Our big event is almost here.

A lot of time and effort went into planning and preparing for Starry Night for CMT. Last year, for our first Art de Cure fundraiser, we raised $10,000 for the CMTA. We Hope to match that amount again this year.

Starry Night flyer

On December 7, the Art de Cure gallery reception and silent auction takes place between 5 and 9 p.m. at Clinical Prosthetics + Orthotics, 149 S. Lake Ave. Albany, NY. Proceeds benefit the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with CMT, a degenerative nerve disorder.

Free admission includes complimentary wine, light fare, live music, but the main draw is original art by regional artists, including acrylics, oils and framed photography.

If you cannot attend the Starry Night benefit for CMT in Albany, NY, you can still participate by trying your luck on our raffle for 4 one-day Park Hopper® tickets for use at the Magic Kingdom®, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park.  http://www.cmtausa.org/url/disneyraffle/

My friend, Christine and I have been working nonstop for months. Christine, gallery co-coordinator, put together paperwork for the art intake and emailed the Call For Art to all the artists. On the day of intake, she made sure artists filled out the necessary information and signed the required forms. With help from Donna & Rich Piche and Joanne Van Genderen, we took down the previous show, replacing the art with new pieces as the artists arrived. This was one of those rare times when I felt happy to be tall, managing to help hang some of the higher work. After I left, exhausted, Christine directed the rearrangement of much of the art work. With her artistic eye, the gallery looks amazing.

Once the art work was hung, I worked on the CPO page of the Art de Cure website uploading photos of the art into a slideshow, adding the artists name, title, medium and price of each piece. See the art work here:http://www.artdecure.org/art-de-cure-galleries/clinical-prosthetics-orthotics-cpo

While Christine met with the artists, I wrote letters and designed post cards and flyers, which I mailed out requesting sponsorships and donations for the silent auction. I listed Starry Night on online calendars, wrote Save The Date notices, followed by a press release for local newspapers: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Scene-heard-4057649.php

Then, created a Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/478137545530797/    and announced event details on the Upstate NY CMT group page:

Next, Dana, the CMTA webmaster, created a page announcing Starry Night on the CMTA website with a secure link for those unable to attend, but would like to make a donation for Starry Night to benefit the CMTA,

While Christine received many donated items from friends and family, I contacted Disney and filled out an application. We are very grateful that Disney sent 4 – one day World Park hopper tickets, which we are raffling off. Here’s the link for a chance to win Disney World Park Hopper tickets and help find a treatment to stop the progression!

I also received an autographed Giants lithograph poster.

On the other hand, most of the sponsorship requests went unanswered, which does not surprise me, since many have never heard of CMT, or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder. I tried a few follow-up calls without success. After many hopeful weeks, the denials began reaching my inbox. However, I was very excited when my applications advanced to the second round with 3 drug companies.

With hands weakened by CMT, it feels like I’m typing with mittens on. It took days to fill out all the required information about the CMTA, the board members, and finances, along with event details. One company also requested a budget for the reception.  Another, sent an encouraging response reassuring me that although they were denying my request, this was no reflection on my application. They simply needed to cut back on their giving this year.

Last year, Dave, host of Starry Night, provided me with the name of his contact at M&T bank. I filled out a grant and we were thrilled when M&T bank contributed $500. This year, although reluctant at first to approach the bank again, and worried it would be too pushy asking for more this year, I summoned up my courage and gave it a shot. To my surprise, Mr. Philip Engborg responded with the good news that M&T Bank generously will sponsor Starry Night for $750.

Time to redo the flyers, postcards, and program adding the M&T bank logo. Then I announced their sponsorship on the CMTA and Art de Cure web sites, and the Upstate NY CMT Facebook page. I also designed a poster to display during the Starry Night reception and made a lawn sign as well.

Next, we needed to recruit some volunteers to help collect donations for our silent auction and to assist on the night of the event. The logical place to start seemed to be with our CMT group. Surely they would want to help raise money for CMT. To my dismay, no one else signed up. So, I sent out an add to the local newspaper, and set up on an online volunteermatch.org account. Through volunteermatch, we met Joanne, who in addition to contributing art and jewelry helped with the intake and has offered to volunteer on the night of the reception.    During this time, I went to a library discussion group hoping to find someone to help facilitate our group and recruited Miranda Rand, to volunteer with Starry Night as well.

