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Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation Anticipates $1 Million in Annual Grants

AVAIL Fund Provides Non-Medical Living Expenses to Recovering Cancer Patients

Sarasota, FL – May 13, 2015…The Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation, the charitable arm of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), announced that grants to patients will exceed $1 million by the end of this year.

“That represents an increase of 85% since the Foundation was established in 2012. Florida Cancer Specialists pays the major expenses of the Foundation, such as personnel salaries and overhead, so that 100% of every dollar contributed goes directly to helping qualified patients with cancer throughout Florida” said FCS CEO Bradley Prechtl, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation.

To heighten awareness and bring clarity to the mission of the Foundation, the AVAIL Fund, an acronym for Available and Valuable Assistance for Immediate Living expenses, was recently chosen as the signature name for the principal grant fund to aptly describe the purpose for which the grants are given. The FCS Foundation provides assistance with non-medical living expenses to adult cancer patients in Florida, whether or not they are patients of Florida Cancer Specialists.

Dr. Bill Harwin, President and Founder of FCS, and a generous group of like-minded Florida Cancer Specialists physicians established and initially seeded the Foundation. The physicians wanted to assist low-income cancer patients and relieve some of the stress and worry about paying bills, so these patients could focus on what really matters – fighting cancer.

“AVAIL provides meaningful financial support to adult cancer patients in Florida for immediate, nonmedical living expenses while they are undergoing cancer treatment,” Dr. Harwin said. “It’s stressful enough to be diagnosed with cancer, let alone having to worry about making your house or car payments.” For more information on how you may donate or apply for a grant from the AVAIL fund, please visit Foundation.FLCancer.com or call 941-677-7181.

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About Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation:
The Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation was created to help qualified patients who need financial assistance while undergoing treatment for cancer. The Foundation’s AVAIL Fund allows those fighting cancer to concentrate on recovery, rather than worrying about bills such as rent, mortgage, utilities or car payments. The Foundation office is located at 5202 Paylor Lane in Sarasota, Florida. You can learn more about the FCS Foundation at Foundation.FLCancer.com or by calling 941-677-7181.

About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute:
At Florida Cancer Specialists, our primary purpose – and our passion – is to provide the most advanced cancer treatment, using cutting-edge technologies, in a setting where patients can be close to home and surrounded by family and friends. Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) is the largest independent medical oncology/hematology practice in the United States. With over 170 physicians, 110 nurse practitioners and physician assistants and over 80 locations in our network, we are committed to providing world-class cancer care in community-based settings close to home. Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, FCS offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. Our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report. Trained in such prestigious medical schools and research institutes as Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Emory, M.D. Anderson, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, the physicians of Florida Cancer Specialists provide leadership and consultation in the state’s leading hospitals. FCS serves patients on the Gulf Coast from Naples to the greater Tampa Bay area, north as far as Tallahassee, in Orlando and surrounding Central Florida communities, and on the East Coast in Daytona/Palm Coast, Vero Beach/Sebastian and in Palm Beach County. At Florida Cancer Specialists, our primary purpose – and our passion – is to provide the most advanced cancer treatment, using cutting-edge technologies, in a setting where patients can be close to home and surrounded by family and friends.

For more information, contact:

Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
Beth Bush, Foundation Manager – bbush@flcancer.com
941.677.7184

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
Shelly Glenn, Chief Marketing Officer – sglenn@flcancer.com
770.365.6168

Double Diamond Marketing + Communications
Angela Evans – angela@dddinc.com
Elaine Ganick – elaine@dddinc.com
615.254.1515

More News

Virtual Volunteers Needed to Support Cancer Patients

The Florida Cancer Specialists (FCS) Foundation (FCSF) is honored to be the charitable recipient of the annual ‘ME STRONG 5K’ race in DeLand, Florida, the area’s largest and most successful fundraising run for the benefit of cancer patients and cancer research.

Read More »

Meet Antonio Azzato, the visionary behind the Las Meninas Sculpture Project. To continue the successful and positive spirit of the Las Meninas project in Madrid, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) and Healing Arts in Medicine are bringing Antonio Azzato’s vision to the United States for the first time.

