Hold your own yard sale, cocktail or pizza party. It’s easy if you start close to home. Contact FRAXA Event Coordinator Melissa Budek for ideas, contacts, brochures, and other materials. You could also contact your local newspaper and see if they will feature a story on Fragile X. They will be especially interested if they can write a story about a local family. You can provide information from this website.
Event Idea: Restaurant Charitable Fundraisers
Are you interested in starting a Fragile X benefit night at a restaurant near you? There are many opportunities available!
Many chain restaurants offer benefit nights to help raise donations for non-profit organizations. Here are some restaurants that participate in these events:
- Baja Fresh
- bd’s Mongolian Barbecue
- BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
- Boston Market
- Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
- Burger King
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Cheeburger Cheeburger
- Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants
- CiCi’s Pizza
- Go Roma
- Island’s Fine Burgers and Drinks
- Jamba Juice
- Jersey Mike’s
- Kona Ice
- La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill
- Loco’s Grill & Pub
- Lone Star Steakhouse
- Maggie Moo’s
- Max & Erma’s
- Moe’s Southwest Grill
- Ninety-Nine Restaurant
- Noodles & Company
- Outback Steakhouse
- Panda Express
- Panera Bread
- Papa Murphy’s (contact your local restaurant for fundraising opportunities)
- Pizzeria Uno
- Red Robin
- Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes
Forms and Financial Information
Here are some of the events we’ve done in the past.
Basketball Tournaments“Patrick’s Pals” Team up to Support Fragile X Research
by Pamela Vershbow, Parent
Sunday, June 1, is a day forever engraved on my memory. It is a day in which my son Patrick, my husband and I received more encouragement, love, support, and help than we ever dared to wish for.
Some very good friends of ours came up the with idea … a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament to benefit Fragile X. We sent out a package inviting people to join or sponsor the all-day tournament. We included an explanation of Fragile X Syndrome, its effect on Patrick and its effect on our lives. The mailing was sent to 1500 people: current friends, business associates, former classmates, and even childhood summer-camp-mates.
Once the idea was born it took on a life of its own, as our friends told their friends and our business associates told their business associates and so on!
The tournament was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the gym of an elementary school. The gym was packed. When the day ended, we had raised more than $27,000!!!
It was the most thrilling event that we have experienced since being diagnosed with Fragile X. It gave us hope … hope that people will be more open and willing to give Patrick a chance, hope that people will be better able to see how wonderful Patrick is, hope that people might care enough to help us find a cure for Fragile X.
We want to share our day with everyone and hope that you might enjoy a similar experience. Sincerely, Pamela and James Vershbow
Patrick’s Pals have now held six annual basketball tournaments … each year has been more successful than the last.
BowlathonsThe FRAXA Chicago chapter’s June bowling/pizza/auction/raffle was spectacular. Jody Goldsmith writes:
We had the best fundraiser, not to mention bringing in over $3,300 dollars! Over 100 people showed up that day. 20 bowling lanes were designated for FRAXA as well as a private room. You should have seen how beautifully the auction room was decorated: tulle and flower swirled table cloths, jewelry displayed on black velvet, and a lolli-pop game overflowing with bright colored prizes for the winners, while ten tables glimmered with huge baskets of goodies wrapped in opalescent celephane.
A great time was had by all, but the best part was watching the smiling faces of our children. For many it was the first time they had been to a bowling alley. Not only did they learn how to bowl, but each child, verbal or nonverbal, showed us all how to have a great day. One of funniest moments in the afternoon was when Bev’s son Adam, who has fragile X, sat up high on a swivel chair overlooking the lanes and said “Welcome to my office.”
Paula and Patrick Clift of Indiana, discovered just last fall that their son Matthew is affected with fragile X. In May they held a bowl-a-thon for FRAXA, raising over $2300 and still counting. Paula writes “we came up with a list of people we knew well — friends, coworkers, and family — and sent everyone a letter describing fragile X and asking that they participate or donate… My husband and I also took a vacation day and went around to a lot of the local businesses and asked for door prizes. We came out with about 80! … There are too many people to thank in this letter, because we were overwhelmed by the support we had from all!”
