One of the things I was always very proud of was the charity work we were able to do as leaders of the Rick Springfield fan organization. Rick’s fans have always been generous and I was always stunned by the amount of money we could raise for both big name causes like the Asian Tsunami (2004) or for kids who came to be known to us through fellow fans (like Robby Bailey). Here’s a small sampling of some of the great causes we raised money for while I was involved with Rick’s fan base:
Operation RLS PenPal…We posted names of servicemen and women we knew from those in the fan base and asked the fans to send them notes, care packages and the like. Looking back at this page is like glimpsing something frozen in time.
Sahara Aldridge: Sahara Aldridge was a young Rick Springfield fan who was diagnosed with a brainstem tumor. You can read her story and see how to help on the blog that her family has put on the Internet. Rick Springfield himself has encouraged his fans to help the family with prayers and whatever else they can. Sahara got her wings on November 6, 2007. Her family continues to honor her memory though charitable activities.
Hurricane Katrina Relief: We encouraged RS fans to donate to Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. I was proud of the many unique was we encouraged fans to donate: both monetarily and with donations of goods, services, even blood donations. In the end we raised over $40,000 for the American Red Cross and this stood as our most successful fundraiser.
The Zachary Fund: We pooled many different projects and items together in 2005 to raise over $6000 for a child in our community stricken with a rare form of cancer.
The American Red Cross Fundraiser…RLS and the RS Shock Team raised over $20,000 for tsunami and domestic disaster relief. A commemorative photo book of the luncheon/silent auction where most of the funds were raised is available, with proceeds going to the ARC.
RLS Cookbook…over 100 fans came together to create this book full of recipes. Rick and his band also contributed some recipes. Chock full of photographs and fun, you’ll find it as useful as it is beautiful to look at. All funds benefit the Tucson Ronald McDonald House.
Robby Bailey Fund…RLS worked with Mark Orsted and Christa Riolo to raise funds for a terminally ill child in the fall of 2003. The fans brought together rare memorabilia to auction and raffle off, and Rick threw in some backstage passes. All in all we raised over $6,000 to help the family with expenses. Sadly, Robby passed away in May, 2005.
My Father’s Chair…For the holiday season in 2002-2003, RLS fans came together and raised over $2000 to buy books and a special reading chair for the Tucson Ronald McDonald House. A companion drive sent toys and books and cards to sick children at a children’s hospital in Las Vegas.
9/11 American Red Cross: In the early days after 9/11/2001, we all felt hopeless and scared; one of our own was lost in the tragedy: Marni Pont O’Doherty. We suggested that fans donate in her name to the American Red Cross. Rick offered to match all of our donations and we raised over $12,000 for them.