Give & Take: Prosek's Alzheimer’s Walk
There are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and one in three seniors die from Alzheimer’s or another cause of dementia – meaning almost everyone has a family member directly affected or knows someone who does. The Alzheimer’s Association is a cause close to many in our Connecticut office, and one that brings us together each year to fundraise.
When given the opportunity to lead this year’s Alzheimer’s Walk, it was an easy choice to say yes. What became more difficult however, was finding the right venue for us to hold a fundraiser. Originally, the fundraiser was set to take place at a local restaurant we had worked with for previous walks. After confirming the details, a month prior to our event they let us know their fundraising policy had changed and it was no longer a possibility to host a fundraiser with them. I was faced with a moment of panic. How would we find a new location to host a fundraiser only a few weeks before our walk? And then it dawned on me, I would send a pitch.
I drafted a concise, factual email introducing myself, sharing background on Prosek, the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s we were fundraising for and why the cause is so important to our office. I reached out to an array of local businesses that my Fairfield colleagues and I frequent for coffee breaks, salads, happy hours, ice cream on summer Fridays or baked goods for an afternoon pick me-up. Within an hour, we had secured Archie Moore’s (a favorite local wing spot) to host a fundraiser the week before our event!
In the cycle of pitching, speaking with reporters, securing media opportunities and championing the client’s message, it can be easy to overlook the skillfulness required. In just one email, we must explain who we are in a concise way, what we are trying to accomplish and why that person should want to get involved. When faced with a challenge outside of the usual scope of work (securing a fundraising venue), these skills became especially useful. We’ve all experienced PR work that – at first glance – appears daunting: encouraging reporters to attend an obscure event, pitching over-saturated topics and “holidays” (financial literacy month, back to school, tax season - should I continue?), or sifting through a pile of research to find the timely hook. Of all the skills I’ve gained from working at Prosek, the ability to think outside of the box, ambition to succeed and resiliency to overcome a tough challenge have helped me find success in both my client work and endeavors outside of the office.
Our original team goal was to raise $500. As of today, the Prosek team has raised $2,020 and counting. With a talented team of Prosekians dedicating themselves to the cause, I know a world without Alzheimer’s is not so far in the distant future.