When Jacqueline Rael, the office manager at Active Lifestyle Chiropractic, heard about misfortune that happened to a charity that does so much good for children, she knew United Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Arizona would be a perfect group to benefit during their office's Patient Appreciation Day.

They had already planned to allow patients to come in for a visit on the week of Tuesday, Nov. 1, for just a $5 donation or a donation of five canned food items. Now all they needed was a good charity for the donations to go toward.

"When I was researching charities, I found an article that said someone had claimed they were doing a charity event for the organization and once the money was raised they skipped town on them," Rael said. "When I looked, this charity really does a lot for handicapped children and children in the community."

Rael knows how valuable charities like this can be. She grew up with a brother who was born with no legs. Her mother had to fight to get him into public schools.

Seeing all that UCP does, from providing iPads to students to even clothes or braces, it was a cause close to her heart and one she was excited to support.

In just four weeks the office made all the arrangements.

I followed Rael around for a short time Tuesday morning as she laid out food, which had been donated or given at a discount rate by Frys.

She then set up a silent auction table with prizes from The Bar Fitness, Foothills Pet Resort, Creative Edge Photography, Chromium Dreams LLC., Spinatos, Jason's Deli and Jamba Juice.

It was amazing to me to see how many donations this small office had been able to gather from local businesses. Rael said she was surprised by the businesses that wouldn't give her the time of day, but she was also surprised by the amount of donations she got from those who would.

The goal was to raise $5,000 for UCP during the week. Two chiropractors at the office had more than 90 appointments scheduled for Tuesday but the office offered donation-only appointments for new clients on Thursday in hopes of raising more funds. The silent auction is scheduled to continue through Friday.

At the end of the day Tuesday the group had raised about $600 worth of canned food and $300 for UCP.

Dr. Jennifer Winton, a chiropractor at the office, said she was just excited to give back.

"This is a Christian office so our focus is to try and help our community as much as we can as well as be a strong business," Winton said. "We want to serve not only our patients but we want to give back."

There's still a chance for the community to help raise money for this worthy cause. The office, located at 16515 S. 40th Street, Suite 129, will continue their silent auction through the day on Friday, Nov. 4. Or you can visit ucp.org and click "Get Involved."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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