Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Princess Guide: Tell Us What We Want to Know....

So what's cool this week in D'Lyn-Land? Well... I think my blog readership has jumped from four to six. How cool is that??

Seriously, I know some of you are thinking I'd better start talking Fundraising. Like Now.

You have to understand... Way back when I started this crazy path, I quickly figured out that the more people who walked the walk, the more money we would raise. That on my own I couldn't raise nearly what a big team would raise.

And I was right.

So for the last couple of weeks, as the clock ticked down on that Registration Discount that the 3-Day was offering, I had tunnel vision. It was all about getting as many people to walk with us as I could. And it still is.

BUT... I know you're getting restless and a bit nervous, and I'd like to ask you to repeat after me.

It's. Still. Early.

I know that for some of you it's not nearly as early as it is for me. But let me tell you.... If you're walking in Dallas, November is still a long ways away. And you'd be amazed at how much money comes in in those last 30 days before the walk.

But I know that when you've got that $2300 hanging over you, it doesn't matter how much time you've got. Especially if this is your first rodeo.

For today, I'm going to give you two tasks. Just two. No whining about fundraising until you've done these two tasks. I mean it. I'm immune to whining.

1. Design your Participant Center. By "design," I mean make it yours. Add a picture that's YOURS -- not the stock photo. Add your story. Why you're walking. A scripture.

Remember, this is your way to "talk" to your sponsors -- some of whom you've never even met. They're the people that play bridge with your Aunt Bertha. They're the guys that meet your Uncle Fred for coffee every morning at the Dairy Queen. And that family of yours? They are so darn proud of what you're doing, they can't stop talking about it. They're spreading the word. So please give those people something to read when they land on your page.

2. Write your fundraising letter. Then send it. I send mine via snail mail and get a great result. I know a lot of people that do theirs via email. It doesn't matter how you do it -- just do it. If you don't ask these people to sponsor you, how do you expect them to know you need it? If you don't share the magnitude of this challenge, how can you expect them to donate more than $5??

This is KEY to fundraising. You can't just sit in the middle of your cul-de-sac in your chair with your beverage of choice and tell your six neighbors that you're walking in this walk-thingy. You've go to get out there, let people know what you're doing and then ASK them to help.

And I'm telling you... You will get out of this exactly what you put into it. If you send that letter to six people, at best you'll get donations from six people. If you send that letter to 350 people, your odds are looking a whole lot brighter.

Yep. I said 350. It's crazy, I know. But you've got to send that letter to everyone you've ever met. Co-workers, former co-workers, college buddies, high school buddies, kindergarten buddies, fishing buddies, teammates, your kids' teammates' parents, your family, your cousin Elmo, the lady at your dry cleaners, your entire Christmas list, your Momma's entire Christmas list..... Do you want me to continue??

Okay. I won't. But I think you get the point.

Since I love all six of you so much, I'm going to do you a big favor. If you'll read on, you'll see a fundraising letter extraordinaire, courtesy of me. Feel free to edit it as needed to make it your own -- and yes, you''ll have to do that yourself. Your story isn't my story. You've got your own. Be proud of it.

And good luck. I'm rooting for you!!!

March 10, 2010

Dear Friends,

You’re probably wondering what on earth would make me search high and low for contact information for anyone and everyone I could think of – even people I haven’t heard from in years.

Well…. Six years ago, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose to live and fought it bravely. After a double mastectomy, she was cancer-free.

In October 2006, a friend and I walked in the Komen for the Cure’s DFW Breast Cancer 3-Day in honor of my Mom. It was an incredible experience. Mom was so flattered that we would walk 60 miles for her.

That’s right. Sixty Miles. In three days. Yeah, me. (You can quit laughing now.) I immediately signed up to walk again in 2007 as a way to support my Mom in her ongoing struggles with her health. You see, even though she had beat breast cancer, it was continuing to affect her life. Her kidneys were failing, and she needed a transplant. But because of the breast cancer she had battled, she wouldn’t be able to get one for at least 3-4 more years.

My Mom didn’t give up. She had determination and courage that were nothing short of amazing.

In the meantime, Biggs was transferred to Houston. We moved here June 16, 2007. Four days later, Mom was diagnosed with a tumor at the base of her skull. God, in his infinite wisdom, had brought us to Houston just in time for her arrival at MD Anderson. The next month was a blur of hospital stays and tests. She passed away July 21. She was only 61.

That October, walking the 3-Day was much different than in 2006. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. But 13 precious friends joined me, held my hand and cried with me. I know Mom was walking with me as well – I walked each and every one of the 60 miles and didn’t get a single blister.

In a surprising twist, I was one of 17 walkers flown to L.A. the next weekend to shoot the print, radio and TV ads for the 2008 3-Day series. Believe me, “We want you to fly to L.A. to shoot a TV commercial,” were words I never expected to hear. But I’m so glad I did. The men and women we worked with in L.A. were such a gift. We continue to be featured in commercials, ads, promotional video and literature that are distributed nation-wide.

Our team, now known as Team Tiara, continues to walk this walk and fight this battle. To date, we have raised almost $300,000. But we're not done. We're going to walk this walk until that magical year when this becomes a celebration - the year we find a CURE for breast cancer. This year, we'll be walking in Dallas on November 5-7. As we continue to lose dear friends and family members, and ache with others just being diagnosed, I am more determined than ever to help find a cure before Abbie and Kaitlyn are old enough to know what a mammogram is. I’m reaching out to absolutely everyone I can think of.

Would you like to know how you can help?

You can walk with Team Tiara – This year our goal is to have 100 walkers on our team. With that many walkers, we can raise the $250,000 needed to reach the cumulative $500,000 mark - in this all-important FIFTH year of walking. Wouldn’t that be cool? As a walker, you will be introduced to many “firsts.” You’ll sleep in a pink tent, take showers in a converted semi trailer, dine on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and become an expert on blister care. You will laugh at the kind of jokes only breast cancer survivors can come up with. You’ll cry over people’s stories and share your own. And in the process you’ll help raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research and education. You can check out our donation website at www.the3day.org/goto/teamtiara. To join our team, click on the button that says, "Join Team."

You can crew with Team Tiara – It takes about 500 crew members to make sure everything runs smoothly. There are people to make sure you get across the street okay (when you’re that tired, sometimes you forget to look both ways!), there are volunteers that serve all the meals, and there are even a couple of guys that dress up like fairies to send you on your way in the morning. Crazy! To crew with our team, follow the same directions above.

You can donate to Team Tiara -- Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. The money you donate goes directly to research, education, awareness and services…. You can donate online at www.the3day.org/goto/formymom. You can donate by phone – just call 1-800-996-3329. My walker ID number is 1434066. If you prefer to donate by check, you can make it out to “Breast Cancer 3-Day” and send it to me at the address below. I will attach one of the donation slips and send it to the 3-Day bank! And of course, all donations are tax-deductible.

Now.... I’d be remiss if I touched base with you and didn’t remind to “check your chi-chi’s” and make sure the women in your life get regular mammograms! Breast cancer knows no age or gender boundaries. You are your best defense!

Many Blessings,


D’Lyn (Lloyd) Biggs

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