Still better together.
We were certainly “Better Together” again in 2022. We showed the world what we’re about behind the scenes and “Beyond the Mask.” We weathered many storms, losses and most certainly heartaches this past year. Despite what we encountered and endured; we had the BEST YEAR in the history of Project Pink’d. Like our founder we “fought like a girl.” What a remarkable organization and community that supports us!
When speaking of success, I’m not speaking simply of revenue from sponsorships, grants and donations – which by the way, was the largest gross revenue in our history topping nearly $900,000 – but most importantly it was our biggest year of survivor impacts, with lives touched exceeding 10,800. (Let that soak in for a minute.) In addition, over 400 Helping Hand grants totaling over $250,000 were awarded. Nearly 1,900 Healing Hearts kits were assembled and distributed to our survivor community. 250 Thanksgiving meals were delivered by 100 volunteers and over 135 survivors joined us for our in-person Care to Share Thanksgiving event. Hundreds, no thousands, watched our Bold and Brave Conversation series addressing tough but important end of life topics. And we could go on.
We lost our founder, Cynthia Sturgeon, to the disease we fight together. She worked and fought to the end, willing herself to continue to impact the mission of Project Pink’d. She loved this community; she loved our mission and she the loved to help those on the journey she knew too well.
We found new champions of the mission to carry things forward. Times were extremely difficult for all directly involved in our operations. We stumbled a little but got to the finish line of the EXPOSED: It’s Personal Annual Benefit, then marched on to handle the fall events, all while wiping tears away from the passing of our founder and survivor and volunteer, Michelle Edmundson.
I will be ever grateful to all the volunteers and staff who made this year a success. Malinda Jepsen and Shawn McCarville were true leaders in shouldering new loads and responsibilities. This isn’t to diminish the contributions of all who participated, but these two put their lives on hold to ensure the success of our mission in 2022.
Among the highlights we need to acknowledge this year: We hit our benchmark goals of over 80% in community give-back and over 50% of program dollars spent on Helping Hand Grants; we received our first 6-figure grant from a family within our community who support our local mission, our gross revenue from the EXPOSED Annual Benefit set a new record exceeding $590,000, CHI Health agreed to be the Presenting Sponsor of our EXPOSED Annual Benefit for the 5th consecutive year, and we had over 460 volunteers put in over 6,300 hours of effort to help survivors thrive.
Looking forward we will be working to strengthen our leadership bench and trying new techniques with board members taking an even more active role in programming and operations. We plan to continue to re-establish more of our in-person programming, including Straight Talk and Chef’s Table.
The coming year appears challenging with inflation and work force/supply shortages impacting every organization and every family. It also seems that an explosion of breast cancer is happening and with that explosion the need for more of all types of physical, financial, and emotional support is evident.
Because of YOU, our wonderful sponsors, donors and volunteers, Project Pink’d will “Get To” help …From the moment of diagnosis through the end of life, providing tools resources and a strong network to strengthen and renew the mind, body, and spirit of breast cancer survivors in Nebraska and Western Iowa.
David Sturgeon | Project Pink'd President