Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Investing in a Worthwhile Cause

So I've written a couple of posts HERE and HERE about my participation in the San Diego Downtown Relay for Life.

Basically, Relay for Life is the largest fundraising event in the world and is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. I won't bother explaining the whole thing again because it's in the other two posts which I'm sure all of you have read multiple times!

So the first year, I kind of just participated for fun, hanging out with friends during the day, and donating a few bucks to the fight against cancer. I stayed most of the day, but didn't spend the night. This last year, I participated again as a team member, but made it through the whole thing (and the crazy after party!).

Somehow though, I missed the logical progression of participation in the event. Next probably would've been captaining a team this year, then joining a subcommittee for the event, then maybe a direct committee position.

Instead, I'm now the Team Recruitment Chair for the 2009 San Diego event! Basically, I've been thrust into the second most involved/important committee position after the Event Chair.

What have I gotten myself into...

Actually, if you were to ask me years ago what sort of charity I would be involved in, I never would have guessed it would be one that fights cancer. I've always had a particular affinity for kids and babies so I always assumed I would join something along the lines of helping them.

Yep, I'm the guy always waving to babies in the grocery store or playing games with kids at parties. I know it's hard to believe, but beyond my incredible maturity, age-old wisdom, and experienced sophistication, I can manage to dig deep and relate well to kids :)

Go Figure.

This last weekend, I had to go up to L.A. for the State Relay for Life Summit. Basically, it was a bunch of presentations and workshops over two days, designed to help you organize, fundraise, recruit teams, and put on an awesome event. Free food and board at the Marriott was also a nice little incentive to go :)

So last year, the second year of the Downtown San Diego Relay for Life, we raised 18,000 bucks...not too shabby, eh? Well it's actually shabb-tastic when you compare our numbers to the 20 year old Relay for Life - Bakersfield who raise 1.7 million dollars. ONE POINT FREAKING SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS!!!

Hmmm...maybe I should do an additional event in Bakersfield called "Relay for Arun." You guys could all come and talk about how awesome I am while the (apparently generous) people of Bakersfield throw money at me so I can live an awesome life and write about it!

Sometimes I shock even myself with such brilliant ideas :)

As "Team Recruitment Wizard," it's my job to increase the number of Downtown San Diego teams from 18 (last year) to something more, although 356 teams(Bakersfield) seems just a smidgen too ambitious.

The one thing though that struck me as a little ironic about the people at the conference, is that probably 80% of the people over 35 were REALLY out of shape! Fighting against cancer is a noble cause and all, but obesity is a major contributor to cancer!

It's akin to a chubby dietitian preaching about the healthiness of a diet high in veggies and protein. Sure the information he says is true, but how the hell can anyone take him seriously when he eats jelly doughnuts for breakfast?

Furthermore, the bottom line reason that people fight cancer is because it kills people right? If it wasn't fatal, it would concern us about as much as chicken pox do. But what else is one of the leading causes of death in this country? That's right, OBESITY!

It's like pleading for gun control because you're scared for your safety, while sticking a knife in your chest.

I guess they've at least picked a noble cause to fight for and shouldn't be criticized for their contribution, but I just think it's funny.

I actually haven't been directly affected by cancer. Nobody really close to me has ever gotten it. So why am I so involved? Because I KNOW that someone I care for, including myself, WILL be affected by it at some point. The statistics are 1 in every 5 people.

It's kind of like car insurance. There's no immediate need for it, and in the mean time you're paying a monthly premium. In this case, instead of money, it's my time. BUT, there's a darn good chance that somewhere down the road, that insurance will save me a lot of heartache.

In this case, my efforts, however small they are in the big picture, could save my life, someones I care about, or yours.

BTW, if you live in San Diego, email me and I'll let you know how you can join Relay for Life this year! Our website isn't up yet, but it's coming soon. It's super fun AND it's for a great cause.

And if you're not in San Diego, chances are, there's a Relay for Life close to you (there's some 5,000 nationwide + others internationally). Hop on board the "Feel-Good" train and do something worthwhile (other than being a dedicated reader of this blog of course :)

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