by Amie Sites
As a 2012 bachelorette of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Indiana Chapter, Morgan Mills committed herself to raising $10,000 for the foundation and reached the goal through hosting a charity event, collecting donations and selling a vacation package at the Guys and Dolls Auction Gala.
Mills, a 2007 Logansport High School graduate, was one of 30 bachelor and bachelorette honorees. The honorees are young professionals in the Indianapolis area who are committed to raising money for the foundation, Mills said. She had to fill out a resume, portfolio and show how she planned to raise money, she said.
“It is very rewarding to be part of this amazing program with some of the most professional, active and energetic young professionals working toward the same goal,” Mills said. “It’s truly an honor to be able to help raise awareness for something that I am so passionate about.”
Joanna Whitaker, development director at the Cystic Fibrosis Indiana Chapter, said that the bachelors and bachelorettes started in February and have been working since then.
“We look for people who are willing to do something and be passionate about it,” Whitaker said. “We had a lot of people who came out, but she was chosen because she wanted to put the time in and help. We really picked the right person with Morgan Mills.”
Mills became personally invested in promoting awareness of cystic fibrosis through working at the Riley Children’s Hospital. Mills said that she saw how the disease affects the children daily when they have to undergo breathing treatments and are on a constant medication schedule. She said she was also passionate because, although there have been improvements in research, there is more to be done. The average age of a person with cystic fibrosis is 36, but when the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation first started in 1955, children with the disease were not expected to see their first day of school, Mills said.
“There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, and that is one of reasons I am determined to help,” Mills said. “I want to do what I can to make sure that the research is funded.”
Mills said cystic fibrosis is a daily battle and because there isn’t a cure, the disease eventually wins.
Research for Cystic Fibrosis, a life threatening, genetic disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems, does not receive federal funding.
Mills said Cystic Fibrosis affects 30,000 children in the United States and 600 families in Indiana. Mills said she believes her generation will live to see a cure for cystic fibrosis.
The first donation made to reach her $10,000 goals was her own. Mills was able to exceed that goal by hosting a charity event in Logansport, collecting donations and participating in the Guys and Dolls Auction Gala. Whitaker said that Guys and Dolls Auction Gala had a goal to raise $165,000 and the Indiana Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has an overall goal of raising $1.3 million.
Mills hosted a wine tasting event called “Toast to a Cure.”
“I’m very much the hometown girl and I wanted to have an event here,” Mills said. “It is really nice knowing Logansport supported me.”
Mills said that $1,500 was raised through the event at People’s Winery, and she calculated that in total, people in Logansport contributed $2,500 toward her $10,000 goal.
Mills and each honoree have been working since early spring a to put together a vacation package to auction off at the Guys and Dolls Auction Gala.
The 24th annual gala took place Saturday evening, and Mills’ vacation package was auctioned for $4,000. She also auctioned a puppy for $1,800. All together that evening, she raised $7,000, Mills said.
Through the auction, the charity event in Logansport, the event in Indianapolis and donations, Mills raised nearly $11,000.
“I couldn’t be happier to reach and exceed my goal,” Mills said. “At first, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to reach my goal, but everything worked out. I believe that everything happens for a reason and my work for the foundation is part of that.” Mills said that the group that the honorees will now do some post-processing and wrap up the season. She said that the group would take a break for a few months and then will be contacted to see if they want to help with the foundation in the future.
“Morgan has not only put together several events to raise money throughout the year, but she has even volunteered and helped other honorees,” Whitaker said. “She has been great to work with.”
Mills said that she plans to help the foundation in the future. Although she cannot be a bachelorette again, she wants to help raise money and come back to work as an adviser for the future honorees.