Benefits of Volunteering
It was our great pleasure to recognize some of our most committed volunteers in May at our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. We had several award recipients:
Young Volunteer of the Year:
An excerpt from her recognition:
“Agreeing to volunteer at this event, this young lady signed up for more than she anticipated, we think. Assisting with mixing spices and even washing dishes, which Adella said she felt really bad about asking her to do, she demonstrated enthusiasm and caring throughout the entire program.
A few weeks later, Adella again received another email saying:
‘Hi, I was just wondering when I could volunteer again. I had a lot of fun last time!'”
Be the change you wish to see in this world,
Lauren. We are honored you’ve chosen CURE to volunteer with.
CURE Dedicated Family of the Year:
The Patterson Family
An excerpt from their recognition:
“We remember meeting the Patterson’s as a new family, navigating the news of a recent diagnosis of Childhood Cancer in their family. They could have kept to themselves and gone through treatment and moved on, but that’s just not them. The first year, they enchanted our Holiday Party by bringing bells that the children could use to recreate our favorite holiday classics.
From helping CURE get ready for the holidays, writing thank you cards and always being available to help when the need arises, the Patterson’s have given back to CURE in so many ways.”
We so appreciate the Patterson Family for all their do for CURE!
Outstanding Community Partner:
The Race With Grace Planning Committee
An excerpt from their recognition:
“External fundraisers are put together by friends in the community in their free time. Amazing, right? With the craziness that life entails, it is amazing that incredible, generous people in our community take their time to put together events to benefit our families. We have been blessed to meet some friends who have spent many Thanksgivings running (both literally and figuratively) an event to raise money for local charities. CURE has been the humble recipient of funds raised through this event since 2011. That’s right – a total of over $50,000 has been donated to CURE by our friends. This event has been running for nearly 30 years – almost as long as we have been in existence. A core group of people have poured themselves into planning and executing this event, gathering support from a thousand people at a time. Planning an event of this caliber is not something that is done overnight. The group starts meeting in February to plan for the upcoming race in November.”
While we were definitely missing Steve, former race director, who suddenly passed away just before the event, we were humbled to be able to present the award to Bob Dyjak. Bob has been involved with the race since the beginning and we are so appreciative of his and his colleagues’ efforts.
Outstanding Strong Partner:
Jennifer Schaefer, Child Life Specialist
Child Life Specialists work with children and families in hospital settings in the developmental impact of hospitalization, injury and illness to help them cope with the challenges. They provide children with age appropriate preparation for medical procedures, coping strategies and pain management, along with providing support and information to parents and siblings. Child life specialists are trained in the cognitive, emotional and physical development of children and seek to provide an environment for a child that has the least damaging impact on their development during a hospital stay.
Child Life Specialist Jennifer Schaeffer is an outstanding example of all that embodies this profession. She is caring and kind and seeks to help a child and their family cope with the devastating diagnoses our families face. She has worked as a child life specialist for 20 years and the kids just adore her! She is also a huge supporter of CURE and the work of the parent advocate, often working to come up with strategies of helping the parent as well as the patient. She partners with the parent advocate in advocating for services as well as strategies in making sure the family is cared for in the best possible way.
We are so honored to continue our work with Jen at Golisano Children’s Hospital and are pleased to award her the CURE Strong Partner of the Year Award
Rookie of the Year:
Joe DiFabio, Board member
An excerpt from his recognition:
“Since the very first day this person became involved with CURE, a helping hand was offered. From simple things like picking up auction items or donations to more involved tasks like soliciting donations and introducing us to local businesspeople; this person has been ready and willing to do it all. Just a month and a half after becoming involved with our organization, this person was at the 5k, volunteering in one of the more undesirable positions. The golf tournament, the Brunch, the Tacky Sweater Event, Trivia Night, the 5k again….this person is everywhere. Did I mention Park Ave Fest? Hustling. Meeting with people. Telling people about the important mission of CURE. Spreading the word. Why? Not because of the return he would be getting himself, which is virtually nothing, but because of who he is. He believes in CURE, our mission and helping families.”
Thank you, Joe, for hitting the pavement for CURE and helping us to provide such important services to our families.
John and Judi Sturge Committed Volunteer Award:
An excerpt from her recognition:
“Losing a child can break you. It can make you feel like giving up or moving completely away from the world of illness. But this volunteer chose to use her experience to help others who endure this unimaginable loss. Losing a child can destroy you. It can cause you to go down a path of darkness and despair. But this volunteer chose to connect with other parents who have experienced loss. She co-facilitated bereavement group in an effort to help ease the pain parents were feeling. She wanted our bereaved parents to know they were not alone, sadly. This club, this bereaved parents club, is not a club people want to join but it is a “club” that our parents can feel more comfortable sharing their grief in because of the actions of this volunteer. Every year, the day that these sweet souls breathed their last breath on earth can be a very difficult day. This volunteer, however, is following in the spirit of John and Judi Sturge and letting parents know we are thinking about them and they are not alone in their grief. They receive angelversary cards, lovingly put together by this wonderful volunteer.”
We are so incredibly thankful for our friend Joan, who lovingly helps to care for our CURE families.