On December 9th, 2014, the Local Lupus Alliance was the recipient of their first grant as a 501c3 organization. The AFP, Association of Fundraising Professionals WI, Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter presented Richard Chrz, Executive Director of the Local Lupus Alliance, with 2 checks totaling nearly $1,000 through their “Practice What We Preach” program. Since 1994, it has been the AFP Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter’s holiday tradition to make a charitable gift to one or more nonprofit organizations at their December meeting. At the meeting their members share a modest lunch and the proceeds from the monthly meeting fees in excess of the cost of lunch is gifted to a grassroots nonprofit organization. In addition, a chapter gift of $500 is made. In attendance along with LLA Executive Director, Richard Chrz, were board members Renee Chrz, Innovative Graphics and Deb Brague, La Crosse Radio Group. The Local Lupus Alliance is grateful for the generosity and work of the AFP and for AFP member Debbie Kroner, who nominated the LLA for this prestigious award. “Honestly, it is humbling anytime I’m offered the opportunity to spread awareness about the disease and all that comes with it, states Richard Chrz. But being nominated in of itself is an honor, to receive is just above and beyond. It never ceases to amaze me when I am offered the opportunity to talk about it, how I am connected with another person who has a story to share about it as well. We promise to be good stewards of the grant that was awarded to us.” After presenting the Local Lupus Alliance mission to the AFP and explaining a bit about what Lupus is, Richard Chrz was approached by an AFP member who was struggling to get a diagnosis of lupus for her young daughter and another member who, herself had lupus. Everyday we meet more people who are affected by this illness.