The last few months have been a deeply uncertain time, but it’s been especially tough on the non-profits and arts organizations that rely on business support. That’s why FNT remains committed to raising awareness for these important groups that bring so much hope and joy to our communities. This month, we’d like to share stories from two organizations we’re proud to support and to invite you to contribute any way you can.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
When real estate agent Katie Crawford was nominated to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year Award — a philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research — she anticipated several intense months of fundraising and outreach.
Then the pandemic hit.
“The campaign has looked a lot different than we expected it to,” she says. “But it’s amazing to see the generosity through all of this — the friends and family and local businesses who are still willing to donate even when their own personal finances have been a little unsure.”
Crawford put together a team of enthusiastic volunteers, including FNT’s own Tammie Knobloch, to help her reach her fundraising goal. Crawford is participating in honor of her grandmother, who died of lymphoma when Crawford was a child.
“Everyone has a personal connection to cancer,” she says.
Even though the Man and Woman of the Year will end with an online event on June 27 instead of its traditional black-tie gala, LLS Area Director Lauren Olsen says that reaction from supporters has been positive.
“The work needs to happen regardless,” she says. “People are being diagnosed every day and dying every day.”
Through her nomination, Crawford has had the opportunity to meet the LLS Boy and Girl of the Year: 3-year-old Bruce, who is currently undergoing treatment, and 8-year-old Lily, who is in remission. Lily’s mom gave Crawford an a-ha moment.
“What we’re experiencing now with this pandemic is what cancer patients experience all the time — the quarantining, masks, not being able to play on a playground,” Crawford says. “That’s why the money raised during this fundraiser, which will go to LLS’s Pediatric Initiative, is so important.”
HOW TO HELP
You can support Crawford here, make a donation on the LLS website, bid in the local online auction (FNT has donated a trip to Seattle!), or bid on big-ticket items and experiences through Charitybuzz. Everyone is invited to attend the virtual Man and Woman of the Year gala at 6 p.m. June 27.
Idaho Shakespeare Festival
The Idaho Shakespeare Festival has been a summer mainstay since the 1970s. But this year, the festival had to cancel its first two performances of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managing Director Mark Hofflund says that the festival is still playing the season by ear and keeping health and safety top of mind, but “we’ll do our very best to keep our options open until it’s no longer possible.”
If Idaho’s reopening goes well, socially distanced audiences could be enjoying “Henry V” at ISF’s picturesque outdoor amphitheater by June 28.
“Patience is an incredible asset for everyone to have,” Hofflund says. “And patience only means setting aside immediate expectations and supporting the process going forward in ways we don’t necessarily anticipate yet. That’s the greatest gift anyone can give us — patience.”
Even as it faces the loss of income from two performances, ISF is doing what it can to help the community. They sent their stockpile of N-95 masks, which were purchased during a bad fire season a few years ago, to a clinic that was in desperate need of personal protective equipment.
“We all have to be aware and listen,” Hofflund says. “We need to give our financial support and our time.”
HOW TO HELP
Are you planning on supporting either of these great organizations? If so, let us know in the comments!