Posts tagged “prevention

We Love Our Volunteers

By Elyse Sunshine, Board Member, David Cornfield Melanoma Fund

Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless ~Sherry Anderson 

volunteer photo


DCMF Board 2012
Every organization, especially a small grassroots charity like ours, knows it would be impossible to function without volunteers. In fact, the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund (the “DCMF”) started because a group of dedicated volunteers got together to ensure that David’s wish to take steps to ensure that no other family had to lose a loved one from melanoma was attained.  Now 10 years later, this exact same group of volunteers still sits at the helm of the DCMF.  In the world of charities and not-for-profits, that is quite an accomplishment (if we do say so ourselves)!  This is attributable not only to the love and respect we had for David and our desire to honour his legacy, but also because of the countless other volunteers who have helped us along our journey to save lives from melanoma.

While it is impossible for us to acknowledge all of those incredible people by name (and some of them don’t like the limelight), in this National Volunteer Week, we want to celebrate the people who have supported us by generously giving their time over our first 10 years. image019

First, we have all the dynamic and dedicated committee members, both past and present, who have organized and run our events and fundraising activities such as David Batori, Ronit Schiff, Jeff Michaels, Andrea Siegel and Adam Perzow.  All our committee members have gone above and beyond for DCMF. Using his redheaded charm, Adam also acts as our lead volunteer fundraiser, securing significant corporate sponsorships and donations. We are extremely grateful for Adam’s commitment and dedication.

volThe DCMF would also not be complete without the numerous wonderful folks who step up to help us execute our events. * We have those in the “melanoma community” who have appeared in our videos and slideshows and shard their words and powerful images.  Your assistance set us on our journey and continues to motivate us day after day.  And then there are those remarkable people who work so hard, often physically hard, to assist us with all of our activities.  From setting up silent auction tables, to delivering pies, to handing out SPF lip balm by an icy ski image010mountain – we have been amazed at the unsung heroes who step up year after year after year to ensure that our events and awareness activities run smoothly and professionally.  Whatever their connection may be to the DCMF – be it David’s family or friends or colleagues, family or friends of a Board member, someone impacted by melanoma or just a kind “stranger,” these selfless souls are the light of our events. Their eagerness to help where needed and warm smiles are appreciated more than words can express.

image008We are also fortunate to have had the benefit of what I will call “professional” volunteers.  These are people who, by their profession or trade, have a skill that we need but cannot afford (or are fortunate not to have to pay for).  Over the years, we have had many such professionals, like Dana Fields and Andrea Goldstein, whose communications and PR expertise helped to ensure that our awareness campaigns and efforts received the outreach we were seeking. Then there are the people like Jason Mednick, Wade Makarus and his team and Jon Stancer/Parade Creative who made us look good through the development of our website, creating melanoma awareness pamphlets brochures, program logos and event invitations. And people like Elliott Sylman whose photos make us all look good and Cheryl Kaplan, who created beautiful artwork for our Sun Smart Kids program that reaches thousands upon thousands of pre-kindergarten kids and their parents. We have also had the benefit of volunteer medical advisors like Dr. Paul Cohen whose charm and charisma has helped us relay our messages on television and Dr. Ghazarian whose devotion to David started when he was his pathologist and who has been a guiding light in helping us determine goals and priorities for the melanoma community. We have people who have volunteered their time by providing advice, guidance and opportunities, like Ryan Brain and Marisa Caple.   We have also been privileged to receive volunteer legal advice, accounting advice and pretty much, every kind of advice that a charitable organization needs in order to function.

And then there is our behind the scenes volunteer administrative assistance. There is Gwen Razieli who diligently sends out our donation appreciation cards.  And we cannot forget those volunteers who come to the DCMF through the Board members’ “day jobs.” As busy professionals, our Board members have called again and again on our workplace assistants to also facilitate DCMF tasks.  They do so willingly, spending their lunch hours and breaks volunteering their time to make the DCMF happen. Michelle Bilboe, Laura Skotanis, Krysten Walker, Susan Coffin and Gray Picco, we adore your enthusiasm and the efforts you make to keep us on task!

While not technically a volunteer, we would be completely remiss if we didn’t acknowledge our phenomenal Executive Director, Danielle Paterson. We all know that in addition to her duties, she actually volunteers countless hours of her time and efforts (and her family’s as well) to keep the DCMF running as smoothly as it does and enable us to grow and execute our vision and dreams.  Danielle’s selflessness and devotion to the DCMF and our cause has been absolutely tremendous and we feel so lucky to have her on our team.

sydney-race-day-2016And finally, we have a different type of volunteer, but one whose importance cannot be underestimated. We thank all the people who lend their time, enthusiasm and energy by helping us get our awareness messages out to the public.  These are the people who run on the DCMF Team in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, encourage their kids to do school projects about the DCMF, watch our videos, share our social media posts, and show up when we ask them to. As has been said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”. Thanks to our volunteers, DCMF can continue to make BIG things happen.

So, here’s to all of the DCMF’s volunteers.  We thank you all for your commitment, enthusiasm and dedication over these past 10 years.  We look forward to your continued support as we move into this next era for the DCMF.  Without you, there truly would be no DCMF and we can honestly say that thanks to you, we are realizing David’s dream and we are saving lives from melanoma.

Happy National Volunteer Week!


*Just a few of our recent event volunteers include: Aimee, Alan, Bernadette, Carly, Cindy, Deborah, Ellen, Erin, Joe, Lisa, Marilyn, Julie, David, Lillian, Joel, Marc, Naomi, Mike, Michelle, Natalia, Rochelle, Shoshana, Tamara, Olga.

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