Spring 2021

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/1372684

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14 SPRING 2021 CANCERCARE MANITOBA FOUNDATION CancerCare Manitoba Foundation meets COVID challenge BY TRINA REHBERG BOYKO T he COVID-19 pandemic led to shutdown after shutdown, but CancerCare Manitoba Foundation (CCMF) persevered through every challenge. With an estimated 19 people in Manitoba facing a cancer diagnosis every single day, there is always a need for the support it provides. "Our belief is that even in the midst of COVID, cancer doesn't stop and neither can we," says foundation president and CEO Patti Smith. "If anything, the journey for people who have cancer is even harder in this environment." Appointed to replace retiring CEO Annitta Stenning, starting on April 1, 2021, Smith is new to the role, but she is not new to the foundation, or to fundraising for health- care causes. Before joining CCMF in 2015, she worked in executive positions with the Misericordia Health Centre Foundation and the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. Previously, she owned a travel agency in rural Manitoba. Her business expertise and desire to make a difference have landed her where she is today — a move she says will be her last after some two decades in fundraising roles. "I love this organization to the core of who I am," she says. Smith was CCMF's chief development officer when the pandemic hit. Operations took a swift turn, with work-at-home measures put in place. In-person events had to be cancelled. Budgets tightened. Smith and her team — made up of those she calls the most committed, hardworking people she's ever met — had to rethink their fundraising efforts. "Fundraising and easy don't belong in the same sentence," she says. "There's lots of competition for dollars for some amazing causes." In June each year, the foundation holds its biggest annual fundraising event, the THE FUNDRAISING NEVER STOPS

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