Getting Involved for the Right Reasons

This weekend was our local “Relay for Life,” a 24-hour walk-a-thon put on by the American Cancer Society to raise money for cancer research.


One of my clients is heavily involved with the event and this year she had the local massage school lined up to send out a few students and an instructor to offer chair massages there. Unfortunately, the school had to bail out just a few days before the event, and that left Tammy in a bind since the programs and flyers had already gone out saying there was going to be massage therapists on hand.


Fortunately, my mom just happens to be a bomb C.M.T. who doesn’t normally work on Saturdays, leaving her free to volunteer to take up the slack. It also opened up a window of opportunity to promote Mom’s services (She’s also a licensed manicurist. She doesn’t do nails anymore, but she does a wicked pedi.) so we brainstormed some ideas and I made up some signs and some special business cards for her. (Man, do I love this age of the home computer and desktop publishing software!)


I have mixed feelings about this type of advertising. On one hand, I am a business person and there is rarely an instance that I can’t turn into a marketing opportunity. On the other hand, I have always frowned on businesses that only participate in charity events for the sake of advertising, or worse, only if it’s tax-deductible. If you are only in for the tax break, are you really donating anything?


Well, we had a blast out there. It’s a very emotional experience to be involved with the event. Mom and I have lost several family members to cancer, and this past year some of the nail industry’s finest have found themselves fighting their own battles — and I’m glad to hear, winning. (BTW Pati, that’s probably not the easiest way to get “thinner and perkier!”)


So Mom and I have been inspired to help by donating part of our income through the end of October back to the American Cancer Society. Part of me wants to send out press releases and advertise like crazy; the other part of me wants to stay quiet about it. This isn’t about promoting business; this is about supporting a good cause. I wouldn’t want anyone to be confused.

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