Azzato was born and raised in Venezuela and has Italian and Spanish roots. He has raised more than 550K euros for different charitable foundations. His experience in the engineering, business, marketing, and interior design fields has given him the technical and artistic training to develop his Meninas Gallery project, which has positioned the silhouette of the Menina as the new icon of the city of Madrid, where he currently resides. Learn more about Antonio here.

The History of "Las Meninas"

Painted by Diego Velázquez in 1656,“Las Meninas” translates to Ladies in Waiting.  Considered a masterpiece depicting life in the court of King Philip IV of Spain, the painting represents a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royal subjects.

What is the Las Meninas Sculpture Project?

Inspired by the iconic painting “Las Meninas,” which translates to “Ladies in Waiting,” Spanish artist and sculptor Antonio Azzato created larger than life-size statues, fashioned in the shape of the Ladies in Waiting in the famous painting, that have been displayed in the streets of Madrid every fall since 2018.  The statues are painted by various Spanish artists and celebrities and used to raise money for different charities.  For the project with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), smaller statues that are white, like a blank canvas, will be distributed to 12 designated FCS clinics. Together with local artists, patients will bring their Las Meninas vision to life, giving each statue its own unique theme and color palette.

One World to Heal

Once complete, the Las Meninas sculptures will be on display in local communities, raising awareness of the extreme healing power of art in medicine. After a months-long tour of the state, each will be placed on auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. The Foundation assists cancer patients in need in Florida with essential everyday living expenses.

Contacte a FCSF

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After Your Event

Don’t Forget to Thank Everyone for Their Support

 

  • Thank your sponsors, committee members and other special supporters immediately after the event. A hand-written note, phone call or personal email will be greatly appreciated and will encourage supporters to come back next time!

  • Post ‘Thank You’ messages and photos on social media.

  • Mail a check to:
    Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
    5985 Silver Falls Run, Suite 210
    Bradenton, FL 34211

  • Once we receive your donation, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.

 

Thank you for hosting a successful event that helps cancer patients in need!

Use Various Media to Maximize Publicity for Your Event

These publicity tips and tools will help increase exposure for your event through various media, at very little cost. (Media outlets could include local radio, TV and newspapers, community calendars, social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Create a Timeline to Maximize Publicity

A realistic timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Keep this timeline in mind as you put together a publicity plan:

3-4 months before the event:
Identify your target audience based on demographics, interests, and location; develop a targeted media list.

4-6 weeks before the event:
Distribute media materials (i.e., media alert, listing on a community calendar, Facebook posts, Instagram, etc.). Be creative in developing the media materials – what makes your fundraiser different? Media outlets receive hundreds of requests to publicize non-profit events; they can’t publicize everyone – so make sure that YOUR EVENT is so special, different and appealing that it will be hard for the media outlet to resist!

2 weeks before the event:
Make follow-up calls and send e-mails to local media who received the information. Re-send information if they have not received it.

1-2 days before the event:
Email and/or fax a media alert with the basic information about your event (who, what, when, where and why) to the TV news assignment desks and photo desks at the daily or weekly newspapers.

Take Lots of Photos

Photos are a great way to document your event, whether for publicity or simply to share with family and friends. Here are some tips on capturing special moments at your fundraiser:
  • Write out a targeted shot list in advance to make sure you get photos of everything and everyone
  • Take candid and close-up shots that capture the different aspects of your fundraiser
  • Capture images of your sponsors
  • Include three to four people in a photo for the best publicity shot
  • If taking photos on your phone, turn your phone in the horizontal position
  • Send photos to Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation for approved use on social media and website (Please make sure you have permission from the individuals in the photo and include their names)

Ideas for Your Fundraiser Event

The following are just a few ideas for your community fundraiser.  We suggest thinking of something you enjoy doing (e.g., book club, cooking, golf, tennis, bingo, music) and working to add a fundraising component into that. This way, you are not starting from scratch and, in addition to giving back to a great cause, you are doing something you love!

