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How did you first get involved with SCAN?
My husband Brian and I were invited to attend the 2010 Progressive Dinner by friends who were hosting in their home. We went and had a fantastic evening around a table of both friends and people we were meeting for the first time. It was special and fun, but there was also really genuine conversation throughout the evening about the need to support SCAN’s mission and efforts in our community. I remember being very aware that night of how surprisingly well camaraderie, food, and joy fit with a desire to protect children and strengthen families. I had recently left my marketing career in anticipation of our third son, and immediately saw that I wanted to be a part of merging SCAN’s purpose with such an impactful approach.
How did your involvement with SCAN evolve from there?
I first joined the Progressive Dinner Committee to work on planning the following year’s event, and to be honest, I’m not sure how much I contributed that first year or two, but I listened, learned and was drawn more to the mission by some really committed volunteers. Through some of those folks, I got exposure to the FAM Program, the Child Advocacy Center and CASA, all of which drew me in more and more. I’ve worked on the Progressive Dinner for the last ten years- and chaired the event in 2018, and then joined the Board of Directors in 2019. When my boys get a little older I am hoping my next step will be to become a CASA.
Ten years later, what inspires you to stay involved with your work at SCAN?
Certainly understanding the sad needs of vulnerable children and families is compelling, but it’s the success stories that keep me involved. There are a few in particular that have stuck with me. I am so grateful to those people who had the strength to share their journeys because they are proof that SCAN’s involvement can change the trajectory of people’s futures, and therefore improve a life, a family, our community long-term.
Do you have any goals or hopes for the next year with SCAN?
I stand in awe at the perseverance and adaptability that SCAN’s professionals have exhibited in continuing to serve Richmond families, and so I hope we still see our community be able to support SCAN and the even greater need we’re likely to encounter as we come out of this pandemic.
What excites you most about our modified Progressive Dinner in 2021?
Over the ten years I’ve been working on the dinner I’ve seen other unplanned circumstances that actually turned out to be good things that have kept the event fresh and exciting for guests. I’m hoping that’s the case with this year’s Progressive Dinner Out, where hosts are going to gather friends at local restaurants, instead of their homes, to raise funds for SCAN and simultaneously support Richmond’s awesome local restaurants that have stood with us for so many years. There are things that will be different and missed, but I’m pretty sure that by May 1st people are going to be super excited about a night out!
What are you personally looking most forward to in 2021?
The busy life I used to complain about (remind me I said that). More travel- I always try to prioritize experiences over things. I’d love to go to a Luke Combs concert. And my family is definitely ready to get back to our goal of visiting all 30 MLB Stadiums. Oh, and most of all, lots of hugs!
The 2021 Progressive Dinner will be on May 1. If you are interested in hosting a dinner with your close friends and family at a restaurant in which you feel comfortable, please reach out to Katie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.