Lupus Chapter Events Aim to Increase Awareness
Hillsborough resident helping organize fundraising projects.
Laura Iarkowski, a Hillsborough resident for 18 years, and first vice-chairwoman of the Lupus Foundation of America, New Jersey Chapter, helped coordinate the group's Oct. 14 20th annual Walk-for-Lupus at Nomahegan Park in Cranford, helping to raise almost $80,000 for lupus awareness programs.
Now the group is working to raise more funding for its programs, including its second annual Rummage Sale, set for 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Athenia Veterans Post Inc., 147 Huron Ave., Clifton. Household and vintage items, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, paintings, prints, glassware, linens, records, small furniture, and so much more will be sold. For more information call 973-379-3226 or visit the Lupus Foundation website.
Iarkowski has been active with the Lupus Foundation for nearly 20 years, helping with the group's Annual Gala Dinners, serving as co-chair of the Thirty-Fourth and Thirty-Fifth Annual Gala Dinners.
"My involvement includes attending and assisting with many of the various
fundraising events, educational programs and business meetings throughout
the year," she said.
While her commitment as a board member requires her to meet fundraising goals, Iarkowski doesn't seem to miss any opportunities to help, as she also participates in the Fun Day for Lupus at Monmouth Park, and other events.
She's already renewed her "Laura's Loonies for Lupus" team for this year's Walk for Lupus (set for Oct. 6).
"Each year my team raises approximately $6,000 for the
Walk and has been one of the top fundraising teams since 2008," she said.
Iarkowski even appeared with her son Ryan in a public service announcement in 2009, encouraging patients, families, friends, colleagues and the public to come walk with the LFANJ in support of those affected by lupus.
Though Iarkowski isn't organizing the “A Night Out For Lupus” event scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at The Primavera Regency, 1080 Valley Road, in Stirling, she may be join in the evening's fun. The Night Out features food, drink, dancing "and fun" to raise money and awareness about this debilitating disease. There will be a DJ, hors d’oeuvres, a deluxe buffet menu and an open bar.
For reservations, call the LFANJ at 973-379-3226 or e-mail Allison Saia. The Lupus Foundation of America, New Jersey Chapter, Inc. is part of a national force devoted to solving the cruel mystery of lupus while providing caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. The Lupus Foundation of America, New Jersey Chapter, Inc., together with its 3-person staff (Leonard J. Andriuzzi, President and CEO; Julia Oppenheimer, Financial Administrator and Jason Konig, Health Educator and Case Management); Board of Directors (Ranit C. Shriky, Laura Ellen Iarkowski, Rosalinda Perez, Michael Pinhas, Anthony Albanese, Tammy Allen, Beverley Danner, Georgette Dwyer, Roberta A. Kaar, Salvatore Lataro, Chuck Saia, and Victor Sloan, M.D.) and many informed volunteers, lupus medical experts, and committed and caring supporters raise funds to:
• Support research and conduct education programs so everyone affected by lupus can have an improved quality of life;
• Provide information and hold support group meeting for patients throughout New Jersey to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and are connected to health professionals who know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease; and,
• Conduct activities to increase awareness of lupus, rally public support for those who are affected by lupus, and advocate on their behalf.
The Lupus Foundation of America, New Jersey Chapter, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to enriching and improving the quality of life for individuals and families affected by lupus.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys. A few key facts from www.lupus.org are below:
- Lupus researchers estimate that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
- Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
- It is not contagious and is not like or related to cancer.
There currently is no cure for lupus although there is some research currently underway searching for a cure. Treatments and medications can only help manage the disease.
Find out more at www.lupusnj.org.