ALTON, IL – Alton Memorial Hospital’s team at last year’s Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run finished ninth in the nation with a fundraising total of $15,110.

The team was led by captain Lisa Pace and devised some very creative and “out of the box” fundraisers. For one particular fundraiser, the team created a giant human cut-out of physical therapist Greg Lorsbach from the hospital’s Human Motion Institute, and staff members paid to put Jingle Bell Run/Walk event stickers on the cut-out. On the day of the event, Greg had to wear the exact number of stickers that were tacked to his cut-out.

Including sponsorships, AMH contributed $16,836.55 to the Arthritis Foundation.

Lisa Pace, center, accepts the top fundraising award for Alton Memorial Hospital at the Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run last Dec. 3. Presenting the award are Elaina Jackson of the Arthritis Foundation, left, and Jody Basola, event chair.

“Lisa was in charge of 49 sub-teams totaling more than 240 people,” said Elaina Jackson of the Arthritis Foundation. “She personally collected registration forms and fundraising money from all of them. She had a huge job and did an amazing job. Her hard work and dedication paid off.”

This was Lisa's first year as captain for the AMH teams, taking over for Jody Basola, who retired from AMH in 2011. Jody was the event chair for last year’s Alton Jingle Bell Run.

“Lisa did an outstanding job,” Basola said. “She was great to work with and I am excited she will be leading the teams again this year. The competition among teams is a big driving force to be creative with unique and profitable fundraisers.”  

“The whole thing was very exciting,” Pace said. “I was amazed at the turnout from the hospital and I enjoyed every minute of it. I have to thank everyone who made this such a success.”

The Jingle Bell Run, which was held locally on Dec. 3 at Gordon Moore Park in Alton, is a fun and festive way to kick off the Christmas season. Participants don holiday-themed costumes, tie jingle bells to shoelaces and complete a 5-kilometer route. It is because of their support that the Arthritis Foundation can continue its mission in the fight against this debilitating disease.

In the field of non-profit health care, best practices are to direct at least 75 percent of all funds raised toward program services. Nationally, the Arthritis Foundation exceeds that standard, with 76.4 percent spent on improving lives.

The top fundraising team nationally was the Rothman Institute in Malvern, Pa., which raised more than $63,000. The top 10 teams nationwide combined to raise more than $280,000.

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