While some fundraisers cancel, others find ways to adjust and raise thousands despite virus


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coronavirus has changed a lot of things for our society, including charitable giving.

Some metro events that raise millions have had to cancel, but others are finding loopholes while still following CDC guidelines.

Theresa Mitchell is improvising with a “Burpee Challenge,” jumping around on social media.

She’s hoping to raise $50,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and become the LLS Woman of the Year.

“It wasn’t ‘Everything is getting canceled. I’m going to quit this campaign,’” Mitchell said. “It’s a ‘What else can I do virtually?’”

Getting a mention on Instagram calls for 10 up-downs, no matter your age and a donation in honor of Lanie McCoy who is battling acute Myeloid leukemia.

“It’s been really cool to see how she’s made adjustments and kind of kept fighting being on our team,” Lanie’s husband Hal McCoy said.

Mitchell was forced to cancel happy hours at Tribe Street Kitchen, a charity golf tournament and face painting fundraisers due to COVID-19.

But she isn’t letting the virus stomp on her 10-week campaign.

“I have seen that people are still very generous,” Mitchell said, “and are still wanting to do things for people and for the greater good.”

Mitchell isn’t the only one who has had to shut down events in the charity world.

Huge Kansas City fundraisers like Big Slick have also been called off because of coronavirus.

Celebrities like Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Eric Stonestreet raised $2.5 million for Children’s Mercy in 2019.

“Seeing nonprofits either have to cancel that or postpone it several months is quite sad,” Mitchell said.

Meanwhile, the CCVI Trolley Run is going virtual. Participants still buy in, but they run their own routes alone.

Fortunately, Lanie McCoy feels anything but along after this show of support. There were a total of 655 Burpee Challenge donations, raising several thousands of dollars for LLS.

Mitchell said that money will be directed to AML research for Lanie if she reaches her goal.

“We always say we take it day by day, but those, stuff like that, those are milestones that we try to celebrate and achieve,” Lanie said.

Mitchell is collecting the donations through May 29 and maybe longer in light of the virus. Here’s a link to her campaign or you can also Venmo donations to @LLSTriumph.

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