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The Power of Community Partnerships

By Harriet Schiftan, MSW, MAJCS, President & CEO

Last week, we held our final special event of the 2020 calendar year: The annual Gilda’s Club Golf Classic. As members of our team were packing up at the end of the day and recalling the many unique events-related challenges we’ve overcome this year (Hello, virtual Songwriters Night, virtual 5K, virtual Red Door Bash, and socially distanced golf tournament!), we couldn’t help but feel immense gratitude for the community partners that have helped us through it all. Through all of our “pivots,” and often while managing their own COVID-related business challenges, partners like Omni Nashville, Sir Speedy Printing, Sweet Little Mother, Gary Musick Productions, Burr & Forman, Innovative Business Products, Zander Insurance, Christie Cookie, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and East Nashville Beer Works have continued to show up for our cancer support program.

Beyond Gilda’s Club events, we’re also fortunate to have community partners that – again, despite their own business challenges – remain committed to helping us through their own creative and generous initiatives. We are thankful beyond measure for the support of partners like Kendra Scott and Nothing Bundt Cakes. And to the organizers of annual community events that raise awareness and money for our program, like the Nashville Half Marathon/Marathon/5K (aka RunNash) and the American Artisan Festival, who were forced to cancel this year: Thank you for the assurance that you’ll be back and ready to support Gilda’s Club again in the future.

What other community partners are helping us do what we do, even as this pandemic draws on? Our Program volunteer facilitators quickly come to mind. About six months ago, these individuals embraced a new way of serving the adults, children, and families that make up our cancer support community and help us deliver about 25 virtual activities each week. It makes me smile just thinking about it. Our Board of Directors, Associate Board, and various committees have also continued their efforts – never missing a beat – to ensure Gilda’s Club’s future.

I could go on and on, but instead, I will close with a heartfelt thank you and commitment to our community partners: Today and every day, we will deliver on our mission to the best of our abilities, so no one in our community has to face cancer alone. We will remain good (and grateful) stewards of all you share with us. And we will always be the best partners we can be, championing you and your business whenever and however we possibly can.