Real estate franchiser ERA is launching the ERA MDA Summer Camp Challenge, a campaign in collaboration with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) that will gather support from brokers and agents to help 1,000 children who suffer from muscular dystrophy. This year marks the fundraiser’s third year.
The challenge, announced by the president and CEO of ERA Real Estate at the brand’s 2015 International Business Conference (IBC) in Washington, D.C., will ask for the support of the 2,000 attendees of the event. Era has been collaborating with the MDA since 1977 and has already helped raise almost $35 million to help the association’s projects.
“I was excited to make the rally cry to our tremendously generous brokers and agents when I was on stage at this year’s IBC,” said Young in a press release. “During the conference, I also heard Ben Cumbo IV explain how MDA camp has helped him and kids like him establish a sense of solidarity. Ben is a former camper and National Goodwill Ambassador. He credits that solidarity with giving him the courage to speak on Capitol Hill for increased support of dystrophy diseases, and the confidence to write a book about the subject.”
The ERA MDA Summer Camp Challenge was created to encourage the community associated with the company’s franchising to help with the activities taking place in local markets, such as donations, fundraisers and other events. Only a day after announcing the challenge, ERA had already received commitments from about a third of its network. The funding is going to be used by local MDA chapters to organize the summer camps.
“Dedication to community is at the core of the ERA Real Estate brand,” continued the president and CEO. “While the real estate industry continues to evolve and ERA focuses on innovating to keep pace with the changes, the core of what we represent doesn’t alter. We help others in need, from buying and selling a home, to raising charitable contributions and awareness of charitable causes.”
“We are not just sending kids to camp. We are giving them the opportunity to enjoy new experiences, make new friends, discover their strengths and passions, and build the confidence to achieve their goals,” added Young.
One of the parents, Keila Nolan, also expressed her emotion about the campaign being conducted by ERA and MDA, explaining that “until attending MDA Summer Camp, our daughter Lexi wanted nothing to do with her disease. It felt like she was in denial. During her camp experience, she was no longer ‘the physically handicapped kid’ and she realized for the first time that her disease does not define her. She came home wanting to know everything about it – and she wants to help others understand too.”
MDA is also currently gathering the support of local communities throughout the country for another season of the MDA Muscle Walk, which started towards the end of February. During this annual event, thousands of people come together to help raise both funding and awareness to help improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from muscle diseases, while the MDA Muscle Walk joins the communities of patients, families, volunteers, donors, sponsors and other partners in nearly 150 walks.