On Sunday, January 29th Rein in Sarcoma hosted our largest Winter Gathering to date. Over 100 people were entertained and inspired to live our best lives even after a sarcoma diagnosis. We were inspired to create joy out of trials, to appreciate the small things, and to laugh and smile whenever possible.
The afternoon began with Rein in Sarcoma President Pete Wyckoff giving the audience an introduction to Rein in Sarcoma. Wyckoff spoke about who we serve and what we do as a Foundation. He touched on how we support patients, how we help sarcoma scholars, and how we fund research for sarcoma treatments. He encouraged guests to get involved with Rein in Sarcoma as everyone has talents they can offer. You can read more about our volunteer opportunities here.
Next, 2017 Party in the Park Chair Chelsey Olafson gave a compelling talk encouraging guests to sign up to volunteer at our largest event this summer. Party in the Park will be held on Monday, July 24th. Olafson touched on many of the volunteer opportunities available, while adding that this is a highly entertaining, family-friendly event which will be open to the general public.
The afternoon continued to be highly engaging and entertaining when local comedian Tim Gabrielson performed live magic tricks and invited two audience members to perform with him. One of his tricks with audience participation and numbers left us all amazed and perplexed. Gabrielson made us laugh at several jokes, including his joke that animal crackers were made for vegetarians. Throughout his presentation Gabrielson encouraged us to smile more often and be warm and engaging to others to make the world a better place. He had a compelling message that if we choose to have a positive outlook we are likely to be happier. At the close of the event Gabrielson was gracious in meeting with audience members and autographing copies of his book, Lemons to Laughter.
A day after a highly successful Winter Gathering, the RIS Board met for its annual meeting which closed out a very successful 2016 and initiated major plans for this year.
Tom Dougherty reported that the organization grew by almost 30% in 2016 furthering our mission and allowing us to make significant strategic decisions for 2017. The Board approved $125,000 in new Sarcoma research grants at the University of Minnesota that will soon be made public. Funding of the RIS Sarcoma Scholars at both at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Medical Schools was recommitted for the 2017-2018 academic year. In addition, the Board approved a second 2017 Research Funding grant round for later this year that will focus on additional research institutions.
The Board thanked Katie Dusenbery, MD for being a charter Board member having served on the Board and providing key leadership since RIS was created in 2001. Five new members joined our Board and two are continuing for an additional three-year term (related article).
Talent and Resources Committee made a recommendation to move ahead with the hiring of a RIS Executive Director, which was approved by the Board and will most likely take place during the second quarter of this year.
Chelsey Olafson, is a sarcoma survivor . She helms the RIS Facebook Page and serves on the Patient and Family Support and PR/Marketing Committees. Chelsey will also be chairing the 2017 Party in the Park.
Thomas McCarthy, is a CPA and MBA and a Accounting Policy and Research Consultant at Securian Financial Group. He received his MBA at the Carlson School of Management of the University of Minnesota. He will serve as the organization’s new treasurer.
Dr. Denis Clohisy, is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota and a member of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. Dr. Clohisy has been a longtime supporter of RIS.
Deb Cossette, Deb’s husband is a sarcoma survivor. Deb serves on the PR Committee as the Website Master, and she has become a Salesforce expert. Recently retired from 3M, Deb is incredibly organized and committed to RIS’ vision and goals. She will serve as Rein in Sarcoma’s Vice-President.
Ted Erickson, is Vice Chair at Holiday Companies and will serve on the RIS Development Committee. He currently is also a board member at PACER and the Minnesota Land Trust.
Renewing their leadership commitment to RIS for a second three-year term are Larry Seymour, MD and sarcoma survivor, Allan Swartz.
Thank you to all the Board members who serve RIS!