A Different Kind of Dream Team Steps Out and Steps Lively for Hospice

When I first got an email to support a fundraising walk to benefit my local Hospice chapter from a couple of advertising colleagues of mine, Josh Fraimow and Cheryl Case, I was a bit confused. I thought they just wanted me to donate money to this cause for which they had rendered professional services (strategy, writing, design, advertising, marketing, etc.). Reading further, I was surprised to find that they were literally putting their feet to the pavement for this walk, not just virtually. This makes them heroic, (m)ad men and women making change, in my book. Thus, here is their story, as told by Josh Fraimow:

The Dream Team came together a few years ago to help with a capital campaign for Hospice of Wake County, which was in the process of raising money for the first freestanding hospice facility in the Triangle. (In addition to the current lineup of freelance advertising professionals, the initial effort was spearheaded by Greg Duell of TheLiveBrand and also included Herb Campbell of Big Fat Films.)

Several members of that group subsequently got involved with the marketing for a new fundraiser: a two-mile walk to and from Hospice’s campus near the RBC Center, taking place on November 6th.

It wasn’t until we were a little ways into hashing out the details, developing the creative and planning the media for Step Lively: A Walk For Hospice that the light bulb went off: we should probably walk in this thing, shouldn’t we? Which meant we would be going from behind-the-scenes players to participants. And actually asking people directly for money.

Nothing like a little stage fright to clarify one’s thinking: why exactly were we supporting this cause? Here are our thoughts:

Josh Fraimow, copywriter, creative director, strategist:
I got involved at first because I was asked. (Sorry – no great story of altruism there.) I’ve stuck with it for three reasons: They’re really fun people to work with, they do really important work, and they do it really well. Actually, four reasons – Hospice works in an area that, in our society, is typically pretty difficult to talk about. I think bringing end-of-life issues more into the light, and helping patients and families face them with a sense of dignity and control, is a good thing for all concerned.

Cheryl Case, creative director, copywriter, strategist:
When I got involved, I had all the common misconceptions about hospice – it’s only for cancer patients, it’s only for the final week or so in a person’s life, it provided a nurse to come sit with you. What I learned in reading and, more important, in interviewing volunteers, grief counselors, nurses, social workers and the like, blew me away. I’m fond of saying that if I had the opportunity to spend 15 minutes with every American to explain what hospice is and does, no terminal patient would ever again have to die alone, frightened and in pain.

Rick Binger, art director, creative director, strategist:
Much like Josh, I initially got involved because I was asked, and it was an opportunity to be part of a great team. But I also thought it would be nice to raise awareness for a very under-rated cause. Until someone is in the situation where a family member is nearing the end, it’s hard to appreciate the care, compassion and comfort Hospice can bring. Unfortunately, my family has been in that situation. Fortunately, we could rely on Hospice to help during this tough time.

Kristin Upchurch, media planner and buyer:
I happened upon HOWC and the cause by chance when I got pulled into the project as a freelancer. The process of helping to facilitate the Capital Campaign fundraising, learning about HOWC’s mission and watching the new buildings come to life gave me a well-rounded appreciation for end-of-life care – an area I previously had only peripheral knowledge of. Experiencing individual’s stories and the healing power of HOWC firsthand through working with them is extremely satisfying and comforting at the same time. It’s not a cause that will ever be far from my heart or mind even after our work (not theirs!) is done.

The Step Lively, Walk for Hospice, Dream Team, Rick Binger, Cheryl Case, Josh Fraimow, and Kristin Upchurch.

Sound like something you’d be interested in supporting? Or at least finding out more about? Check out the Dream Team’s page at the Step Lively site.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Hospice, about the payback that comes from working with nonprofits, or about working with any of these freelancers, drop them a line: Josh Fraimow: joshfrai@earthlink dot net; Cheryl Case: case-franko@earthlink dot net; Rick Binger: rbinger@nc.rr dot com; Kristin Upchurch: kristin@indigomediaonline dot com.

Jeff Bowman, madmanbowman@gmail dot com

3 Responses to “A Different Kind of Dream Team Steps Out and Steps Lively for Hospice”
  1. Greg Duell says:

    Awesome post Jeff… wow! “The Dream Team”—four of my best friends in this crazy business, brilliant minds in their respective crafts, and now committed participants in a fundraiser to support this great cause. It doesn’t get any better than this. (Hey Josh: Cheryl is kicking your butt, in case you didn’t notice).

  2. Josh says:

    At least I’m not in last place.

    And anyway, it’s about the TEAM, and raising money for the CAUSE, right? Right?

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