July 6, 2007
How do you give a little vroom to ongoing fundraising efforts? Offer up a sweet ride.
For the past two years, law partners Eric Yavitch and Steve Palmer of the Columbus criminal defense law firm Yavitch & Palmer have been restoring a classic 1969 Corvette Stingray Coupe. They planned on selling their shining beauty this past spring. Then, an idea hit them with all of the force of the original rebuilt 350 horsepower engine under the hood. Instead of placing a “For Sale” sign in the window, they decided to provide it for a charity raffle to the www.gwenforacure.com fundraising efforts started by Eric’s neighbors Tom and Jen Mouat.
The Mouat’s young daughter Gwen was born with a genetic disorder known as Propionic Acidemia (PA). Individuals with PA cannot break down parts of protein and some types of fat due to a non-functioning enzyme called PCC. This inability causes a build-up of dangerous acids and toxins, which can cause damage to the person’s organs. PA can also damage the brain, heart and liver, cause seizures, and delays to normal development like walking and talking. During times of illness the individual with PA may need to be hospitalized to prevent breakdown of proteins within his/her body.
There are currently 4 Central Ohio children being treated at Columbus Children’s Hospital with PA, all having been diagnosed in the past two years. In all reality, the reason for the sudden emergence of cases of PA is due to recognition of both the symptoms and the existence of the disorder.
“What Jen and Tom have done in this past year in terms of fundraising and raising awareness has been remarkable,” said Yavitch. Since their inaugural event last September, they have been involved in the generation of over $40,000 of funds for the Propionic Acidemia Foundation (PAF). Their grassroots fundraising efforts have been featured on television, in the Columbus Dispatch and suburban newspapers. My wife Darla, our kids and I have participated in the fundraising. This was just a chance for our law firm to take that participation to the next level.”
“When I first got married, Darla used to tell me not to underestimate the power of one person who chooses to take a positive step. Deciding to provide our car for this raffle has been a reaffirmation of those thoughts,” reflected Yavitch. “Everyone has their own ‘cause’ in the world, whether it be medical, social, political or religious in nature. For me, it has been easy to get involved in this cause simply because of little Gwen.”
“Steve Palmer and I both have two young children,” Yavitch continued, “Our involvement in this raffle is natural I guess. It’s really just an extension of that phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’”
“If anyone is interested in helping sell tickets, we’d gladly get you involved,” added Palmer with a smile. “We have sold or distributed about one-half of the total tickets, but have quite a bit of work left to go. We’d love to have the Central Ohio legal community join our efforts.”
The 2007 Classic Car Raffle has the potential to fund an entire national research grant. First prize is the restored 1969 Corvette. Second prize is $500. Tickets for the raffle are being sold at 1 for $10; 3 for $25; 10 for $75; or a book of 25 for $195. There are only 5000 total tickets being sold and they can be purchased through Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A., 511 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Checks should be made payable to “Y&P” with “PA Raffle” on the memo line. Readers can find more information about the raffle or PA fundraising at www.gwenforacure.com. The drawing will be held on September 29.