Awareness Initiatives for Cholestasis of Pregnancy

We often hear from members of the ICP Care support groups that “someone really needs to do something”. Here’s what many people don’t know: there are many “somethings” happening around the country for Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy awareness and education. The local Wisconsin/Minnesota group had one such “something” September 28, 2019. Our fifth annual “Agility for a Cause” fundraiser.

Each year in late September, our local members collaborate to put together a fundraising event at Overdale Kennel in Spring Valley, WI. The draw for the event is a dog agility fun match–perhaps you’ve seen agility on television. Dogs and their handlers spent the day in friendly competition with classes for beginners through masters and fun awards. Inside, the other women and I put together a silent auction and bake sale, which brought in the majority of the donations. In all we had seventy-one agility runs throughout the day, which brought in spectators as well as participants.

Donations for the silent auction came from many directions. We approached local professional sports teams in Minnesota and Wisconsin and received wonderful donations, including a team-autographed football from the Green Bay Packers. Local businesses also donated, including Nilssen’s Foods and Caribou Coffee in Baldwin, WI, Spring Valley Bakery, and others. Family and friends provided gift certificates, services, and gift baskets. The day before the event, our kitchens turned chaotic as we baked pies, cheesecakes, brownies, muffins, doughnuts, breads, and more. In all, we brought in over $2,000 for the ICP Care cause. This one day of fundraising pays for the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to attend and distribute educational materials at one of the major health care professional conferences each year, where we connect with health care providers and researchers from around the country and around the world.

Does an event like this seem a little too big to tackle on your own? That’s okay! I never planned to have something quite this big myself. The first step is to figure out your draw. I am a professional dog trainer, and I have a ton of agility students, so for me this was a great way to get people to come to the event. What do you and your friends love to do? You can make an event around any activity.

Next, connect with other people. If you haven’t already, join your local state ICP Care group and see if there are other women or families who would like to help with the cause. Ask friends and family to help. Once you have your draw and you have some people, figure out how you will raise your money. Originally, I planned only to raise funds from the fun match entries, but the other women I worked with had ideas too, and soon the event grew.

Not interested in a whole day event? That’s fine too! There are many ways you can participate which are less intense, such as collection jars at local supermarkets or businesses. Even small amounts add up. Imagine what we could do if each of our 13,000 members raised only $10.

Hilary Boyer, Wisconsin

Board Member / Science Specialist


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