Before I started The Dandelion Patch, I was President of the Junior League of Northern Virginia and was involved with many non-profits in the Greater DC community. I knew that with my business, I wanted to make a larger impact than I could independently. I just hadn’t decided how we’d focus our energy and efforts.
In 2005 we hired this perfectly preppy, always happy, Patchette named Elizabeth White. She’d just graduated from Elon and was not starting her fulltime job as a teacher quite yet. Elizabeth worked with us part time from 2005-2009- always offering her advice on the newest (and pinkest) preppy products to bring into the store. Sadly in 2009, Elizabeth died from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In addition to working at the Patch, she also watched my children on weekends, and so her life touched me both personally and professionally. To this day, many Patchettes are permanently connected because of her loving heart.
In 2008, Erin Wright came into our Patch family as a part time (high school) sales associate. Again, bubbly beyond belief and always willing to exceed expectations, Erin is a huge part of our success story. In 2011 Erin was also diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Fortunately, Erin is still winning her battle and still winning our hearts.
As you might imagine, I hadn’t planned or expected to have our small business impacted with Lymphoma in such a major way. Because of our commitment to find a cure for all blood cancers, The Dandelion Patch has been involved with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year program since 2011.
If you are unfamiliar with this effort, 10 men and 10 women “compete” over a 10 week period to raise as much money as possible in a race to find a cure for all blood cancers. I have personally been involved with candidates’ campaigns and know that this undertaking is another full time job, in addition to the one they do between 8-6 pm. In 2014, these 20 committed crusaders raised $1.6 million. YES! That is an amazing amount of money. And YES! It happens in a 10 week period!
Until there is a cure for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, The Dandelion Patch will support the efforts of the LLS National Chapter, in honor and celebration of our dear Patchettes, Elizabeth White and Erin Wright. If you are so inclined to support the LLS Man and Woman of the Year Campaign, please join me tonight at the J.W. Marriott for their annual Grand Finale Gala. More information can be found here. How much do you think they’ll raise this year?!
Until next time, here’s to big wishes and lots of pixie dust.
All other photos courtesy of Heidi Kallett.