Sunday, April 29, 2012

Charity Sunday: Brenda Novak for the Cure of Diabetes

So, it is April 29th which means that Brenda Novak's Cure for Diabetes Auction starts soon.   I The Auction is a tresure trove for readers. There is a lot of ARCs and author meetings offered.  The unique items are one reason thart the auction is the world's largest online event for diabetes research.

You can see what is available this year, and join, here.

Some frequently asked questions ( from the press release):
Q: What makes you so passionate about Diabetes?
A: My youngest son was diagnosed with diabetes at 5 years old, that’s when I learned how serious this disease is. After his diagnosis, I spent months racking my brain on how I could combat it.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your charity?
A: Once my son was diagnosed, and I realized what this could mean for his future, I wanted to get involved, to do anything I could to give him a better chance at a healthy life. But I have four other kids and a busy writing career and wasn’t sure how I’d manage to make time for fund raising, didn’t even know where to start. Then I went to a silent auction at my son’s elementary school. There were some fantastic items that had been donated, but the turn-out was poor and the school didn’t make much money. I started thinking about the difficulty of trying to get a large number of people inside one building all at the same time, and the advantages of doing something on the web became very apparent. I figured I could use the support and traffic I already receive from my fan base to help my son and others like him, and the idea to do an on-line auction was born.
Q: How did it go the first year?
A: My first year was more of a test market to see if it would work. When we raised $34,982, I realized it definitely had potential. The second year, we nearly doubled that amount (at $63,000), and it has continued to grow bigger and bigger every year and, thanks to the generosity of my donors.

Q: How much time does it take to put it on every year?
A: It’s an incredibly time-intensive endeavor, but it’s also very fulfilling. We work on it year round. I started out running it on my own--just one person--and did that for three years.
Then I hired a part-time assistant who has become a bigger and bigger part of the behind-the-scenes work as the auction has grown.

Q: What makes your auction model work so well?
A: I think it’s the unique items that are offered, as well as the community. At the auction, readers can bid to win unique experiences--like having lunch or dinner with their favorite author, or staying in their favorite author’s guest house, or reading their favorite author’s book before it’s ever even published. We also offer opportunities to aspiring writers of all genres--and millions of people want to write a book. Some of the most powerful agents and editors in publishing have donated their time to read submissions and give feedback, some with a turn-around time of twenty-four hours! In addition to these unique items, we have everything from trips & stays, to antique jewelry to celebrity items.
Also, the friendships we form, the prizes we give away, and the spirit of fighting back together brings us closer as a community each year. I’m not the only one driving this. We’re all in it together.

Q: Do you believe there is a cure for diabetes in sight?
A: I’m absolutely optimistic. When I went to Florida to tour the Diabetes Research Institute and actually talked with their scientists and learned what they were doing, I felt we were SO close. I got very excited because I could really see a cure coming in my lifetime, which is my goal. This is not a mystery disease. I believe it’s curable, and I believe we’re close.

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