Published on February 8, 2022 | While we can’t all be PKD researchers, there are other ways to make an impact. Fundraising for PKD through Fundraise Your Way is a great option! Once she heard about the program, Annette Minnich knew this was the perfect way for her to make a difference. As a semi-retired, professional singer, she decided to serenade an audience while raising money for PKD through her very own fundraising concert.
How did you get involved in the PKD Foundation?
I’d been aware of the PKD Foundation for years, but it was attending the virtual PKD Connect Conference last year that really spiked my interest. I learned so much, and even though it was a virtual event, I met some amazing people and felt a real sense of community.
Had you been active in fundraising for PKD before hosting your own fundraiser?
No, I had not. I have arthritis and fibromyalgia along with having PKD. When I go out, I use a wheelchair. While I know that being handicapped shouldn’t stop me from taking part in a Walk for PKD, it still does. Whether it’s reasonable or not, I end up feeling a little angry that my disability makes it difficult for me to take part in the Walk.
What made you decide to participate in Fundraise Your Way?
I was so excited when I heard about Fundraise Your Way! By changing the name in this manner, I knew that there were things that I could do that could make a difference. It sounds like such a small thing, but it made a huge difference in how I perceived fundraising for PKD.
How did you decide on the type of fundraiser you wanted to do?
That part was easy. I’m a semi-retired, professional singer. I knew that I wanted to do a fundraising concert. The chance to use my art to help raise awareness and money for this condition that means so much to me was a no-brainer. I have a friend here in town whose family is also touched by PKD. She doesn’t have it, but family members do. So, when I asked her if she would donate her time and talents to this, she was excited to help, too. We contacted a couple more friends, a pianist and a stand-up bass player, and then I knew we had a concert.
I tend to get bored if I’m just doing one style of music, so we did everything from jazz to opera to Broadway. It was so much fun! And in fact, we had so much fun that we’re continuing to perform professionally together. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy not just the performing, but the whole process of music selection and rehearsing. Doing this concert brought me such joy. Maybe I should stop saying that I’m semi-retired.
What was the response like? Any tips for someone who wants to create their own fundraiser?
The response was great. Of course, our in-house audience was very small because of COVID-19. But we still managed to raise quite a bit of money. We recorded the concert and I posted it on my YouTube channel; I’ve had a good response.
In one section, I told my story, my journey with PKD. In my generation of the family, there were six of us. Five inherited PKD. There are now only three of us left, and I am the last one who still has two functioning kidneys. My two cousins have both thanked me for telling our story. That meant a lot to me.
As far as tips – follow your heart. Find something that you’re passionate about and think of ways to use that for a fundraiser.
Anything else you’d like to add about fundraising for PKD?
I am so glad that I did this!
Ready to start fundraising for PKD?
Do you have an idea for a PKD fundraiser and need help getting started? Visit pkdcure.org/fyw to find more information and to see ongoing Fundraise Your Way fundraisers in the PKD community. If you have any questions at all, reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.