Guest BLOG post: A Remembrance of Lucy

lucy mckayKristin O’Keefe, freelance writer, recently wrote a touching blog entry about our beloved Boober!, Lucy McKay, who passed away on Mother’s Day this year. Kristin and Lucy were childhood friends, and in her blog, Kristin shares how Lucy impacted her life over the years. Click HERE for a link to the post.

Lucy, you will be missed, and your life will be celebrated by those who knew and loved you.

 

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CELEBRATE BB! VOLUNTEERS: MEET KIM!

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

by Jamie McAllister

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Kim NortonKim Norton jumped at the chance to volunteer with Beyond Boobs! when she saw a posting from the group online, and for the past year she spent every Wednesday afternoon with BB! Managing Director Chris Schwab in the group’s Williamsburg office, filing and organizing.

Kim’s schedule recently changed and she is no longer able to volunteer with the group, but the staff is grateful to have had her as part of the team.

One of Kim’s big projects was helping out with A Calendar to Live By, which also does double duty as a breast health guide. While there are many different ways to sponsor the project, Kim kept track of all the individuals and businesses who purchased a day of the year to honor a loved one. She also kept the paper files in order.

“I really enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I have when tasks are completed and things are organized,” Kim said.

Although she loves paperwork and data, Kim also enjoyed the camaraderie in the office. “Everyone is so nice and upbeat,” she said. “I really enjoyed working with Chris because she is so easy to talk to.”

Kim and her husband Ron have been married for 33 years and have three grown children. One of their favorite new pastimes is kayaking on the Chickahominy River.

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CELEBRATE BB! VOLUNTEERS: MEET BEN!

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

by Jamie McAllister

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Ben&BettyAnneBen Smykowski lost his wife, Betty Anne, to ovarian cancer in 2014 and he volunteers with Beyond Boobs! in her memory. “Betty Anne was such a great person,” he said. “She was the love of my life and my soul mate. Volunteering is my way of honoring her.”

Ben is retired from the IT industry after 45 years and volunteers at the BB! office in Williamsburg every week. He worked on BB!’s website to help get all of their information into Salesforce, a cloud computing program. Normally he is a member of the Tuesday Tag Team (T3s), but he is on call 24/7 if a need should arise.

“The women at BB! make me laugh,” Ben said. “I admire them so much, especially after all they have been through.”

In addition to his volunteer gig at BB!, Ben also volunteers three days a week at the front desk at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Before she passed away, Betty Anne worked at Cullom Eye & Laser Center as a medical records person, and Ben volunteers at the Doctors’ Surgery Center every Thursday when Dr. Cullom is performing cataract and LASIK surgeries. “Everyone there still talks about her,” Ben said. “They even have the slogan WWBD – What would Betty do?”

This year Ben is the presenting sponsor for BB!’s annual “Breast” Ball Golf Tournament, donating the money in Betty Anne’s memory. “I can’t do enough for Beyond Boobs!,” he said. “I love the organization and everyone involved is so dedicated.”

Ben is the father of two grown children and has a 13-year-old granddaughter. He lives in Williamsburg and is very active with his church.

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CELEBRATE BB! VOLUNTEERS: MEET JOANNE!

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

by Jamie McAllister

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Joanne HenkDiagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2011 at the age of 53, Joanne Henk knew she wanted to get involved with Beyond Boobs! when a family member told her about the group. Beyond Boobs! co-founder and Good Health Fairy René Bowditch took Joanne under her fairy wings and taught Joanne how to be a fairy herself.

“I wear a little bit of pink and a lot of wings,” joked Joanne about her gig as a Good Health Fairy during BB! signature and community events. She especially loved being part of a parade in Urbanna one year. “There was lots of hooting and hollering,” she said. Her favorite part was when the dozen or so fairies walking in the parade all spun around at the same time.

When she isn’t carrying a wand and educating everyone about breast health, Joanne is a member of the Tuesday Tag Team, also known as T3. Every Tuesday Joanne joins her fellow T3s at the BB! office in Williamsburg to work on admin tasks and help get stuff ready for the events BB! hosts throughout the year.

“The T3s are amazing,” Joanne said. “We do a lot of grunt work, but we have a blast. The other volunteers and staff hold me up, and I know I can say anything and they will understand. The BB! office is a place of miracles.”

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CELEBRATE BB! VOLUNTEERS: MEET CHAUNAI!

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

by Jamie McAllister

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Chaunai McKnightOriginally from Queens, New York, her time in the Navy brought Chaunai McKnight to Southeastern Virginia. She learned about Beyond Boobs! through her public administration master’s program at Old Dominion University and she interviewed for an internship with the group. Chaunai has lupus and it is her dream to one day start a nonprofit to provide support to those diagnosed with the disease.

“I want to learn more about all women’s health issues and be able to help people no matter what,” Chaunai said.

Chaunai is part of the Tuesday Tag Team, known as the T3s, and helps out behind the scenes with the group’s events and fundraisers. She also traveled with the Good Health Fairy to an outreach event held at Thomas Nelson Community College.

“As a T3 I really feel like I am part of the team,” Chaunai said. “Everyone is super nice and BB! is very family-oriented. I want my future nonprofit to be just like BB! because they keep it small and personal.”

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Celebrate the BB! Volunteers – Meet Gail!

Volunteer Embodies Attitude of Gratitude

By: Jamie McAllister

Four years ago Gail Gruen moved to the Williamsburg area and was looking for a new project to take on. She and her husband, Martin, had relocated from New Jersey to Virginia, where she had been a social worker for close to three decades. One of her neighbors in Toano invited her to volunteer at BB! and Gail agreed to help out. After getting to know her personality through her volunteer work, BB! staff came up with a position that would use Gail’s talents as a people person to the fullest – Gratitude Ambassador. Gail writes thank-you letters to everyone who donates to BB! and is also on hand at events to thank volunteers and those who come out to support BB!’s mission.

“Showing gratitude is the simplest yet most powerful thing one human being can do for another,” Gail said.

BB!’s mission of supporting young women diagnosed with breast cancer is especially close to Gail’s heart. Her mom, Dorothy, was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away at the age of 44.

“My mom was a fun lady, always reaching out to other people,” Gail said. “I inherited that from her and when I am volunteering with BB! I feel like I am honoring her and following in her footsteps.”

As a social worker in New Jersey Gail supervised a group of 40 volunteers, so she knows the tremendous impact they can make on an organization. “I love working with volunteers,” she said. “I so appreciated the role the volunteers played in my job in New Jersey, and now I’m a volunteer myself!”Gail & Martin

Gail and her husband Martin have been married for 39 years. They have two adult daughters, Danielle and Rachael. They also have two cats they adopted from the Heritage Humane Society, Mac and Cheese.

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National Volunteer Week ~ (April 12 – 18)

Beyond Boobs! celebrates our volunteers

We’re celebrating YOU!

Our Devoted Volunteers

On behalf of Rene, Mary Beth, the BB! Board, and the BB! Staff ~
Thanks to each one of you for your time, talents, and treasures.  You help this organization meet the needs of all the young women we serve!  It is because of you that these women have….

Hope for the Future   Inspiration to Overcome    Power to Thrive

“I alone cannot change the world,                                                                                                                                but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

~ Mother Teresa

Join us for the next few days to read about a few of our volunteers who continuously cast their stones.  Meet Kim, Hannah, Gail, and Jamie 🙂  Looking to volunteer with Beyond Boobs!, check us out!

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