Huntington's Fundraising: Criticisms and Stigmas.
On Saturday, May 19, 2018 at our Huntington's and Juvenile Huntington's disease convention in Orlando, Florida, WeHaveAFace Team USA (Crystal Acree Valvano, Director of Marketing/Community Relations) addressed the conference. Since obtaining our IRS 501(c)(3) Charity Status, WeHaveAFace has held over seventy-five community fundraising events.
Each of these events supports our Huntington's Disease Assistance Fund or our Juvenile Huntington's Disease Research Fund. Many organizations hold similar events for their cause: Walks, Marathons, Cocktails for the Cure, BINGO, Drag Queen BINGO, Golf Tournaments, Poker Tournaments, and the list of fundraising events goes on.
Most, if not all of you, have heard of, or watched the movie, "Magic Mike." Starring, Channing Tatum (as Mike), this movie made waves throughout international film box-offices. Consequently, it also created a "spark" to a network of professionals also known as "Chippendales" - (Established in 1979, Chippendales was the first all-male troupe to make a legitimate business performing through the quality of its masterful staging and meticulously challenging choreography). Many countries have their own brand-names, like Australia's "Men from Down Under," which is also a troupe of professional, and high-quality performers.
In 2017 a unique, and risqué (so I thought) opportunity came to the attention of WeHaveAFace.org. Madeline Visciano (Director of Community Events - WHAF), discovered something very interesting - something we were completely unaware of. Ms. Visciano was in the community searching for different ideas for fundraising events. Inadvertently, Madeline was discussing fundraising ideas with a very close friend. Surprisingly, her friend is the mother of a professional dance performer. Madeline's friend went on to say that her son's company (Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience), demonstrates its connection with, and dedication for, their communities by holding fundraising benefits for many disease-oriented groups.
Madeline Visciano and James Valvano met with David Greenhouse (owner of Rock Hard Revue) to discuss their business model in detail. To our surprise, Mr. Greenhouse mentioned that his company has raised funds for nonprofit organizations, and offered to host a fundraising benefit for WeHaveAFace.org. I was no longer ignorant of the fact that companies such as Rock Hard Revue, indeed assisted community causes.
"My company has supported charities such as, Making Strides for Breast Cancer, Autism Speaks, Help and Hope, Walk MS, and WeHaveAFace.org. As a child I can remember my mother going into the city (New York) with her church group to feed the homeless every Saturday night. As an adult, I was employed in the entertainment industry and had endless opportunities to perform in benefits. At that time, AIDS was a very prevalent disease and had several friends affected by it. Doing something we love and being able to raise money to help others just seems like a no-brainer to me." - David Greenhouse (owner of Rock Hard Revue)
Before our first "Rock Hard Revue" event, WeHaveAFace.org and David Greenhouse were guests on 105.1, one of Orlando's most listened to radio stations. Following our interview, we held our first "Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience" in Orlando, Florida. It was a huge success, as was the ability to educate each person who attended about Huntington's and Juvenile Huntington's disease. WeHaveAFace.org provided attendees with education, information, and resources about HD/JHD, and the crowd was ambitious to learn and pass information along to others. Mission accomplished! Moreover, on behalf of WeHaveAFace.org, the "Rock Hard Revue" event raised a significant amount of money to support our Huntington's Disease Assistance Fund.
"Sadly, there are many criticisms and stigmas involved. We understand that many are unaware of opportunities like this, but it is frustrating when people allow their ignorance to stop them from a really great opportunity to educate and fundraise at the same time." - Madeline Visicano, WHAF Director of Community Events.
On Friday, May 18, 2018, our incredible friends from the "Rock Hard Revue" surprised Erin Wade (our JHD Warrior from Canada) for her birthday. The moment was about and for Erin, and the attendees enjoyed the love they brought to her.
"I was so struck by the love and support they [Rock Hard Revue Team] bring to our community. They came to surprise Erin on their own time and their entire company is aware of what Huntington's and Juvenile Huntington's disease is. They are willing to make a difference! Not only are they professional performers, they also have hearts of gold!" - Cindy Moore, President of WHAF Canada, and Erin Wade's mother.
We are so very proud of our friendship with the entire crew of "Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience," and look forward to yet another event with them in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, June 30th, to benefit our Huntington's and Juvenile Huntington's disease programs.
We are also very excited and proud that our friends from the "Rock Hard Revue: The Magic Mike Experience," were chosen to perform on season 13 of America’s Got Talent! This is HUGE!
WeHaveAFace.org will continue to find unique and far-reaching opportunities to broaden global awareness of Huntington's and Juvenile Huntington's disease. It's in our DNA!