In a little more than two weeks, Newton Family Video raised $1,923 toward lymphoma research, and the organization as a whole raised $1,146,707.
This is the second year Family Video has participated in raising money for lymphoma research, and Newton Family Video employee Mackenzie Illingworth was put in charge of raising money locally. Store manager Jerry Morris said he could not be more proud, noting it was part of a test to see if Illingworth was capable of becoming a manager.
“She did awesome,” Morris said. “She decorated the store, she painted the windows, she contacted probably 70 percent of the businesses that donated prizes.”
Another aspect that impressed him was the outpouring of support the community showed in the drive.
“I am always amazed by how generous people in Newton are,” Morris said. “It was amazing that everybody was donating their change and a lot of people donated more than just their change.”
Many local business helped by donating prizes that were later raffled off.
“We had three buckets that you could buy a raffle ticket for a dollar and drop it in one of the first three buckets,” Morris said. “Bucket one was a bunch of concert tickets. (One of the concerts) was to see Hank Williams Jr. Bucket two was filled with a bunch of lady (items) ... spa days, hair (items) and other things like gift certificates. Bucket three was food and oil change gift certificates.”
Another raffle bucket cost $10, and Morris said the prize was a one year of unlimited half-priced rentals.
“In 2012, we (Family Video) raised $931,000. It’s a 22 percent (improvement) from last year.” Illingworth said. “It’s amazing to (raise this amount) in half the time.”
Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer in adults and the third most common in children. More than 500,000 Americans are living with the disease and Family Video is dedicated in helping find a cure.
The money raised will be distributed to help launch of a Lymphoma Tissue Bank at the University of Chicago and general lymphoma research at the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
“Lymphoma is a disease that has touched the lives of many of our employees and their loved ones,” Family Video President Keith Hoogland said. “By starting this tissue bank, we will be able to better understand why lymphoma develops, and study how different environmental factors impact prognosis and treatment. Ultimately, the tissue bank will help us make significant progress towards finding a cure. Our customers have shown their generosity for this cause in the past, and we are excited for our company to be able to play this role in the fight against lymphoma.”
Tissue banks allow medical experts to help discover new genes as well as differing genetic profiles of lymphomas that look the same under a microscope.
The Family Video Corporation also donated a large amount to find a cure.
Illingworth will be meeting with the company’s regional manager to finalize her promotion, and although Newton Family Video will be losing a prized employee, Morris said she deserves it.
Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.