FACEBOOK
You can easily raise money on your Facebook page by clicking on “Raise Money” on your post, including a special message of inspiration or in celebration of your birthday or notable anniversary.

BIRTHDAY/ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Do you have an upcoming birthday, anniversary, shower, or bar/bat mitzvah? Consider contributing to FCS Foundation, in lieu of personal gifts – and ask your friends and family to do the same. This is a great way to get the kids involved!

COCKTAIL PARTY
Throw a cocktail party in your home or at a local restaurant or bar. Many venues provide great deals for non-profit events. For example, ask your friends to donate $50 per person to attend — if you spend no more than $20 per person on the food, you will have a good amount left over after expenses to donate. Include a chance drawing or auction to increase revenue.

GARAGE SALE
Ask friends and neighbors to clean out their basement or garage for a good cause. Organize a garage sale, and you’ll clean out your house while supporting cancer patients in need in our community at the same time!

GOLF OUTING OR TOURNAMENT
Whether planning a small golf outing with friends and family or a larger tournament for your business, think about making every stroke really count by partnering with us to give back to the patients at FCS Foundation!

INDEPENDENT BUSINESS GIVES BACK
Are you a local independent business owner, restaurant or retail owner who is looking to align with a great cause? Whether donating a percentage of proceeds for a day, or a week, or simply collecting an ‘extra tip’ for the FCS Foundation, you can make a difference while you work.

SCHOOL FUNDRAISER
Kids love to help!  Have fun with your students teaching them about the meaning of philanthropy, with anything from a read-a-thon to a bake sale. Be creative! We’d love to hear about your school fundraiser ideas and stories.

SELL, SELL, SELL!
Many marketing/promotional item companies offer a lot of discounted items. Create T-shirts, bracelets, key chains, etc., and sell them at a price more than your cost to create revenue.

TRIVIA NIGHT
This is a fun way to raise funds while increasing awareness about pediatric illnesses. Host your trivia night at a restaurant or other local establishment and invite between 10 and 50 of your friends and family.

PURSE BINGO
Hold a bingo night and charge people to play ($20 for 4 cards, $40 for 8 cards, etc.) Instead of cash prizes, the prizes are designer or vintage purses that have been donated. One of the trendiest and easiest events to organize!

Getting Started

Deciding to host a community fundraiser for the FCS Foundation is a huge accomplishment in itself — thank you!


Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

1. Form a planning committee. Bring together a group of enthusiastic, dedicated people, who share a passion and interest in raising money for cancer patients and their families. This will increase the probability of a successful event.

2. Brainstorm. Members of your planning committee can brainstorm ideas for your fundraiser. Let your imagination guide you — and be sure to consider the special talents of committee members and their contacts in the community! The more people who participate in the planning phase, the more committed they’ll be later.

3. Choose the “right” event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interests, talents, goals, and time availability of your planning committee.

4. Identify your target audience. Consider who is most likely to attend and support the type of event you have selected. Will the event appeal to everyone? families? adults only?

5. Develop a budget. Try to identify all the expenses involved with your event (invitations, postage, rental space, signage, food and catering, promotional materials, website, advertising, etc.) Then think about possible sources of funds, including people and companies you know that may be able to donate products (food, equipment) or services (graphic design, printing, photography) to reduce your costs. This will help keep your costs down, which is something everyone will appreciate.

6. Develop an event timeline. A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Work backwards from the event date – publicity should start four to six weeks prior to the event.

7. Schedule the event. Select a time that is appropriate and convenient for those who will be attending. Be sure to check local community calendars for conflicting events.

8. Open a bank account. You may find that you will need to establish a bank account to accommodate incoming revenue and expenses. This can be done by visiting a local bank and creating a business account under your event’s name.

9. Collect all funds. We ask that all event proceeds designated for the FCS Foundation be forwarded to the Foundation within 30 days following the conclusion of your event.

10. Say thank you! Sending thank-you letters, notes, or e-mails to everyone who participated in or supported your event shows your appreciation and reinforces their goodwill about the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation.
Miguel