Charity nabs $30K prize

Source:  Charity nabs $30K prize    Tag:  congenital double hernia

CHERUBS in the Raleigh News & Observer Newspaper again!


Charity nabs $30K prize

Grant doubles budget

- Staff Writer

They're pink-haired and sleep-deprived, but they pulled it off.

CHERUBS, a nonprofit organization run out of a Wake Forest mom's spare bedroom, nabbed a $30,000 grant from APX Alarm Co. on Monday, thanks to 35,000 online votes they campaigned hard - and creatively - to get.

The grant will double the operating budget for the all-volunteer organization, which aids families of children born with an often fatal birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

  • CHERUBS, a local nonprofit that helps families of children born with an often fatal birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia, is in the running for two $25,000 grants in the Pepsi Refresh contest. Vote online at , or at .
Since voting opened online in June, the group worked to drum up awareness and votes. That's where the pink hair comes in.

Volunteer and CDH mom Julie Younce of Wilkes County promised to dye her hair pink if 50 people would commit to vote every day for a week.

Her son, her best friend and her daughter soon joined her.

"When you have six kids, people don't typically expect you to have pink hair, so I've gotten a lot of questions about it," Younce said. "Which helps raise awareness, so it works really well!"

The money will be officially awarded to CHERUBS in September, but founder Dawn Williamson already has every penny accounted for. A large portion will go toward research, including work on a database of CDH medical histories that the group has been compiling for 10 years. The rest will go toward supplies for families dealing with their child's long-term hospital stay.

CHERUBS was in the running for the national grant of $100,000, but lost by fewer than 3,000 votes to the Utah Prader-Willi Syndrome Association. It's not the top prize they were aiming for, but in this case, second best is more than good enough, Williamson said.

Their final vote tally was 35,243 votes, according to APX Alarm spokesman Stuart Dean. Williamson chalks much of that up to their hard work and creative campaigning.

CHERUBS even got help from celebrities such as actress Patsy Pease from daytime drama "Days of Our Lives" pitching in on Facebook and Twitter to encourage folks nationwide to vote for CHERUBS.

The organization is still vying for two $25,000 grants from the August Pepsi Refresh contest at refresh .

Williamson passed on the hair dye, but says she'll get a winged CHERUBS tattoo on her diaphragm if they win one of the Pepsi grants.