When PAN CSR Aly Smith learned that one of her best friends was going to participate in this year’s Relay for Life at Baldwin High School (Allegheny County), Aly wholeheartedly agreed to help.
Jamey Pryber and Aly have been best friends for four years. When Jamey’s mother, Madeline “Maddie” Kunz lost her 10-year battle with cancer on Feb. 12, 2011, Aly grieved along with her friend.
Aly didn’t want to just participate in the Relay for Life for the first time, she wanted their team, “Maddie’s Marchers for the Cure” to dominate in raising money. She approached a friend who works as a manager at Mexi-Casa in Dormont, a bar/restaurant, with an idea. Could she and Jamey guest bartend for several hours? Their tips would go toward the team’s fundraising goal of $2,500.
Then Aly had another idea.
“Maddie loved the band Boston,” said Aly, “so I purchased vintage-style Boston tee shirts for Jamey and I to wear while bartending.”
With permission from the manager and the restaurant owner, Aly and Jamey spent two hours on Saturday, May 26, pouring and serving drinks to a receptive crowd.
The pair raised $782 in two hours.
“A lot of our friends showed up and supported us, which was very nice. We had a great time,” Aly noted.
Aly’s co-workers at PAN also contributed to Team Maddie’s fundraising efforts.
“I’m so thankful to be working with such caring people,” she said.
On June 1 and 2, Aly and her husband Bryan joined Jamey and other team members for the Relay. Stormy weather caused organizers to move the event indoors to the high school gymnasium. For the next 18 hours, the team took turns walking and encouraging each other.
“The vigil at the luminaria was very sad,” said Aly. “I’m glad I went and I would definitely do it again.”