Fast Food Benefit Nights
How to start a fragile X benefit night at your local McDonalds/Burger King/Wendy’s/Pizza Hut, etc. by Katie Clapp, President, FRAXA
Many restaurants like McDonalds are privately-owned so each owner might have slightly different policies. Simply go to or call convenient local restaurants and ask to speak to the manager or owner. Explain about fragile X, that it affects 1 in 2000 boys and 1 in 4000 girls, which means that it is one of the most common children’s diseases. McDonalds is *definitely* child-oriented, so it appeals to them to help children. I told the managers how much my fragile X son Andy loves the restaurant and how comfortable he feels there (well… usually!). Then ask if they will do some kind of benefit night to raise awareness/funds for fragile X. You might suggest one night a month when they donate 5% of their sales to FRAXA, or another foundation, if you prefer. Or try one night and see how it goes.
One reason I did this is that our local McDonalds agreed to hand out a little fact sheet to everyone who used their drive-up window all week! Now that’s raising some awareness!
If the managers agree, then you get to invite all your friends to join you that evening! We’ve done this for FRAXA and for our local school system special education program. As I mentioned yesterday, I can send brochures, small fact sheets, etc. The restaurant’s donation is tax-deductible, which means that, if you get enough friends to join you, they might actually make more money that night. FRAXA’s TaxID # is 04-3222167 in case they ask. Also, we will publicize their philanthropy in our newsletter if they want. Feel free to have them give us a call.
Retail Store Partnerships
Karen and Greg Ripplinger, who have two children, Alex, 5 years old and Fragile X affected, and Zoey, age 20 months, have been busy raising money for Fragile X research.
It all began last December, when Karen and Greg participated in the Oregon Lottery’s annual Holiday Scratch-it for Charity and came away with $90 for the Fragile X Association of Oregon. The contest allowed representatives from various charities to scratch off as many lottery tickets as they could during a 5-minute period, and keep the proceeds.
Then, in July, Karen attended a business seminar in San Francisco. She was inspired to speak about Fragile X before the 150 people in the audience, who spontaneously donated more than $1200. Karen donated the money to FRAXA Research Foundation.
She and Greg own a women’s clothing consignment boutique in Portland called The Silver Lining. She has been known to give a few over-the-counter seminars on Fragile X, and every third weekend she has a “Fragile X Dollar Day” sale on a specific sale-rack. “So far, we’ve made about $800,” she said, which was then donated to FRAXA. FRAXA will be the beneficiary of yet another fundraising project she inspired: a group of other resale boutique owners will be selling $2 raffle tickets, proceeds to be donated. Winners receive a package of gift certificates for the 10 stores, worth $200.
The Ripplinger family was featured recently in an article in the Oregonian newspaper, focusing on how they are coping with the challenge of Fragile X. “As a result of the article, I made $150 for Fragile X. It just came; I didn’t ask for it.”
Karen says she feels a great need to focus energy on raising money for Fragile X research. “I hope that we can find a cure. I want to contribute as much as I can. If we don’t do our part, we can’t ask ‘Why isn’t there a cure?’ I’m trying to do my part.”
Randalls Supermarket shoppers in Houston and Austin, and Tom Thumb Supermarket shoppers in Dallas can benefit FRAXA when they purchase groceries, simply by giving the checkout clerk FRAXA’s number: 3715. These stores then donate a portion of the profits to FRAXA to support fragile X research in Texas.
If you live in Houston, Austin, or Dallas, please link your purchases with the 3715 FRAXA number.
Yard Sales for Fragile XEvery year, Fragile X families all over the country hold yard sales to benefit FRAXA. These yard sales come in all sizes, and every one contributes to raising awareness and funds for fragile X research.
In Arlington, Massachusetts, The Vershbow and Whitney families have fantastic yard sales. The Fourth Vershbow/Whitney yard sale raised a whopping $5600! This yard sale was so well-attended that the resulting traffic jams required hiring police to manage the crush. Observing the line that formed an hour before the sale opened, the on-duty officer dialed up his wife on his cell phone and told her “I haven’t seen a crowd this big since the Filene’s Basement Wedding Dress Sale!”
Some hints for running a successful yard sale:
> Enlist help of family, friends, and neighbors; make this a team effort in which everyone is invested
> Put an ad in your local papers requesting donations of items for the sale; be sure to offer to pick up items and mention that
proceeds will go to charity
> Provide information about fragile X at and before the sale; FRAXA can provide brochures and fact sheets
> Have fun! Use the sale as an opportunity to let others help you support a good cause.
Let us know your plans! Please email FRAXA Events Coordinator Melissa Budek or call her at (978) 462-1866