Nearly 800 volunteers from across the country shared their fundraising successes and learned about the latest advances in medical research at City of Hope’s 2007 National Convention in Beverly Hills, Calif., in late June.
Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the three-day convention — themed “Building a Future of Hope” — recognized the contributions of auxiliary members. It also enabled them to celebrate their fundraising achievements and hear inspirational messages from City of Hope leaders and patients.
The convention began on June 23, when City of Hope President and Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Friedman, M.D., and outgoing board Chair Philip L. Engel welcomed delegates at the opening banquet.
The next day, nearly 300 conventioneers traveled to the Duarte, Calif., campus to hear faculty members talk about research and treatments and attend a health fair. City of Hope patients also shared their own stories of hope and healing at the event, called the “Day of Discovery.”
On the convention’s final day, participants attended Hope Forum, a series of educational sessions that focused on sharing fundraising tools and strategies, as well as the traditional Roll Call, where chapter members reported on fundraising efforts since the last convention. Terry R. Peets, newly elected board chair, addressed conventioneers at a dinner gala as well.
“The entire weekend was truly inspiring, and the dedication and warmth of the people we met was just incredible. We made friends there that we will have for the rest of our lives,” said Dick Katz, a member of the Atlanta Chapter who attended the convention along with his wife, Jeanie.
“My mother had very special feelings for City of Hope. In fact, seven plaques at the medical center are dedicated to her and my father, so I was very excited about visiting before we even arrived.”
The pair were so motivated by their experiences that they committed to a $100,000 donation for City of Hope during the weekend, and now are working to boost membership in their chapter.
The convention experience also invigorated longtime volunteer Don Hoffman, who hosted Sunday evening’s events with volunteer Pat Perrott. The duo, who serve on City of Hope’s Ambassador Leadership Council (ALC), co-hosted the Day of Discovery, as well.
“As a member of the ALC, I have spent the last two years helping to plan this convention with my fellow council members,” Hoffman said. “In speaking with many of the delegates I met here, it seems that our hard work resulted in a wonderful and educational time for all of them.”
Hoffman’s father, Irving, served as president of the apparel industry support group the Merchants Club from 1962 to 1963. Don Hoffman also chairs the think tank of the Board of Governors, of which he is a member, and plays a vital role on the City of Hope National Medical Center board of directors.
Alan Levey, senior vice president of development, was gratified by attendees’ feedback. Said Levey: “We are pleased that the delegates who attended convention found it to be such a worthwhile experience.”