“CSCCNJ is a community of hope. And while being virtually connected is essential during these times, we felt it was important to be physically together this evening—even if it is a bit different than usual" Amy Sutton, CEO of CSCCNJ.
BEDMINSTER, N.J. (PRWEB) October 16, 2020
Cancer Support Community Central NJ (CSCCNJ), like most organizations, has been forced to face head-on the challenges created for non-profits by the COVID-19 health crisis. But the fear, stress, and anxiety that many feel during these uncertain times are what people with cancer and their loved ones experience all the time when faced with a cancer diagnosis. With a 51% increase in average program attendance in the first month of stay-at-home orders, CSCCNJ knows that that now, more than ever, their social and emotional support services are vital to the wellbeing of the community.
To raise the funds necessary to keep its vital programs available virtually, the committee planning CSCCNJ’s largest fundraiser of the year, Inspiring Hope, understood the importance of creating a successful experience for their benefactors. Knowing that traditional events held in ballrooms or banquet halls were not an option, and fearing there would be “Zoom fatigue,” the Inspiring Hope Committee used their creativity and grit to create an opportunity for people to physically come together and celebrate community in a safe, socially-distanced way.
On September 24, Inspiring Hope became Inspiring Hope Under the Stars, held on a fairway at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club, with guests in golf carts outfitted with boxed appetizers, entrees (a choice of lobster roll or sliced filet mignon sandwich) and dessert; beverages; and a goodie bag with hand sanitizers, face masks, glow sticks, and mosquito repellant wipes. From their golf cart, guests were treated to live music and a mission-focused program broadcast on a 40 ft. movie screen.
Inspiring Hope Under the Stars was unlike previous years—and guests were able to dress more casually than a traditional dinner event—but the focus on mission and celebrating the honorees of the Nancy and Marty Dowd Spirit of Hope Award was unchanged. “CSCCNJ is a community of hope. And while being virtually connected is essential during these times, we felt it was important to be physically together this evening—even if it is a bit different than usual—to honor two of our valued partners, the Jason P. Schaible Memorial Fund and Merck & Co. Inc.; who are making a tremendous impact, not only on our work, but on the lives of so many people affected by cancer in the community,” said Amy Sutton, CEO of CSCCNJ.
The event raised over $130,000 to enable CSCCNJ to continue providing emotional and social support services at no charge to people with cancer, survivors, loved ones, caregivers, and bereaved.
The Jason P. Schaible Memorial Fund is an organization rooted in community and created in memory of Jason Schaible, who lost his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on August 11, 2007. Throughout his lengthy battle with cancer, Jason never lost sight of the importance of friends, family, and the community. His message to all those who knew him was to always strive to be the best they can be by “Raising the Bar” every day. In partnership with the fund, CSCCNJ has provided non-medical financial, social, and emotional support to families impacted by a pediatric cancer diagnosis. One family who benefited from this partnership shared their cancer journey and presented the award to the fund’s founders, Dr. Vincent and Mrs. Karen Schaible.
Merck & Co., Inc. has been a crucial partner in CSCCNJ’s Multicultural Outreach Initiative, which is grounded in cultural humility, to educate and empower vulnerable populations before and during a cancer experience, allowing them to live fully through and beyond the diagnosis. During the pandemic lockdown, outreach to vulnerable populations has grown by 70% thanks in large part to the tireless work Hiral Shukla, a recently hired Public Health Coordinator, and the critical relationships with community organizations that she has developed. Thanks in part to Merck & Co.’s generosity, Shukla was added to the team.
Inspiring Hope Under the Stars was supported by Ambassador Sponsors: BD, JLL, and Merck; and Benefactor Sponsors: Carecycle, East West Connection, Eli Lilly and Company, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp, PwC, Regional Cancer Care Associates Central New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Health, Sanofi US, Schaible Russo Financial, Schaible’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc, and Taiho Oncology.
About Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey:
Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey (CSCCNJ) is a registered 501(c)(3). As experts in oncology mental health, the organization provides support, education, and hope to all people with cancer and their loved ones. Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes social and emotional support, CSCCNJ creates a caring community to help individuals live with, through and beyond cancer. At no charge to people with cancer, family members, and caregivers, the organization delivers essential programs and services including individual and group support; educational, nutrition, and healthy-cooking workshops; classes to enhance health and wellness; and activities that build social connections. CSCCNJ has temporarily moved its program of support to a virtual platform since the start of stay-at-home orders, and will continue to provide both virtual and in-person support in the future. For more information, visit their website at cancersupportcnj.org or call (908) 658-5400.