Last friday was the “Dance Away Cystic Fibrosis” dance at Rowan University Rec Center. Rowan University’s Public Relations Student Society of America, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Rowan Intramural Recreation Sports Association together raised awareness and funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
I had the honor and privilege to meet Kelly McHale who helped form the dance. Kelly is not only co-hosting the charity event to support Cystic Fibrosis research, but she also has the disease as well. Kelly is a ball of light with fiery determination and a passion to help promote awareness of Cystic Fibrosis. She has been working on the project with her friends since August 2012.
Kelly reached out to numerous graphic designers and design companies in New Jersey to design a logo and t-shirts for the event. To my surprise, she said out of the numerous designers she contacted, InnerRealm Designs was the only one who replied “Yes, how can we help!”
Over the course of a week a t-shirt design and logo was created for the event. It came to me one day as I was working on the project, that I wanted to help…and surprise Kelly. I contacted friends, family, and colleagues to see if anyone could donate raffle prizes or monetary donations for the dance.
I had an overwhelming response from the donation letter I wrote that specifically mentioned my initial meeting with Kelly. I was able to be more than “just a graphic designer” or “a design company that did our shirts” for Kelly and her friends.
I met up with Kelly to talk about the event a week before, and was delighted to meet the host of the dance as well, Diana DiNapoli the PRSSA Vice President of Ethics, Advocacy and Philanthropy. Diana seemed just as delightfully surprised as Kelly, so my personal and professional goals were achieved! They were both surprised and excited, and had some incredible prizes to raffle, along with generous donations.
The Dance Away Cystic Fibrosis night was a blast. A ton of students came out for the event, and showed their support by wearing purple, purchasing raffle tickets and dancing. There were Zumba instructors keeping up the dance momentum for the entire night. And just about all who attended were on the dance floor, or eagerly buying raffle tickets!
I got to meet Kelly’s parents and family as well, and had the opportunity to tell them how great it was to meet their daughter and help with the event. They were so proud of Kelly and to see all her hard work for the dance unfold as the night went on. And not to mention Diana was a fantastic host, and she kept the dance party going till midnight!
The dance was a total success and raised over $1600.00 that will go to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“It’s really brought a lot of awareness on campus. A lot of people didn’t know what cystic fibrosis is. I feel like we reached a lot of different people,” DiNapoli said.
The most humbling feeling is when Kelly and Diana gave me a token of their appreciation at the end of the night with a Rowan University Blanket. I am usually the one who surprises, or helps…so it was a feeling I am not quite used to, and it truly made my night. I am so grateful to be a small part of that night. And I am humbled to know I surround my company, and myself with wonderful friends, family, and colleagues. Thank you again to all who donated to help with this amazing event!