This week we celebrate Thanksgiving and I am reflecting on the past year. I have much to be thankful for and I want you to know how personally grateful I am to all of you for your investment in time and donations and to the amazing team we have at The Friendship Club. Today, I would like to thank our incredible board of directors; a dedicated group of volunteers who believe in our girls, our mission, and our community. Every nonprofit organization relies on their board of directors to provide necessary oversight and due diligence, to secure resources to ensure the organization thrives, and to share their expertise, connections, and ideas to move the organization forward in service to community. But more than that, a board of directors is the heart of the organization, keeping mission at the center of our plans and goals, keeping the community benefit at the forefront of our work, and providing the moral and emotional support to the organizational leadership so that the organization can thrive. Average turnover for an Executive Director in the nonprofit sector is 18 months – this is a challenging role with competing demands, stressors, and a changing landscape of financial resources in the face of ever increasing needs. A healthy organization needs at its helm a committed team to face these challenges together; a team that is not afraid to roll up their sleeves and do the work, a team that is encouraged to share their ideas and move the organization forward. I feel grateful that The Friendship Club Board of Directors is exactly this combination. The perfect mix of expertise and heart. They are people who do not move ahead without thought, but who move ahead nonetheless. They are people who love and support our girls, who are personally connected to them, believe in them, and are always thinking, how better can we serve them. To Marty Lombardi, Lauren Stowe, Nanci Mason, David Jones, Machen MacDonald, Jamie Hogenson, Erin Sullivan, Cristine Kelly, Jacquelyn Chavez, and newest member Alex Gammelgard, I say thank you for your service and thank you for your support. Together we have built an incredible team.
Together we all thank YOU, our incredible community, for your continued support of our girls. You have made our Full Circle year possible. We are reaping the benefit of seeds that were sown long ago when we met Tiffany, Chelsy, Jessica, and Cassie and welcomed them into The Friendship Club. They thrived in our program as participants and are back now to influence and encourage the next generation as staff members. This could not have happened before 2016 and it is how we will move into the future. Thank you for the role you have played in investing in these young women. Please enjoy a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.