Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Wow! In less than week I gave 73 people that I care about the chance to help kids and adults with arthritis by asking them to make any donation to my Let's Move Together Arthritis Walk Team "Tony in Orlando". I know, pretty-self-serving name, right?

Well here's a secret..NEVER FEEL BAD OR GUILTY ABOUT DOING SOMETHING SELF-SERVING IF IT WILL HELP THE ULTIMATE GOOD. I have a saying and you can quote me because it's been very powerful in my life. "Guilt is a useless emotion to me, unless I'm using it on someone else". Sounds pretty sinister huh? Truth is I was raised Catholic then Jehovah Witness so I tell people "I got the best of both guilt religions (said lovingly and jokingly)". My mom just looks at me and she has this incredible ability to just sigh and make me feel guilty. Being a hypersensitive person,GUILT played a starring role in the first three quarters of my life. It only has a cameo now and then since I turned 40 (The new 20).

Anyway, I digress. This blog is about "The Numbers Game".
I hope you will find it helpful with your own fund-raising duties if you are fund-raising now.

My Experiment:
Ask 100 people I love to make a donation to my team.

My goal: $1000 (based solely on my first Arthritis Walk in Lakeland more than 2 years ago!)

Experiment Status:
In just a couple days with only about 25 more people to ask, I am 59% to my goal!

Now I know what you are thinking...where am I going to find 100 people to ask??? Well remember it's all relative. If you have ten people, ask all of them and set a smaller goal! We're all different, and it's THE ASKING that is our important duty and the divine intervention comes into play after we do our job. Doesn't the bible say THE CREATOR tells us to plant the seeds, yet it's THE CREATOR that makes everything grow? Well plant as many seeds as you can and let GOD work on the ones that are possibilities. But it's you that's planting the seeds of LOVE in their heart!

Think of it that way and suddenly ASKING feels a lot like LOVING people!

Here's some types of people to think about:
Hairdressers, grocery store manager, school mates, teachers, friends, family, church (a big one), social clubs, Facebook (most friends list their e-mail addresses on there info page), exes (that's been a real profitable category for me, haha) and there are so many more!

Where do you spend all your money?? Ask there.
Parents of kids with arthritis, ask your doctors and pharmacists or hospitals and pharmacies. Just ASK!! And for those of you that are too afraid to ask, while I hate to say it, the ONLY way past that fear is to make yourself ask. I've been there. But believe me, when you feel or see someone responding it's a very deep touching feeling. And you will be so happy you conquered that fear. When you think about it this way; that you are NOT ASKING rather GIVING someone the opportunity to feel better about themselves, suddenly the NOS are less important! Sometimes it's the people you'd least expect to give that do! Sometimes it changes your perspective of them and you find that you see them and relate to them on a deeper level.

Wanna feel some encouragement? Let me tell you now about my beloved mother Carla Dyer and the MASSIVE numbers game she's amidst playing which may put things into perspective for you. Yes, my poor mother gets willingly dragged into being a volunteer at almost every charity I've worked for so far. But can I tell you, I think I'm literally more proud of my MOMSTER these last couple years than just about any other volunteer I've worked with to date! We've grown and learned together and it's a VERY COOL thing!

My mom is the Team Captain for "The Publix Painkillers." She recently mailed a letter our to 300 store managers asking for a donation to her team. There's still some time left, but she hasn't got one response yet. In her store, she asked 39 people for a donation and got $1 dollar! The other day we were on a walk together talking about it and after she shared that, sadly I related! I said that one YES and 39 NOS isn't a unrealistic thing right now. That's almost par for the course. Especially for the Arthritis Foundation because NO ONE who isn't touched directly doesnt realize how serious it is, or that kids get it, or that KIDS DIE FROM IT!

