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July 2011

Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond - July 2011 - Connections - CF Foundation
Party City employees show spirited support for Great Strides 2011 at the
walk in Battery Park in New York City.
Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion Party City knows how to bring people together. So it’s no surprise the largest party goods retailer in the United States also has a long history of rallying community support for charitable causes.
When Laurie Cole began working for Party City’s parent company Amscan, she never dreamed that her employer would launch a nationwide fundraising effort for a cause that is very close to her heart — finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Raising funds for CF has been important to Laurie ever since her daughter, Caroline, 14, was diagnosed at 7 months. The Coles were actively involved in the Foundation’s annual Great Strides walk, but Laurie was always looking for new ways to boost support for the CF cause. With Amscan’s history of charitable giving, she wondered if her employer would be willing to support Great Strides, too. So, when Amscan agreed to launch its own corporate letter-writing campaign to raise funds for Great Strides in 2000, Laurie was overjoyed. 

Rallying Support Nationwide

This year, the company generously expanded its fundraising effort to all 600 Party City stores, with the development of a nationwide, customer-driven donation drive for Great Strides.

Above & Beyond - July 2011 - Connections - CF Foundation 
Peter Knockstead (left) awards a plaque on behalf of the CF Foundation to Amscan employee and CF Foundation volunteer Lauren Cole,
Party City President Lisa Laube and Party City Vice President of Marketing Bill Furtkevic.  

Customers visiting any Party City store nationwide had the opportunity to donate one dollar to Great Strides at the register during check out. This spring, the campaign raised nearly $300,000 in just a few short weeks. Funds raised through the campaign will help support CF research to find new treatments and a cure.

“Party City believes it has a responsibility to leverage its successes in order to give back to the communities and families it serves,” says Ressa Tomkiewicz, spokesperson for Party City. “We are 100 percent supportive of the Foundation’s mission to help those with cystic fibrosis live longer, healthier lives.”

Since Laurie first encouraged Party City to get involved in Great Strides more than 10 years ago, it has become an important and personal cause to employees and customers alike.

“Our role as a sponsor goes hand-in-hand with the organization’s mission of ‘adding tomorrows every day,’ in which we want to give people with cystic fibrosis and their families the opportunity to celebrate all of life’s milestones and special moments,” says Party City President Lisa Laube. With the overwhelming support raised by this year’s campaign, Party City says it plans to incorporate the Foundation into its fundraising campaigns again in 2012.  

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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.