cancer/grant-giving-model-su2c.aspx. Submit your ideas if you have a plan for a "Dream Team". I wish the fund raising effort and future projects that come of it all the best.

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