Anyway, my mom is trying hard not to be dicouraged and she keeps talking about "waiting for the popcorn to pop". And I know just what she means because recently two days after my e-mails, my popcorn started popping and I'm 59% to my goal of $1,000. Frankly, I am really surprised. Let's see if I make it! As for mom, she's already reached her goal. Her goal was to ask every Publix store manager in Central Florida to give to her walk team. The donations if she gets them will be a bonus. Remember, THE POWER IS IN THE ASKING! I'm proud of you mom. And I can't wait to get the call when her popcorn starts to pop! :) Believe me, you can't do something of that magnitude and not get some popcorn eventually. the Publix Team will eventually take off. She's about to take it STATEWIDE with our new FLORIDA STATE VIRTUAL ARTHRITIS WALK (A new venture we're hoping will allow people to participate in areas we have no walks. Sadly there are so many areas in Florida we can't afford to staff!).

Anyway, I will keep you posted in THE NUMBERS GAME PART TWO as to whether or not I reach my goal, but I TRULY HOPE that keeping you posted helps you feel encouraged in some way. If not, I'm wasting my time blogging cause I have so much work to do this week. Our Arthritis Walk is on Saturday! Send some LOVE this way and we will use every drop! I'm really looking forward to meeting some of the newer attendees that I've befriended through our Facebook Page "Arthur Itis". I feel like I've known some of them for years and we just met online.

Peace Love and Music
Tony In Orlando

Applicable Quote:“He who is afraid of asking is ashamed of learning.”
Danish Proverb quotes

Applicable Song: The Numbers Game-Theivery Corporation

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Hello I'm Tony Ward.

I live in Orlando.

Being a night owl, I normally write at dawn.

So that explains the name. Now how to explain the blog or why I'm even blogging?

Well, even though I'm making a living as a non-profit fund-raiser development person (Currently for the Arthritis Foundation), I consider myself a writer. I write songs, press releases, parodies, interviews, and I'm starting my first book. I am also a MUSIC FANATIC and have "musical tourettes" which means I break out into song occassionally and have absolutely no control over it. I eat, sleep, breathe and bleed MUSIC. I believe that MUSIC is the language of the SOUL.

I'm hypersensitive and very spiritual. I can read energy and have empath abilities which I am just learning how to exercise, control and understand. Sometimes in this world I feel like an alien, because there is so much pain and suffering that living in this world feels like a blessing and a curse. I think any human at this time in our world is bound to experience depression if they really care about anything other than themselves. But without darkness, how would the stars ever reveal themselves to us?

I thought blogging would be a good way to take a stand for peace & positivity and also be a good form of exercise to help hone my craft. I believe I have a unique positive voice, and I certainly have a unique perception of most things because of my extraordinary life experiences. Some of which are:

I am over 40. Was raised a preacher's kid in a very strict Christian religion, and have grown more into a spiritual person rather than a religious one. My religion is kindness, at least that's what I am currently trying to practice. My spiritual belief is that "All things are possible". So I have no wish to judge or criticize any belief system. I am not a politcial person. I consider my self a citizen of the world. I have 13 brothers and sisters and 33 nephews and nieces (including the great ones) so I have had the pleasure of seeing a lot of life through the eyes of a lot of people.

I believe that GOD is LOVE so I try to be as loving as I can and surround myself with like-minded wildy positive and optimistic people. Mean people and negative people suck! I mean they literally suck, as in suck all the good energy out of you! I also believe that LOVE is ENERGY and moves through each of us in different and mysterious ways. So I am lending my voice to the world or anyone that will listen as a source of LOVE and a loving perpective. I'm no better than anyone else, we are all made of the same thing. It's just some of us like to express ourselves more than others (That would be me) and some in writing (Me again).

I hope that anyone that stumbles on my blog and takes any part of this journey with me will be touched, blessed, entertained or even have their life changed for the better in someway. I know our interactions will change mine for the better. Words can be used as weapons, but never here. I dedicate this space to people who want to connect to the good in each other, or even the GOD in each other.

