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The 5th Annual HAAM Benefit Day, held on Tuesday, September 21, brought in the largest amount of funds ever raised for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, its member-musicians and the healthcare service programs they participate in: $195,000, the organization reported today.

It was a record-breaking day all around, with the largest number of Austin area businesses making a donation or pledging a portion of the day’s proceeds — more than 200 — and the most musical performances (more than 140) heard on any HAAM Benefit Day.

“We at HAAM are incredibly pleased with the response to the fifth HAAM Benefit Day,” said Keith Carmichael, HAAM Benefit Day 2010 Committee chairman. “The number of businesses and the number of entertainers participating — not to mention the amount of funds raised, the largest ever — shows us how much this city and the people in it appreciate live music and what this organization is doing to make sure it flourishes.”

In addition to acknowledging Whole Foods Market for its generosity in serving for five consecutive years as HAAM Benefit Day presenting sponsor, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians is grateful for the tens of thousands of dollars donated not only by Whole Foods Market but also by C3 Presents and South by Southwest over the years of HAAM Benefit Day.

It also recognizes Texas Heritage Songwriters Association for its donation that matched the contribution of the Austin community as a whole on September 21 as residents ate out, shopped and donated on behalf of their favorite music-makers.

Health Alliance for Austin Musicians also announced today the date for the 6th Annual HAAM Benefit Day: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, when business, the music community and residents will again unite to keep music alive and well in Austin.

Health Alliance for Austin Musicians provides access to affordable healthcare services to Austin’s low-income, uninsured working musicians with a focus on prevention and wellness. Since HAAM’s 2005 start, more than 2,200 of the city’s battalion of hard-working musicians have joined and gained access to regular, cost-effective healthcare services. Medical, dental, mental, hearing and vision health services are provided by Seton Family of Hospitals, St. David’s Foundation, The SIMS Foundation, Estes Audiology and Prevent Blindness Texas. HAAM’s annual Corporate Battle of the Bands and HAAM Benefit Day have become signature events behind a great cause: maintaining the health of the musicians who help make Austin such an enviable place to live and work.

For more information, to join or to make a donation, visit HAAM online.

A while back I told you guys about our involvement with Children Helping Children and the upcoming tennis tournament. Today I heard from tennis player and fundraiser extraordinare, Nina Quirk. Nina, now 16, has been participating in the Children Helping Children Junior Singles Tennis Tournament since she was 11.

Her reasons for participating and how she’s raised an extraordinary amount of money are expressed here, eloquently, in her own words:

I participated in my very first Children Helping Children Junior Singles Tennis Tournament at age 11. I can remember how I thought the idea of helping children and doing something I love seemed like a pretty sweet deal.

At the Kick-Off event, the night before the tournament, I received a medical wristband with a child’s name on it and the particular battle this child was facing. I wore the wristband for the entire tournament and realized I was playing for much more than winning a tennis tournament; I was playing in honor of Adrian. I made it to the finals that year and came in 2nd place. The honor was great, but when I came home and placed that wristband on my desk, I knew that wasn’t the most important part of that event. I raised $265 that year and instantly decided that I was going to come back the next year and try to raise more.

I am now 16 years old and have been playing in this tournament for the last five years. With the support and loyalty of family and friends, I have been able to raise more than $16,000 to date for Children’s Medical Center.

This year, in addition to my usual fundraising efforts, I decided that fundraising is something that can be accomplished in many ways. I was passionate about doing something that involved my friends and my school. I decided to start a club at The Hockaday School that I named: “Pocket Full of Daisies.” I recruited friends at our annual club fair and made a goal of having at least one clothing re-sale drive per year to benefit Children’s. The club met and collected gently-used clothing, toys and other children’s items to be organized and sold at the beginning of the summer. We managed to raise $630 on one very HOT day! I am proud of this club and hope to leave a legacy at my school for others to continue long after I graduate.

Another simple effort I made this year was to collect all of the spare change in my home during the year – $170! This made me realize it does not take very much effort to make a difference. I know that Children’s is grateful for my efforts and it makes me feel good to give back.

In my free time I also volunteer in one of the playrooms at Children’s. It is very rewarding for me to meet and spend time with these precious children. I enjoy playing with them, doing craft activities or simply talking with them. I am looking forward to the 2010 tournament and receiving my wristband. I will wear it with pride knowing that I have contributed, in some way, to making life better for children who are facing medical challenges.

There are several ways you can help raise money to support the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center, which is nationally recognized for its treatment programs for children with cancer, sickle cell, blood disorders and other diseases:

GET SPONSORS!

Visit www.childrens.com/tennis and create your own fundraising page.

Send your link to family and friends and track your donations online.

Take your sponsor form everywhere you go and tell people you are raising money for Children’s. Be sure to collect all of your donations before the tournament.

MAKE A DONATION!

If we all pitch in a little together, we can make BIG things can happen, and we greatly appreciate ANYTHING you can donate to help support this great event…$5 or $50, it all adds up.

Please go here to make your donation:  http://bestoftexas.com/promotion/childrensmedicalcenter/

For detailed information about how your child can play in the event, please call 214-456-8360 or go towww.childrens.com/tennis.

Yay for Paws in the City – it’s their 5th birthday in September.

They’ve done amazing things in five years, and  have plans for much more in the upcoming years. Money is tight so please don’t buy Paws in the City any extravagant gifts, they have another plan. A plan where you save money and they make money. They’re calling it the $5 for 5 plan.  And would like at least 1000 people to sign on during the month of September.

Paws in the City have set up two donation levels in honor of their 5 years:

“$5 for 5″, which is a monthly recurring donation of $5 and “High-5″, which is a $10 monthly recurring donation per month.

If they get 1000 donors, they’ll have yearly revenues of $60K+ from the program.  That would save a LOT of animals.  Check out pawsinthecity.org frequently to see how they’re doing in reaching their goal.

Even if you can’t donate right now, there are still many ways you can help:

Foster a dog or cat or help find good foster parents!

Volunteer to help at adoption events!  To volunteer, contact volunteer@pawsinthecity.org

Spend some of your entertainment dollars at one of their fundraisers: The 5th Birthday Party will be held on October 3 and the Hairballs and Hairbands Holiday Fundraiser will be held on Thursday, November 18.

Paws in the City looking for sponsors for our annual fundraising gala Top Hat and Tails, which takes place in June, starting Sept. 1.  If you know of a company that would like the most entertaining fundraiser in D/FW – let them know about Top Hat & Tails!