Tom and Laurie Antonellis
(Photo: Laurie Antonellis)
Tom and Laurie Antonellis are among EGPAF's strongest supporters. They are seasoned veterans of AIDS Walk Africa
and have raised tens of thousands of dollars for EGPAF through that event.
However, they are always looking to do more. On December 9, 2008, they arranged to make EGPAF a beneficiary of “5% Day” at their local Whole Foods Market in Wayland, Massachusetts. Thanks to Tom and Laurie’s efforts, the Wayland Whole Foods donated 5 percent of their net sales from that day — about $2,700 — to EGPAF’s lifesaving programs.
“We sent e-mail blasts to the groups we are involved with — like parent groups, school groups, and business connections — encouraging them to shop at Whole Foods that day,” Laurie says. Laurie and Tom also manned a table in the store with information about EGPAF.
“Many people stopped to ask about what we were doing and what kind of help EGPAF gives. One woman remembered Elizabeth Glaser from her 1992 Democratic Convention speech, and we talked for a while about her involvement with children’s health,” says Laurie. “Another man said in a surprised voice, ‘Babies? How do babies get something like HIV?’” Laurie gave him a brief description of mother-to-child transmission and explained what EGPAF is doing to prevent it.
Tom and Laurie are invaluable to EGPAF because they work at the grassroots level, spreading the word about EGPAF’s work one person at a time. What motivates them?
“We appreciate what we have and we feel our involvement in something bigger than us, like EGPAF and other nonprofits, enriches our lives and the lives of others,” Laurie explains. “Every person in this world deserves an opportunity for a healthy, happy lifetime.”