I don't have any time to waste on anything that isn't going to promote, LOVE, positive energy, growth, and laughter since it is a great medicine in these times that are so trying on our souls. But you can expect me to write about people and situations that inspire me. I work in a field where MIRACLES happen everyday. I am very fortunate.

Thanks for your time! Please comment if you are so moved, and remember, we all have something to learn from each other. I look forward to learning a lot from this experience.

I feel it very appropriate to end my first blog with my Personal Daily Mantra. I try to read it everyday. It is called GROWTH. I wrote it but can't take credit for it because it was inspired. So if you like it, pass it along for free! Read it everyday and let me know if it's changed your perspective on LIFE like it has to mine. And remember, you can't have GROWTH without growing pains. So hang in there. If you ever need a friend, here I am!

Inhale gratefully
Exhale with praise
Exercise empathy
Learn from mistakes
Embrace with warmth
Cleanse with conviction
Nourish your soul
Flower with appreciation
Touch with heart
Reach out frequently
Always be helpful
Listen respectfully
Revere all life
Meditate mercifully
Freely forgive
Bloom with intensity
Shower with love
Grow with confidence
Share your joy
Bask in providence
Care about others
Plant many seeds
Practice acceptance
Respect all beliefs
If you have to let go
At the end of your rope
Finsih gracefull
Start over with Hope.

PEACE, LOVE & MUSIC>Tony in Orlando

Related Quotes: "My Religion is simple, my religion is kindness.", The Dalai Lama

Related Songs: Intrument of Peace -Olivia Newton John


For my beloved volunteer friends out there....thank you for asking!

I was blessed with a curse. Having worked as a non-profit fund-raiser for most of my career, I’ve grown totally not afraid to ask for things on behalf of a cause. Doesn’t bother me in the least! Some people think this is a talent. It’s not- it’s just persistence shift and sincere concern for whatever mission I am serving. I believe that any person who overcomes their fear of asking will be a successful fund-raiser because success in fund-raising comes from the asking.

The perceived curse with “asking” is revealed in “rejection”. But it’s only rejection if you choose to perceive it in that manner. If you change your perception of hearing the word “no”, you will not only strengthen your resolve, it can also help you feel a new sense of freedom. Getting a yes or no from a donor or corporation is not important. What is important is, YOU ARE ASKING!!! Have you ever heard the quote from Hockey Player Wayne Gretzky, “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”? Well in very much the same way, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. The more you ask, the more you’ll receive.

Anyone can be a successful fund-raiser. You just have to focus on why your mission is important to you personally and give people the opportunity to help by asking. And asking as many people as you can. If it’s important to you, it will be important to them to help if they can. That only makes them feel good. There are many different approaches and every one of them is needed and important. In my job for the Arthritis Foundation, I rely on my volunteers to ask on my behalf. We are constantly encouraged to remind them that a VOLUNTEER asking for something is much more powerful than staff asking. That is so true! Most volunteers shy away from fund-raising, where as some seem to excel at it. What’s important as volunteers is we MUST ASK.

The problem is that so many people are AFRAID to ask. I understand that fear. We all FEAR something. What I have learned from my own life experience is the area in my life where I have had my greatest fears have actually been blessings in disguise and allowed me to learn the most about myself. The best way that I have learned to overcome my fears is by facing them head on. So if you are afraid of asking, the best way to overcome it is to ask! The great thing is as volunteers, we are usually provided with helpful staff more than willing to help us through that process and help us grow.

People want to give, and you will find them! But when you have to ask 15 people to get one yes, it’s a little sobering. Rest assured, you are not alone, especially in this economy. But you can’t look at the “nos” as failures when the truth of the matter is you have successfully given 15 people the opportunity to make a difference by supporting your mission and one of them accepted. Your asking becomes a gift to those benefiting from the funds and awareness and for those who can feel good about saying yes to a cause that touches their hearts!


Related Quote: “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

Related Song: If You Asked Me To - Celine Dion