When a group of 10 women came together in 2011, they all knew what they shared in common: a deep appreciation for the care that either they or their loved ones received at Winship. They wanted to do something to raise awareness about Winship's research and patient care, help educate the public about cancer in general, raise funds for cancer research, and enhance the patient experience.
Now, more than 330 men and women make up the Friends of Winship, a network of Winship supporters, ambassadors, and volunteers. Over the past six years, the group has raised millions of dollars to support research through fundraising events including a gala and an annual fashion show. They work to enhance the experience of current patients and their families through events like free lemonade and King of Pop popsicle give-aways and special holiday treats.
"Our volunteers are passionate about Winship," says Marietta Petters, a founding member of Friends of Winship, "because most of them have been touched by cancer in some way."
Friends also hosts lunch-and-learns with doctors and researchers who share the latest information about cancer and treatment options.
"We feel knowledge is power," says Kathy Bowman, another founding member of Friends. "Winship gives people hope. You get so excited about what these doctors and researchers are discovering that lead to new ways to treat cancer. That inspires us."
Other founding members of Friends include Missy Craver, Dana Dabruzzi, Beth Jones, Sue Parker, Katherine Ohlhausen, Susan Simpson, Ann Viehman, and Leslie Wierman.
Friends is open to all who want to join. Dues are $50 per person and scholarships are available if needed. For more information about Friends, please contact Amanda Benedict at (404) 712-9632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Winship founding members Marietta Petters and Kathy Bowman.