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One way or another

With fundraisers canceled, Peace turns to online auction to help nonprofits

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Jordan Mott, assistant manager at The Wellness Project, left, and Colleen Peace, owner, pose with items that will go up for a special auction on June 1. The online auction will be conducted through Facebook. All proceeds will benefit two nonprofits, The Gene Giraffe Project and Train to Inspire.

When Colleen Peace, owner of The Wellness Project, realized that many annual fundraisers for nonprofits wouldn’t be happening this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she wanted to do something about it.

“We want to do something positive and help the community do something good,” said Peace, whose business focuses on physical fitness and the mental well being of its members. “We can sit here and complain about our situation or do something to improve it. And everyone can join in.”

So for the past several weeks, Peace has been collecting a variety of items, including gift baskets, stuffed animals and signed memorabilia in preparation for an online auction.

The 24-hour online auction will be conducted through Facebook. It will begin Monday at 10 a.m. and end on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

All of the proceeds will go toward two nonprofits whose goal is to help individuals and families with specialized needs.

The proceeds will go to the Gene Giraffe Project and Train to Inspire.

“Both organizations provide much-needed hope to families and individuals with specialized needs,” Peace said.

Peace is a board member for the Gene Giraffe Project. The Gene Giraffe Project, founded by Doug Passow, raises awareness for children with rare diseases.

Since it was founded, the nonprofit has provided care packages and funding for families in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. In addition to toys and hair bows, it puts together care packages of whatever a family might need.

The goal of Train to Inspire is to help people with disabilities get the same opportunities and life experiences others have access to. It was founded by Joe Hogan.

Rock climbing, taekwondo, Nerf gun battles, biking and its annual accessible obstacle course, are some of the opportunities created through Train to Inspire.

Peace said those missions are important to her and is hoping the auction will inject some monetary support for those organizations.

She said going online and social media lately has been a source of negativity in her life, and she wants to turn that around.

“Everything is so negative and feeling sorry for ourselves all the time,” Peace said. “And I’m sick of it. We want to do something positive.”

The Wellness Project is still looking for donations of items and services to post for bid.

A two-hour show by Brutal Republic, $100 toward a tattoo at Voltage Ink, 12 weeks of online programming through the Des Moines Barbell Club and a three-course meal and drinks with Troy Schroeder and Keenan Schuur, are among the items up for bid.

Peace said people can donate a gift basket, services or products for the auction. Cash donations are also accepted.

To donate or for more information contact The Wellness Project Facebook page, via phone at 515-269-7400 or through email at wellnessprojectfd @gmail.com.

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