In her nomination, Jerilyn Hickey, senior director of major gifts at the American Red Cross/Erie & Niagara Counties, lists many of Jeff’s other accomplishments, including working with his development team to raise almost $4 million over the last four and a half years; and creating a new, dynamic website and an active social-media presence that resulted in a 2,000 percent increase in website traffic for Mercy Flight; and a direct-mail appeal that resulted in a 45 percent increase in donations with more than 30 percent gains in both the number of donors and average donation size.
But admittedly we were jazzed by the concept of Jeff’s “Mercy Flight Was Here” campaign that placed 2,000 street corner signs at the scenes of prior helicopter landings throughout Western New York. A board member donated a companion radio campaign featuring past patients talking about Mercy Flight.
“The resulting public awareness and subsequent media coverage was tremendous,” Hickey says. “In order to capitalize on this extraordinary exposure, a broad, donor acquisition mailing was conducted. More than 3,000 new donors responded with gifts that totaled more than $120,000. Indeed, Jeff is a Rising Star.”
Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
According to the animal rescue’s co-founder, Bryan Thomas, Motley Zoo “keeps rocking on, stronger every day” due in large part to his wife and co-founder Jme Thomas’ perseverance and refusal to even consider obstacles. Jme (pronounced “Jaime”) co-founded and has worked full-time, unpaid, for MZAR for the last four years and in that time has helped the group accomplish some amazing feats.
“She has an unusual way of seeing only possibility where many wouldn’t even know where to begin, and she has helped instill this kind of ‘why not?’ approach in the rest of our board, as well as helps inspire our volunteers and other rescuers to believe in the impossible,” Thomas says. “She has helped get the community behind us, which helps open doors for our organization every day.”
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