Months ago, I met with a musician, who had contacted me interested in doing a music fundraiser. Over lunch, after offering to help with his plan, I told him about the Art de Cure reception. Although he seemed very excited about playing at our reception, months went by without hearing from him again, and with no response to my email and phone call. I thought it best to find another musician.  Carey Ahner, of Bear Bones Project, https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bear-Bones-Project/184845948213996?ref=ts&fref=ts  will perform at our event.

Additionally, Congressman Tonko and Mayor Jennings have been invited, as well as the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association.

Christine and I began working on Starry Night soon after our first, very successful Art de Cure benefit last December. We have met numerous times with Jackie, president of Art de Cure, and volunteers discussing what needs to be done.

Some background info: I first met with Jackie 2 years ago, hoping to set up a gallery for CMT, after a fellow CMT group facilitator from California, read about Art de Cure in the Lower Extremity Review journal:

Jackie explained the first step is to find a doctor willing to have a gallery set up in their waiting room for the patients to enjoy. Then the practice chooses the charity and Art de Cure curates the shows. After meeting with Jackie, I was determined to persuade my doctor to participate.

At a routine appointment with my neurologist, I asked if the practice may be interested in collaborating with Art de Cure for CMT, but the office never returned my phone calls. Then I received a call from Dave Misener, my orthotist, requesting I come to the gallery opening at CPO to speak with Jackie about working with the CMTA. I came on board and we persuaded the group to change their chosen charity to the CMTA.

This year, besides my photography displayed in the gallery, I added note cards with original photos of Aruba, gardens, cats and a few holiday cards. I still have 50 more cards to make.

photo note cards

and some matted original photos

matted photos

My sister-in-law, Kathy Lang, donated 10 pairs of beautiful, hand made earrings. My friend Kathy, snatched up most of the earrings last year. Hoping she’ll do the same this year.  Susan River’s contributed a hand made silk scarf and earring set. Her beautiful silk scarves were a big hit last year.

With only 2 weeks left to prepare, I still need to stop by a few grocery stores to see if they will contribute a cheese or desert tray. Whenever we eat out, after I present the letter, flyer and post card, I ask the manager if the restaurant may be interested in donating a gift card.

We are very fortunate to have so many friends and family, who have donated items, and many volunteers for the reception. I would like to thank everyone involved in making Starry Night a success.


THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS: Al Davis, Kelli Clemens, Cassandra Dugan, LAc, Tony Dumaw, Joanne Van Genderen, Carol Hook, Christine Hook, Helen Hook, June Jackson, Lorinda Hilmar-Kinball, LMT, Kathy Lang, Melinda Lang Gail Nadeau, Karen SantaMaria, Susan Salzberg, Debra Singer, LAc, Cheryl & Ed Traeger, Kate Tumbleson, Sr. Melanie Updike, Bridget Voth and Christine Zido, LMT

THANK YOU TO OUR ARTISTS: Don Cooper, Christine Hook, Noreen Jones, Conly Rieder, Pat Hoffmeister, Marjorie Olsen, Joanne Van Genderen, Enid Watsky, Victor Reiner, Gail Nadeau, Jeri Degener, and Donna Pierce
See art work here:

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS: Donna & Rich Piche,  Nicole Alonzo,
Joanne Van Genderen, Miranda Rand  and Jessica Cameron


THANK YOU TO OUR HOSTS: David & Elizabeth Misener and everyone at CPO (Clinical Prosthetics + Orthotics)

THANK YOU TO JACKIE & THE ART DE CURE BOARD for all of your hard work helping to raise funds for numerous charities.


This entry was posted in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, CMT, fundraiser, Neurologist, neuromuscular disease, peripheral neuropathy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our big event is almost here.

  1. Pingback: Starry Night Art de Cure Gallery Reception Raises over $11,000 for CMT | Living Well with CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth) Disorder

  2. You’re very welcome! Thank you for doing this with me, and helping to make it such a success!


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