Sharon’s out in the Cold for Charity

A mum of four has experienced life as a homeless person after taking to the streets to raise money for charity.

Sharon Leung, who lives in Sutton-in-Ashfield, battled the freezing weather to take part with 40 others, including the right honourable Lord Mayor of Mansfield, in the‘Big Snore’ event on Friday 29 January to raise funds for Framework, the homeless charity.

Sharon, who has been a Sales Executive at the Priestsic Road branch of ACF Car Finance Limited for the past six years, gave up her comfortable bed and warm duvet to take part in the sleep-over event held in the grounds of St Mark’s Church in Mansfield. She then returned to work on the Saturday morning, after a not so good night’s sleep.

All money raised from the event will now be donated to Framework to help provide housing, support and training services to vulnerable and homeless people throughout Nottinghamshire. So far the fundraising has totalled over £9,000, already beating last year’s total by almost £2,000.

Sharon, who also took part in the event last year, commented: “I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me for taking part in the Framework sleep-over event, including my employer ACF Car Finance who donated £100. My colleagues have been incredibly supportive!

“Whilst it was bitterly cold on Friday night it was great to get the opportunity to do something for such a worthy cause. Sleeping under the stars for one night was challenging but it is nothing when you think about the many people who have to sleep rough everyday. I hope that our help can make a difference to the lives of others by raising awareness of this charity and raising such much-needed funds.”

Framework currently helps provide support to rough sleepers, substance misusers, people experiencing mental health difficulties, vulnerable women, young people, care leavers, older homeless people and people at risk of losing their home. Framework is funded through local authority grants, local trusts and foundations and public donations.

To donate to Framework visit their page at

CAPTION: Sharon Leung – Sleeping rough for a worthwhile cause.

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$30,000 Valentine Gift For Charities, Nonprofits and Fundraisers

In a big-hearted gesture before Valentine’s Day, a popular snack maker announced today it would double its original funding amount and pump an additional $30,000 into its online contest to give more charities the opportunity to share a total of $60,000 in prize money for their good works.

Snack Alliance Inc., (SAI) the maker of riceworks® Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps, agreed to add an extra $30,000 in prize funding for “Show Us Your Goodness,” a social campaign that invites consumers to nominate and vote online for the charitable program they believe has gone the extra mile to “serve the greater good.”

“We’re delighted to double the prize money because of the overwhelming positive response to the program,” says Tricia Ryan, Director of Marketing for riceworks®. “The extra funding will allow us to have a Sponsor’s Choice Award and distribute checks of $1,000. to an additional 30 charitable organizations, split equally between Canada and the United States.”

“The hard part, of course, is for the judges and program sponsor to decide on exactly which of the hundreds of nominated charities to award the prizes.”

Nominate A Charity That Inspires
In less than eight weeks, more than 1300 nominations for inspiring charitable projects have been received. Submissions are due by February 28, 2010, at which time a panel of judges will select thirty-three (33) finalists to be considered for $60,000 in support funds during the final round of voting. The top three finalists will win $20,000, and $5,000 each, while the remaining 30 winning nominations will share $1,000. each as part of a Sponsor’s Choice Award.

One charity that has been nominated and highlighted on the “Show Us Your Goodness” website is the Rett Syndrome Research Trust, a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization whose goal is to help those suffering f r o m Rett Syndrome, the most physically disabling of autism disorders.

“This program gives lesser-known charities like ours a great way to gain media attention for our cause,” says Syndi Knowlton, a volunteer mother with a young daughter who has Rett Syndrome.

Syndi, who nominated her organization, describes Rett Syndrome, which primarily affects young girls: “It’s combination of symptoms that include autism, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and anxiety disorders…all in one little girl. I thank riceworks® for giving us the opportunity to spread the word and tell our story and help make a difference.”

Spread the Love: More Funding, More Charities Helped For Ms. Ryan, the unexpected flood of submissions compelled her to seek more ways to distribute the charity funding.

“The very generous management team at Snack Alliance supports the program and instantaneously approved my request to release more funds to this worthwhile cause. We see this program making a difference in the lives of humans and the environment. This includes helping the many animal shelter causes that have been nominated because those who run these programs need help too.”

Contest details are available at

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Medicine in Need (MEND) Receives $3 Million Grant From The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation

MEND is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a new grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore and apply a set of formulation technologies to allow a live attenuated malaria vaccine candidate to be manufactured, transported, and stored by significantly less complex and less costly means than it currently requires. In addition, progress on this project should have, by extension, beneficial implications to the broad and growing field of live vaccine research and development.

Medicine in Need (MEND) Receives $3 Million Grant From The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation

At this time, one of the most promising candidates in the malaria vaccine pipeline (developed by Sanaria Inc.) is composed of attenuated, purified, cryopreservedPlasmodium falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ). Attenuated PfSPZ have been demonstrated to protect greater than 90% of individuals for at least 10 months without additional immunization when administered by mosquito bite. Currently the Sanaria TM PfSPZ Vaccine is stabilized by cryopreservation at temperatures below -140°C. MEND is working with Sanaria to find alternative approaches to product thermostabilization, an important consideration as clinical trials of the vaccine progress.

