- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

News about nonprofit good works and intentions of note includes efforts by the American Cancer Society’s National Capital Region to find drivers to take cancer patients to and from treatment appointments.

At present, 135 volunteers offer their own cars and services gratis - without gas reimbursement - to chauffeur people on weekdays in the Greater Washington area under the organization’s Road to Recovery (R2R) program.

After one of his employees was diagnosed with breast cancer and told him of R2R’s needs, Marty Sullivan of Mid-Atlantic Builders in Rockville came up with the idea of a fundraiser to make money for the purchase of gas cards, a recruitment drive, and funding for rides with a medical transport service when necessary.

The goal is to raise $20,000 from a $40 registration fee for an evening of bowling and dinner from 6 to 8 on Sept. 6 at the Bowl America in Falls Church. For information, contact Sarah Ness, mission delivery manager, 202/483-2600, ext. 101, or [email protected]

Running for good

Miles of another kind are offered through Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Arlington at Waterview, with its two-night Go the Distance package of $610 - $100 of which is donated to the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. It includes registration for an extra 50 people for October’s sold-out 33rd annual Marine Corps Marathon. The regular marathon registration date closed in May after selling out in five days.

The hotel is within walking distance of the race site. The nonprofit Navy Marine Corps Relief Society gives financial and educational support to Navy and Marine Corps members, family and survivors. Packages must be booked by Sept. 25 by calling 866/505-1001.

Getting women to work

The Washington office of Dress for Success, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women, is celebrating its sixth anniversary Sept. 16 by holding a party at its new headquarters, at 101 Q St. NE.

Further down the calendar, the office plans a fundraiser Oct. 14 for $50 a head for poker fans at the Palm restaurant, with a silent auction with master of ceremonies Jim Ryan of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Dress for Success, which serves clients by referral only, lends suitable clothing to first-time job seekers and promises them a professional wardrobe after they secure a position. The Professional Women’s Group program offers Dress for Success clients ongoing support and a guarantee of lifetime membership for mentoring and support.

Helping homeless pets

Focused on the fall is Pet- Smart Charities’ Just a Buck, Change Their Luck campaign, running through Aug. 26 in U.S. and Canadian stores. Pet “parents” are invited to enter a Just a Buck Online Pet Photo Contest to win their companion animal a chance to be featured on the organization’s campaign merchandise next year.

Proceeds from this year’s effort - special merchandise is on sale in PetSmart stores - benefit homeless pets in their home regions by directing sums to animal shelters and helps lower the large number of dogs and cats euthanized every year. The goal of the 14th annual campaign is to raise $1.9 million in the United States and more than $150,000 in Canada.

Sept. 12 through 14 is the annual fall adoption weekend at all PetSmart stores, whose goal is to find homes for 15,000 dogs and cats. Animal welfare groups throughout North America traditionally team up for this effort. Details can be found at www.PetSmart.com.

Protection for cheetahs

The Cheetah Conservation Fund office in Alexandria has another kind of animal protection campaign in progress. The group, founded to save the wild cheetah, has received $50,000 to support its matching challenge grant, so for every donor contributing to its Chewbaaka 13th Birthday Challenge Grant program, an extra dollar up to that sum will go to the organization. Chewbaaka, who lives in Namibia in Africa, is CCF’s resident ambassador cheetah since being orphaned when just 3 weeks old.

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