BLOG: Using an ancient art to spread ovarian cancer awareness

BLOG: Using an ancient art to spread ovarian cancer awareness

March 2013 002
1.15.14 Mary Norris has hosted a Calling All Angels party for the past two years, to raise money for MOCA’s work and to also raise awareness and educate others about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. She shares her experience of hosting a party with her girlfriends – and just how easy it is to host a Calling All Angels party with MOCA this winter.

I first started getting involved with MOCA in 2010, in honor of the mother of a longtime friend of mine. What started as a small involvement in MOCA’s Silent No More Walk/Run quickly turned into a desire to fundraise as much as possible for the organization and help spur on advancements in ovarian cancer research through MOCA.

Raising money can be a challenge, especially as most of my friends are, like me, young professionals who don’t have a lot of extra money.

Last year I tried a different approach.  I wanted to do something that would allow my friends and family to make a donation, but receive something in return, as an incentive.  I came up with the idea of throwing a Calling All Angels henna party after getting some henna done myself.  I asked an acquaintance who does all-natural henna if she would be willing to do a fundraiser party with me, and she was completely on board!

We picked a date, time and coordinated the details.  She would bring some of her $5 and $10 designs, and guests of the fundraiser would pay double, with half going to the henna artist, and half towards MOCA!  This plan worked out great, as people could choose how intricate of a design they wanted, and were in control of how much money they would spend.  All I had to do was invite everyone I knew, make some snacks and put out some MOCA materials!  I gave out teal wristbands, temporary tattoos, symptom cards, and MOCA brochures, which were provided by the MOCA staff, per my emailed request.  MOCA makes it as easy as possible to host a Calling All Angels party!

The fundraiser itself was open-house style, so people could show up any time during the party and not miss out on anything!  While people waited their turn to get their henna done, I talked to them about what MOCA does, and my experience with the organization, MOCA’s events and women I have known who have dealt with being diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer and the experiences of their family and friends.  Through these conversations, we all learned that ovarian cancer had touched our lives in more ways than we had previously thought!

I think the best part of my henna party fundraiser was that everyone got something to show to other people, and word spread!  Because a henna design can stay on the skin for a number of weeks, my party guests showcased their henna designs everywhere they went for the next 2 to 3 weeks, and countless opportunities for discussing MOCA and ovarian cancer were created whenever someone would ask “Where did you get your henna?”  I am planning on throwing the party again this year, and am hopeful that it will be even more successful based on the buzz created by last year’s party!

Interested in planning a Calling All Angels party? Click here for more information. If you’d like to talk about ideas with MOCA staff, contact Lauren Donna at ldonna@mnovarian.orgMarch 2013 004March 2013 001