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Brianna and Rylie! Rylie is 13 and has A-T.

We’d like you to meet Brianna, an A-T family friend who is helping to find a cure for A-T! Brianna has been running in honor of Rylie with the A-T CureTeam at Disneyland since 2012. She is a devoted member of Rylie’s Angels and can always be counted on to volunteer at fundraising events, advocate for A-T on Rare Disease Day (or any other day!) and put in the miles for Rylie during race weekends. This year, she is running the Disneyland 10k in January. To help meet her fundraising goal, she turned her recent birthday celebration into a meaningful fundraiser with the support of local businesses!

The festivities started at an escape room where Brianna and her friends put their puzzle-solving skills and ingenuity to the test. The escape room company agreed to partner with Brianna and the Rylie’s Angels team and donated a generous amount of the proceeds to the A-T Children’s Project (A-TCP)! After emerging triumphant from the escape room challenge, the party continued at a local restaurant that also embraced the cause and donated a portion of the night’s proceeds back to the A-T Children’s Project. All in all, Brianna raised an impressive $600 and is well on her way to meeting her ambitious fundraising goal!

How did these two local companies get involved?

Earlier in the year, Brianna attended a fundraiser party at the escape room for her son’s school where the owner was donating some of the proceeds. With fundraising for the A-T Children’s Project on her mind, Brianna spoke with the owner and “told him all about A-T, maybe more than he had time to hear in the moment” and asked if he would consider donating back to the A-TCP if she hosted a party at his escape room. He said yes! In fact, he even offered to donate a larger percentage back to the A-TCP if she arranged for her group to visit on a less busy night. (We love this tip – if you are approaching a business about donating a portion of their proceeds and they are hesitant, offer to bring your group on a slow day! It’s a win-win which benefits both the A-TCP and the business.)

With the escape room on board, Brianna says “I had the idea to not only celebrate my birthday there, but make it a fundraiser as well.  I figured what better way to spread awareness and celebrate all in one! Once we had the fundraising idea, we looked into other options that we could piggyback on the same night.” She approached a restaurant/wine bar that had hosted other fundraisers in the past. Despite her initial concerns that they might hesitate to support a cause that was not local, the restaurant enthusiastically agreed to help. Brianna says, “I honestly think combining a special event like a birthday, along with utilizing restaurants/businesses that already give back to other organizations like schools, made for a successful event.” We couldn’t agree more!

This year, Brianna’s kids are joining not only in the race at Disneyland in January, but also in the fight to help fundraise and support their friend Rylie. Brianna and her family are making a true difference and the A-T CureTeam is lucky to have such dedicated and compassionate members in this fight! We can’t wait to see them at Disneyland!

Want to participate in an A-T CureTeam race weekend? We have race spots available for 2024!  Please reach out to us at fundraising@atcp.org for more information.

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