When it comes to charitable events, the staff in Research Services has fund-raising down to a science. The equation is simple: appetizing treats + good cause = large revenues.

Research Services has used the formula to sell lunches and raise thousands of dollars for events such as the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the March of Dimes and the Epilepsy Foundation’s Stroll for Epilepsy.

This year, however, several of their usual lunches are going to a new cause, a cause a lot closer to home.  At least once a week from the middle of January through the middle of March, the fund-raising lunches are benefiting the family of Cathy Sainz, a UTMB pre-award specialist whose husband was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer

“They are a very caring group and I am really proud to be a part of Research Services,” said Sainz. “Words cannot express how very thankful I am for each and every one of them and how they have come to my family’s side in this trying time.”

Employees volunteer to prepare tasty meals paired with homemade desserts and sell the package for a small donation. By the end of one lunch hour, the group raised between $200 to $300. After a couple of weeks, the dollars start to add up.

 “No one wanted to see a friend and colleague worry about paying medical bills and a mortgage when you are down an income, in addition to the worry associated with raising a young child and caring for a husband with cancer,” said Kelly Lee, research operations manager who supervises the pre-award work group. “Cathy is a member of our family and we take our commitment to each other seriously in Research Services. This was an easy, yet beneficial, way we could offer our support and help.”

For Valentine’s Day, the Research Services family pulled together and baked dozens of sweets for a special bake sale. They also brought in items to make three gift baskets that were raffled as part of the sale.

The lunches will continue through spring, benefiting both the Sainz family as well as Relay for Life.

“Employees are more than willing to spend a few extra dollars on a lunch they know is going to a good cause,” said Susie Sword, administrative operations manager for Research Services. “The generosity of the people in this department is tremendous. And the good they do by simply choosing to buy a special lunch is priceless.”