— Lori Yaverbaum
Director, Web Services & Usability
Eight years ago, I signed up to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night Walk, which is a very cool event set up to raise money for blood cancer research, honoring both survivors and those who have lost their lives to a blood cancer. Having just finished treatment for my own non-Hodgkin’s diagnosis, it meant the world to me that I was able to put together a team (the Eradicators) and give back to the organization that helped to save my life. In order to fundraise, I organized a bake sale in our Waltham office, where the Web Services & Usability team helped me in raising approximately $500.
Since then, I have signed up for more events, continuing to set up a bake sale each year to help fundraise for both myself and anyone else who would join the teams I would put together for these events. The bake sale, or “the BIG bake sale” as it’s affectionately referred to now, has grown each year. It now lasts two full days, and not only does the entire Web Services & Usability team come together to bake and staff the sale, but a few years back, our Field Development team joined us.
This year, we had over 50 bakers volunteer to contribute across Commonwealth, with even more people helping out in a variety of other ways—whether it be coming in early to sell breakfast items, walking around to every single desk in the office “pushing product” to those staffing the phones or too busy to come to the sale, to promoting the raffles, to cleaning up. We even had a baker from the Dunkin’ Donuts test kitchen (the husband of our office receptionist) provide croissant donuts two full months before they became available to the public! And then, of course, almost every person who was working in the office—and even visitors—participated by buying the baked goods and participating in the raffles.
I especially want to thank Commonwealth Cares for all its support in coordinating and promoting the bake sale. This year, we beat all previous years, having raised just over $2,700. Then Joe (Deitch) stepped in and matched this amount, bringing the total to $5,400, which brought our grand total to just over $15,000 in bake sale fundraising! And while in years past, most of the funds went to the LLS, all of the money this year was donated to the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Ryan Mancini Foundation (in memory of our former colleague’s son).
So, thank you to so many people! Whenever I feel uncomfortable asking people to participate or to give money, I remind myself that this bake sale is about so much more than eating cookies and cupcakes. It’s really about the power of our community and how we come together to accomplish such meaningful things. And to me, it’s just one more example of what makes Commonwealth so special.