Great Strides 2007
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VLI Meeting Ignites Volunteer Recruitment Efforts

At the Georgia Chapter’s Wine & Roses Gala, Dave and Martie Jones were excited to join next year’s committee after speaking to 2007 committee member Debra Selinger and VLI leader Kate Boccia.

“When people come to me with a good idea, we SEIZE the opportunity to put it into action,” Oregon Chapter volunteer Harvey Platt told the packed house of more than 250 volunteers who gathered at the annual volunteer leadership meeting last spring.

Throughout the weekend, Platt and other chapter volunteers, leaders and staff traded dozens of tips on how to recruit new volunteers and retain current ones, as well as ways to strengthen GREAT STRIDES walks, CureFinders® programs and dinner dances. Each volunteer went home inspired by the success stories they heard, and many created plans to immediately implement the new strategies at their chapter.

For the Greater Illinois Chapter – Chicago Office, the take-away was as simple as three words: renew, rejuvenate, activate. Chicago Board President Chris Walsh and VLI Chair Tim Fallon returned to their chapter ready to focus on retaining volunteers and re-engaging former ones.

In particular, to improve volunteer relationships at their chapter, Walsh and Fallon invited every volunteer from the past four years to a town hall-style meeting. “We discussed how much money we’ve raised so far and how that translated into research,” said Walsh. “We also spoke about our priorities and then opened up the floor to everyone to discuss how we could best achieve our goals.”

Inspired by the lively discussion, many became reinvested in the CF cause. “Even if we didn’t get all of the old volunteers back, we learned from them so that we wouldn’t make the same mistakes in the future,” Walsh noted. The meeting was a success, with many former volunteers rejoining the effort and others signing up for upcoming events. New volunteer Amber Gitter was so excited about the possibility of having a Breath of Life gala in Chicago that she offered to chair the event. Since the meeting, the gala has gone from being an idea to securing $115,000 in sponsorships.

From Georgia, VLI leaders Kate Boccia and Jon Baker learned at the VLI meeting the importance of “striking while the iron is hot”—meaning that the best approach to recruiting new event committee members was to engage people while they were still excited about the event. Boccia and Baker met with Dan and Donna Stewart, co-chairs of the Wine & Roses Gala, to develop a list of 2007 attendees who had the potential to be great committee members for next year’s event. During the gala, each VLI committee member spoke to one guest about their vision for the gala’s future and ways they could help. By the end of the evening, four new committee members signed on for the 2008 gala.

Whether in research laboratories or out in the fund-raising field, the CF Foundation’s model of collaborative work has enhanced its mission to find a cure. With a new set of tools in hand following the VLI meeting, chapters have brought more volunteers to the effort, each working to expand the Foundation’s reach and raise critical funds for research.

2006-07 Leadership Council (by chapter)

Amy and Peter Barry
Co-Chairs, Carolinas - Charlotte
Barbara Garganta
Arizona - Phoenix
John and Claire Fenner
Carolinas - Charlotte
Gwen and Rodger Murphy
Central Pennsylvania
Steve and Debi Pelican
Colorado - Pikes Peak
Don and Chery Wick
Colorado - Denver
Tim and Deb Lenihan
Kevin and Kim Galie
Delaware Valley
Jim McCarthy
North Florida - Jacksonville
Joseph Scott
Florida - South Florida
Cindy Lenox
Gateway (Eastern Missouri)
Kate Boccia
Timothy and Tricia Berger
Greater New Jersey
Margarete and Marc Cassalina
Greater New York - Westchester
Ken Selzer
Heart of America (Kansas and Western Missouri)
Matt Harnish
Michael Johansen
Joel and Kimberly Myerson
Massachusetts/Rhode Island
Bernie Willett
Massachusetts/Rhode Island

Don Wood
Metropolitan Washington, DC
Janie and Craig Norby
Kevin O'Malley
Gordon and Susan Harriman
Northeast Texas - Dallas
Michael Thomson
Northeast Texas - Ft. Worth
David and Bonita Bedard
Northern New England
John Coleman
Beth Baskin
Rainbow (Ohio)
Robin Znidarsic
Rainbow (Ohio)
Chris Meacham
San Diego and Imperial Counties
Maxine and Ralph Harvey
Sooner - Oklahoma City
Hubert Yarborough
South Carolina
Gordy Kanofsky
Southern California - LA
Katherine and Steve Cance
Southern California - South Bay
Art Ensley
Texas Gulf Coast
Alissa Carloss
Tennessee - Memphis
Angela Lynn
Tennessee - Nashville
Chuck and Holly Thornton

Mark Your Calendars Now for Great Strides 2007

Save the date, spread the word, start brainstorming... It's time to think GREAT STRIDES 2008!

Mark the weekend of May 17-18, 2008 on your calendars today. It's not too early to begin thinking about new ways to rev up your GREAT STRIDES events and ensure that 2008 is another record-breaking year for fund-raising on behalf of CF research.

Thank You

The CF Foundation is proud to thank all who participated in GREAT STRIDES 2007. Your tremendous efforts take us closer to a cure. Special thanks to Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines® and National Corporate Partners Novartis, Gilead Sciences, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Airgas Puritan Medical and Foresters for their support.