Sanaria has been highly successful in the creation of a robust and reproducible manufacturing process that meets regulatory requirements of the FDA, and the PfSPZ Vaccine has entered Phase I clinical testing. Additional clinical trials are planned, with the ultimate goal of future commercial availability of the vaccine to prevent the hundreds of millions of cases and one million deaths caused by malaria annually.

About Malaria:
Malaria is a parasitic disease that claims the lives of nearly 3,000 Africans each day – the vast majority are children under age 5. African governments spend an estimated 40 percent of healthcare budgets on malaria control efforts aimed at education, prevention and treatment. Along with the cost of healthcare, an estimated $12 billion in productivity and resources are lost annually due to malaria. The greater than 250 million people who become sick with the symptoms of fever and headache aren’t able to go to work or school, and healthy family members are forced to leave work to care for their ill relatives. While drug therapy, when properly administered is generally very effective, resistance to the current front line antimalarial artemesinin has recently been found in Western Cambodia, and introduces further cause for concern.

About Medicine in Need (MEND):
MEND is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization devoted to the successful development and manufacture of affordable and effective vaccines and drugs for diseases of poverty with characteristics that allow their widespread use and sustainability.

We accomplish our mission by applying appropriate advanced technologies (either those we have in-house or sourced from an external network) to a candidate’s basic formulation, manufacturing process, and/or route of administration.

MEND has offices and laboratories in Pretoria, South Africa, Paris, France, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Our pipeline consists of several partnered or individual product candidates encompassing vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for a wide range of infectious diseases endemic to the developing world.

About Sanaria Inc:
Sanaria Inc. was founded in 2003. The company’s primary mission is to develop and commercialize attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccines that confer high-level, long-lasting protection against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite responsible for most of the malaria associated severe illness and death worldwide. Sanaria’s corporate headquarters, administrative, research, development, and manufacturing operations are located in Rockville, Maryland. The company’s Web site is

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SumoKids Foundation Will Help Teenagers Apply for Acting Roles in New ABC Family TV Series

The SumoKids Foundation will assist Buffalo teenagers in producing 3-minute personality videos to submit for acting roles in a new ABC Family TV series. The TV series is based on the popular teen novel, “Huge,” by Sasha Paley. This is a funny, emotional series about learning to accept yourself – no matter what your size. The SumoKids Foundation is a Buffalo-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit serving Western New York.

SumoKids Foundation Will Help Teenagers Apply for Acting Roles in New ABC Family TV Series

The SumoKids program teaches children and teenagers valuable life skills and morals in an environment that is entertaining, physically challenging, and educational. Important components include teaching respect for others, and how to solve conflicts in a non-violent manner. The SumoKids program serves all children and teenagers, including handicapped children, and regardless of weight or other circumstances.

ABC Family TV is casting roles for a new scripted TV series. Casting is open to actors and non-actors or newcomers. ABC Family TV seeks talented plus-sized teenagers to play 15 – 16 year-olds. Applicants may be older but must be believable as 15 – 16 year-olds.

Paul McAfee, a member of the SumoKids Foundation Board of Directors, will be at two Buffalo locations to create the 3-minute personality videos, and to collect the required release forms. There is no cost to applicants. Mr. McAfee then will submit these videos and release forms to ABC Family TV.

Teenagers, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian if they are under 18-years-old, can come to one of these two locations to complete their release forms and have their videos created:

1. Belle Center, on Thursday, February 11, from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm, at 104 Maryland Street, in Buffalo.
2. Broadway Market, on Saturday, February 13, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, at 999 Broadway, in Buffalo.

What to prepare:
From ABC Family TV to its applicants:
“Your tape should be all about YOU—what makes you unique and what makes you, YOU. You should be sure to state your name, age, and hometown on the video, but the rest is up to you. Tell us a funny or touching story about yourself, describe your most interesting moment, highlight what makes you stand out against a crowd, etc. The most important thing is to be yourself and let your true personality shine through.”

Who can apply?
From ABC Family TV to its applicants:
“We are accepting tapes from plus sized actors and non-actor/newcomers aged 14-24 to play high school aged characters. Talent can come from anywhere in the United States. Actors must be believable as 15-16 year olds. For more information, please check out the storyline and character descriptions on our website. If you are under 18, please make sure to have a parent or guardian sign your release.”

About The SumoKids Foundation
Charles Bray, the creator of the non-profit SumoKids Foundation, teaches children the tenets of Sumo wrestling at schools and community centers in Buffalo, New York. Sumo wrestling is a Japanese form of wrestling in which a fighter loses if forced from the ring or if any part of his body except the soles of his feet touches the ground.

In 2005, Mr. Bray incorporated the SumoKids Foundation as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Since then, he has offered free after-school Sumo programs to schools and community centers in Buffalo, NY. The response, from the participating children, their parents, and their teachers, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Visit for more information about the SumoKids Foundation and its programs.

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