About the Basket Raffle
Our Basket Raffle is the highlight of our year. Its purpose is to spread awareness by sharing brain cancer stories through themed baskets that are created to honor survivors or in memory of those who have passed. But it’s so much more than just a fundraiser or playing a game to win neat stuff (though winning a basket can be really fun when it does happen!) – at its heart, it is about telling stories and making connections.
Each of our Raffle Baskets represent a brain cancer patient – a Brain Buddie. Our Baskets are a chance for Brain Buddies and their families to share their stories by building a basket that represents themselves or a loved one. These Baskets offer a tangible way for others to get to know those touched by brain cancer by showing who their are other than their diagnosis.
When you include your Basket at our event, you are helping spread awareness about brain cancer by sharing your story with attendees and the winner of your basket! In this way you are inspiring others and connecting with those who share a similar journey. Winning someone else’s basket often connects those families and sparks lifelong friendships.
All of our baskets have a story and all are meaningful and full of love.
Tells us YOUR Story
Sharing a story might seem daunting at first. You might have so many things that represent your special person and we know that a basket can’t possibly contain the whole of how special someone is!
Picking a theme will help. By focusing on a part of their personality you can give other people an insight to who they are.
Helpful questions to get you thinking about your Story:
What is their story?
How is your special person connected to the brain cancer community? How did brain cancer change their life? Share a bit about their journey and how it shaped their life and the lives of those around them.
Who are they?
Is your special person a parent, grandparent, coworker, golf buddy? Are they a dog lover, artist, book worm, ice cream addict? A songwriter, teacher, chef, or athlete? Tell us how they are connected and special to you.
Do they like any hobbies or activities:
Many baskets are celebrations for survivors and are themed around activities they enjoy, like “Hiking”, “Sewing”, or “Gardening”. Does your special person love any hobbies or activities like hiking, biking, reading, crochet? Did they like board games, playing soccer, working on vintage cars, or volunteering at an animal rescue? Maybe you always had a standing “Family Game Night” or loved having “Movie Night” every Friday. These are all great ideas to make a theme around!
What are some of their favorite things?
Do they like donuts, movies, coffee, cats? Do they have a favorite cuisine or candy? Do they have a favorite sports team or restaurant? Pick one (or three!) of their favorite things and make a basket around that! We love baskets built around favorite things such as Lanette’s “Grandma Kirk’s Donut Basket”, “BBQ Essentials Basket” or “Taco Tuesday Basket”.
What reminds you of this person?
Do you think of this person every time you hear a song or see a certain flower? If they have passed, is there a “sign” you share with them like seeing hummingbirds or finding pennies? Add these little tidbits to your basket to make it extra special!
Basket Theme Examples
We have some example Basket Sheets from baskets that were previously donated to our fundraiser. Take a look at these examples to help guide you.
Other Helpful Info
Basket Info Sheets
After you have picked your Basket Theme and filled your basket, the next step is to fill out a Basket Info Sheet form. Each raffle Basket will have a Basket Sheet (and oftentimes a photo) attached to the outside that is used to identify your Basket during the raffle. It lets others know what goodies are waiting inside of your Basket and provides a way for them to read your Brain Buddie story!
Who can Donate a Basket?
Anyone and everyone can participate in the Basket Raffle! While most of our donors are individuals or families who have been touched by the disease – anyone who wants to support our mission can be a Brain Buddie. Brain Buddies can be cancer survivors, newly diagnosed patients, caregivers, family members, friends, employers, doctors, parents, children…anyone!
We have had survivors create baskets in honor of themselves and sharing the things they like to do (“How Does Your Garden Grow” or “Sew Much Fun”). We have had kids make baskets in honor of their parents filled with fun things for spending time together as a family (“Board Game Night” or “Baking Together”). We have had businesses donate gift vouchers or baskets on behalf of an employee. Local firefighters donate a “Fire Safety” basket in honor of their teammate who was diagnosed. We have even had baskets representing a Brain Buddies favorite animal or in memory of a cherished pet. Anything goes as long as there is a story behind it.
If you don’t have a direct connection to the cause, we encourage you to Sponsor a Basket! It’s a great way to get involved and by doing so you are helping a Brain Buddie or their family create a basket that represents them and shares their story.
Raffle Item Donations
Another way to contribute is by donating individual items for raffle (such as a piece of artwork, sporting events tickets, hotel getaway, spa packages, etc). Donated items can be used to create baskets for other families or as raffle items themselves.
The family of a young musician with brain cancer has donated a guitar and lessons in his memory – sharing the gift of music with others who will enjoy it as much as their son did.
Local businesses and attractions donate tours, dining gift cards or vacation packages in support of employees touched by brain cancer. Local artists have donated their artwork. Don’t feel limited by having to physically fit your donation into a “basket”.
Giftcard donations are also a great (and easy!) way to help us build baskets or purchase basket items. Contact Lanette for more information.
Basket Assistance & Out of State Donations
For those families who are out of state, or need assistance building a basket to represent your special person – we would love to help. Together we can create a wish list of items for your basket. Sponsors can shop for items and all purchased items will be sent to the Gray Matters team who will put the basket together on your behalf! Please contact Lanette for more information on joining our Sponsor a Basket program.