A Life Dedicated to the Spirit of Giving
For 25 years, Conrad Dratwa has used his ingenuity and resources to benefit Guide Dogs of America. Dratwa's interest in GDA began at his local Chamber of Commerce, where he met a woman raising a GDA puppy and asked her questions about the organization. Impressed with the work of GDA, Dratwa and his wife began making donations, but they wanted to do more. That's when they came up with the creative idea for a "Christmas in July" party at their home. Complete with a decorated Christmas tree and holiday fare, guests would surely feel the spirit of the season, but the couple wanted their guests to embrace the spirit of giving. At the request of their hosts, all of the 40 to 50 guests who attended each year brought the same gift - a donation to Guide Dogs of America. Some guests went above and beyond expectation by asking their companies to match their contribution. The party was a tradition for many years.
Although no longer hosting "Christmas in July" parties, Dratwa continues in his commitment to GDA as a donor. He attributes his generosity to his upbringing. "I try to give whatever I have and help GDA out as much as I can," he said. "I was brought up that way." Dratwa's generosity and his commitment to GDA led him to become a Partner In Trust. Thus, he will continue to give to the school through planned giving beyond his lifetime.
Conrad Dratwa's idea is just one of the ways that some of our donors have found to help raise funds for GDA beyond their personal means and to introduce more people and companies to the school. We're hoping that, by sharing stories such as his, it might spark a new idea of fundraising from our readers, which will benefit Guide Dogs of America's program.
For information about becoming a Partner in Trust, please contact Rhonda Bissell at 818-833-6432.