Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Help me make lemonade

While I was a semi-finalist in Purina's Live From Lexington contest, I met Laura Goldman (here is my blog entry including her). She is a para equestrian for dressage and will be competing at the World Equestrian Games. Here is an article about the Para-Dressage WEG Selection Trials, featuring a great picture of Laura in competition (below), from Phelps Media Group - http://www.phelpsmediagroup.com/viewarticle.php?id=5144.

Photo © 2010 Lindsay McCall/PMG

Laura is a super lady and I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to meet her. During our conversations I found out that Laura needs to come up with about $5000 to help cover the cost of competing. There just isn't enough money available through the US team to completely support all the athletes, and Laura and the other team members have to make up the difference.

When I lost the contest, I decided that I'd try and make lemonade out of lemons (not that I was bitter or anything ... okay maybe I was, a little. I'm only human, you know). I started trying to find a company to sponsor Laura. In exchange for a sponsorship for her, I offered to blog for said company from WEG. Even though I wasn't getting a free trip, through the generosity of my family (and another source that I'm not sure I can mention at the moment), I will be at WEG for the whole first week. That's eight days of blogging. So the deal was, sponsor Laura, and I blog for your company. Win-win, right?

I contacted as many big name equestrian companies as I could think of. Most of them were kind enough to respond, but none of the responses held good news.

"We don't do sponsorships."
"We already sponsor WEG competitors."
"We don't have the means to help you."
"We already have bloggers in place for the games."
"We are not interested."

A bunch of thanks, but no thanks. I will say that SmartPak was a fuzz away from making it happen. They were really stoked about it and for a day or so I thought it was going to get the green light. Alas, their financial people just couldn't make it work. Such a bummer, since I love that company.

I really want to help Laura. All I have to offer is my blogging. But I will pimp myself out for a company willing to help a woman who has more determination than ten average people. And she has a disease that tries to keep her from riding. But she does it anyway, and gives muscular dystrophy the finger every time she saddles up.

So this is where I ask for your help, and your ideas. Do any of you work for a company that might be willing to give this a go? Do you have any other ideas to help Laura out? I know I could start some kind of donation web site, but I'm afraid that time is running short and that might not do it. I've already contacted Ariat, Progressive Nutrition, Nutrena, SmartPak, and Absorbine, to name a few.

By the way, Laura doesn't know what I've been doing, but once she sees this she'll figure it out. :)

Please comment on my blog, or feel free to email me at dressagemomblog (at) yahoo (dot) com. Or if you want to, send a donation to the United States Para Equestrian Association (www.USPEA.org) IN LAURA GOLDMAN'S NAME. I am told that if you donate specifically in her name, it will go into an account that will benefit her personally. All donations are tax deductible.

Thanks everyone.


Stacey Kimmel-Smith said...

I'm going to call 2morrow night (rev up the credit card). Thanks for sharing a bit of Laura's story.

Karen said...

I just sent an e-mail to the local MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) office to see if they can help, or have any suggestions of other avenues to persue. I'll also be making a donation once my next paycheck comes in. Thanks for putting out the word about Laura. She leaves me in awe every time I watch that video of her riding, and makes me even more determined to get my butt back into a saddle. Thank you Sheri!

Shannon said...

I don't have any ideas for sponsors, but I'm more than happy to donate. I also posted on my own blog about this and linked back to your post, hopefully if we spread the word someone will come up with something. Thanks for sharing this!

Jean said...

Just thinking....tack stores in Ohio which I think is Laura's home state?

Here is a list: http://www.tackshops.us/ohio.htm

Notice that State Line Tack is on there. Maybe that would be an idea for a "home girl" sponsorship?

Scarlett said...

We COULD set up a pay-pal account and solicit non-deductable donations for her....

I'd be willing to throw in some $$ for her. Spread the word on Facebook, etc...

Leah said...

I really hope you can dig something up - that was my favorite topic you blogged on. Laura is such an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I donated for Laura---can't think of a better cause that's closer to my heart, especially since I am not doing any of my own competing this year. Great job on raising awareness!!

Anonymous said...

I just donated to Laura--- so glad to help, even in a small way. I hope she does well!!

Yankecwgrl said...

Have you checked with any of the local therapy riding centers? They may know of a way to get funding for a para equestrian. Just a thought.

I'd try local business' in her area. T-shirt shops, tack stores, feed stores, etc. Sometimes local people will support other locals before big corporations will.

Just my 2 cents!

Jen said...

If she takes any meds, I'd say call the pharmaceutical company (they can definitely afford it :o) I added her to this week's blog post:
Equine Epiphanies
and I can make an itsy bitsy donation (I hate being broke). I sure hope she gets to go!

Jen said...

Just donated: I'm going add a blurb to my post (and you might want to too) that her name needs to be entered under "Add Special Instructions" which is very small and easy to miss (it will be after you enter the donation amount). Thought I'd let you know since there are no riders listed in the database, you have to go through the "generic" donation button and then specify Laura after you log into PayPal.

Breathe said...

Check with a local financial institution - a bank in her home town. They might not write the big check, but maybe they could help.

Also I'd suggest Lions or Rotary. You never know...

Jan said...

have you tried Kerrits? they are an awesome company and i'd bet they'd be willing to help

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