As most of you know, a start-up business surviving beyond 5 years is a rare thing. Let alone growing and thriving. A non-profit foundation hitting that milestone is also a rare (and beautiful) thing!
More than five years ago, when I was asked by Jason Hicks to help start Chelsea Hicks Foundation by being a founding Board Member, I said “yes” without hesitating. I knew the family, had known Chelsea in her short life, and knew what passionate plans we all had for Chelsea’s Closet.
I probably wasn’t aware the work and risks that it would take – none of us in that first class of Directors had started a non-profit before. None of us knew how a Masquerade Ball Auction in the midst of a recession would turn out. None of us knew how to write by-laws.
But we believed so strongly in what we were doing, and what the Hicks’ vision was, that we soldiered on. Five years later, I couldn’t be more in awe of what CHF has accomplished. Still growing, still thriving, still with many more milestones and children to reach… Chelsea Hicks Foundation has been one of the most meaningful and profound ventures I have ever taken on.
The Masquerade Ball continues to grow and amaze every year, we have hundreds of volunteers who help CHF run like clock-work, we now have paid part-time staff, fundraisers, increased hospital visits and scores of costume drives every year. CHF has lofty goals and we know this is the tip of the iceberg, but it’s more than we could have hoped this little start-up would become.
The last of the original Board Members are finishing out their terms this fall (with the exception of the family members who are staying on as Directors and staff). It’s sad that our time is over, but rewarding knowing we are passing the torch to a strong Board filled with Directors from prestigious companies, who have been on Boards and have experience and knowledge that will take CHF farther than we ever imagined. And NONE of us are leaving for good. We will continue to consult as committee members and support through fundraisers and events.
Thank you for 5 great years.
P.S. Help us celebrate 5 years of inspiring hope and healing through dress up and play by attending our 5th Annual Masquerade Ball! Learn more and buy tickets here: http://chelseahicksfoundation.org/masquerade-ball/
Katie Curry, Acuity Forensics
CHF Founding Board Member and Marketing Committee