Raising money in this economy is tough. At first, checks trickled into my office slowly, very slowly.
My plan of attack was to repeatedly send e-mails. There was no other formula. People have to give out of their own free will, and I can only push so far.
With Carolyn Kelly’s extensive engagement in the community, it shouldn’t be hard to meet the goal, many of her friends said. And in the last week, checks arrived every day with kind thank you notes. The scholarship bank was getting fuller with the help of several Asian American donors including Martha Choe, who also got a three to one match from the Gates Foundation. Ruth Woo, Nelli Fuji Anderson, Beth Takekawa, Sharon, and Bob Santos, and many others were also Asian donors. There were 46 donors in all.
On Dec. 10, we exceeded our goal by $50. I thought, “This is it,” not realizing that more was to come.
On the morning of Dec. 13, Susan Duffy sent me an e-mail and then a check.
Davis Wright Tremaine, her law firm, donated $2,500. It was the biggest check for the scholarship. Then, four other donors e-mailed me on Dec. 14, saying they would like to give additional scholarship checks at the reception since it was too late to mail them in.
Why do people always do things the last minute? But, oh well, better late than never.
About five minutes before I left for the reception, I received an e-mail from a fan of Kelly’s. She said that she would like to donate $1,200. At the party, a few more passed me checks, and one even shoved $40 cash into my purse.
My staff had prepared three different amounts for me to paste onto the fake check.
None of the numbers were correct. The Carolyn Kelly Scholarship Fund is now at $10,600. The scholarship recipients will receive more than $5,000 each for the 2011–12 school year.
Phyllis Campbell, chair of JP Morgan Chase Bank, said, “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is power to do it. And you (Kelly) have brought it and will continue to bring it to all you do.” ♦