Apr. 29, 2007

Prizes and Incentives for Livestrong Challenge Raffle

The grand prize of my first major fundraising event benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation has been described in depth on my blog and my fundraising page: signed and game-worn basketball shoes of NBA player Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.

Plus, as a bonus, the 50th,75th,100th and 200th donation of $10 or more via my fundraising page will each receive a Livestrong magnet to put on your fridge.

More prizes will be added as more donations come in... so please go to my fundraising page- and also tell your friends and family about this blog to get the message across to as many people as possible.

The first donations have been made on my fundraising page, so the first additional prize is a book:
"Every second counts" by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins.

Please continue to donate- there's still a good chance you might win the Dirk Nowitzki shoes!!

Apr. 16, 2007

Livestrong Messenger Bag up for auction

Today, I listed some more items on eBay benefitting the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

I finally decided to part with my Livestrong Messenger Bag that I received as an incentive during the 2005 fundraising season by raising more than 500 Dollars! I only used it once, so it's in an excellent condition and I hope it raises some money for the LAF.

Frances won the auction- the final bid was $ 54.80 - thank you for bidding!

Apr. 12, 2007

From Mentee to Mentor

I’ve been supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation for nearly five years, starting off as a member of the Peleton Project (the former name of what is now the Challenge). This was my first contact with the Foundation and my first attempt at fundraising, so a mentor was assigned to me.

Being from Europe, I was hoping that my mentor would be able to help me deal with the different circumstances and difficulties of raising money outside of the United States. My mentor was from Canada - okay, not exactly Europe, but from outside of the US, so we had something in common and I was looking forward to hear from him.

I waited for the next couple of weeks and then months to hear from him, but he didn't even write me an introduction e-mail! Sure, he did raise lots of money and I’m sure he was an excellent fundraiser, but not really a mentor. What good is a mentor if he doesn’t interact with his group of mentees?

I was disappointed, which resulted in the idea to get involved myself. Since I’ve already been a mentor for exchange students from the US who studied at my university, I was confident enough to apply. Fortunately, the LAF was very interested in having a mentor from Europe, and I started a small European group last season.

I usually get asked why I became a mentor. Some even ask me if I have some personal advantages- e.g. getting paid, getting to meet Lance, getting free entrance to the dinner party, etc.

The answer is easy: I don't have any advantages by being a mentor. I don't get paid- it's completely volunteer work. I didn't get to meet Lance and I don't have any advantages by being a mentor. We are just like everyone else in the Livestrong Challenge- trying to raise money for the LAF.

Being a mentor basically means building a relationship with participants and offering an extra level of support throughout the season. I try to send regular e-mails to the group, covering information about our level of fundraising as a group, certain deadlines which may be important to participants, updates on the website and more.

In addition, whenever a participant has questions about fundraising or the Challenge in general, I try to answer them. If I don’t know the answer or I’m not sure about it I contact the staff in Austin and then give that information to the mentee. In a way I’m an intermediary between the LAF and the participant.

Sometimes mentees have excellent ideas for fundraising or launch their own websites and tell me about them, so I can send the information to all my mentees. It helps promote their webpage and thus spreads information about the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but it’s also a great way to inspire other fundraisers and give them new ideas.

For some, having a mentor means being regularly updated on the Livestrong Challenge series - almost like a newsletter. They are not really interested in interacting, which is okay, and they don‘t reply to e-mails.

Other mentees like to keep in regular e-mail contact with me, and a few even were there when the mentors for the Austin Challenge offered a meet-and-greet opportunity during Challenge weekend. What was really astonishing for me was that although the American mentors had more mentees assigned to them, I was the only mentor who actually got to meet some of their mentees. That was something I didn‘t expect and apparently neither did the other mentors...

I hope more Europeans will join our small group this season - but either way, I can’t wait to continue working with such an amazing group of inspiring European fundraisers. I’ll definitely have a great time during the season... and by the way: I'm the one proudly wearing yellow in the picture.

Apr. 7, 2007

Newsweek's new issue: How I live with cancer

The new "newsweek" issue has the LIVESTRONG wristband on its cover. For a reason: the issue is about how people in America live with cancer.
There are many inspirational, very emotional and personal stories- including an article by Lance: "Lance Armstrong pushes for Cancer Research - We have to be ruthless" and an interview with Elizabeth Edwards talking about the emotional cost of being diagnosed with breast cancer and having to deal with recurrence.

You can check these stories and videos by going to the newsweek website:

Apr. 5, 2007

It's all about the team

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime."
- Babe Ruth -

A couple of years ago, I started thinking about ways to promote the ideas and the work of the LAF in Europe, and I thought it would be a good plan to form a European cycling team.

Basically, what this means is that we Europeans should unite in our fundraising efforts, so that we will be more visible as a group to the Foundation and the American fundraisers. I’m sure there are a lot of Europeans trying to raise money for the LAF already, but they are scattered around as individuals- as a group we would receive more attention and show the Americans that there are very dedicated cyclists in Europe as well.

However, this team is not supposed to be exclusively for Europeans. Cancer is an illness that affects people from all around the world. So this is the team for you if you want to join an international collaborative effort to make a difference in the fight against cancer!!

You don't have to be a brilliant athlete to ride with us, either. You can walk, run, volunteer at the Challenge or even support us while staying at your own home- the only requirement we have is being enthusiastic about making a difference in the fight against cancer and celebrating the Livestrong®

All you have to do is register at the Livestrong® Challenge webpage and join our team “2007 European Cyclists”. The registration fee is $50. If you want to participate in the walk or volunteer at the event, that’s all you have to do. However, if you want to participate in one of the cycling events, you need to raise at least an additional $250.

If you join the team, you will automatically receive regular team updates. Every single one counts, so please join us by clicking here:

If you can’t make it to Austin October 12-14th 2007, but wish to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation in its fight against cancer, you are more than welcome to donate on my fundraising page and each sum will be greatly appreciated.