Our community shares a core value of generosity. Inspired philanthropy from individuals, organizations and volunteers hosting community events, as well as school fundraisers and personal donations—they all help Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital provide exceptional, compassionate care to every patient who comes through the hospital doors. Whether it’s providing funds toward state-of-the-art technology for the early detection and treatment of cancer, or toward comfort services like complimentary massage, therapeutic writing for survivors, or complimentary wigs and head covers from Marianne’s Room, philanthropy supports programs that enhance patient care during challenging times. Through these generous gifts, Sentara Martha Jefferson is able to provide personalized care and the best possible outcomes to help our patients truly feel better.
Throughout 2017, community volunteers led an array of philanthropic events and initiatives, including members of the Wetsel Middle School Student Government Association, who turned their school pink to support breast cancer services; the Lion’s Club, which donated toys for children visiting the Emergency Department; another civic group that hosted a pancake breakfast in support of our community health programs; a golf tournament; Sunsets with Sentara; and, finally, The Women’s Committee, which hosted the Squash Cancer Tournament, the In The Pink Tennis Tournament and the highly successful Martha’s Market, all of which support breast health and women’s healthcare programs. Cumulatively, these events and similar initiatives involve thousands of volunteers, participants and supporters who raise more than a half-million dollars annually in philanthropic support of Sentara Martha Jefferson.
Women Helping Women: Celebrating 25 Years of Martha’s Market This Fall!
Estimates indicate that approximately one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. With such staggering numbers, it’s no surprise that the disease has closely affected many of the women who serve on The Women’s Committee (TWC) of Sentara Martha Jefferson. “Almost everyone on the committee has been touched by breast cancer in some way,” says Katy Kreienbaum, TWC chair. “Many of our committee board members, both past and present, are cancer survivors, and that’s why we serve.” TWC volunteers have wholeheartedly embraced this opportunity to help support women diagnosed with breast cancer as they navigate their treatment. “All you need is a willing heart and a passion for making a difference to serve on our committee,” adds Kreienbaum.
Established in 1993, TWC has made great strides in promoting breast cancer awareness and raising funds for breast health programs at Sentara Martha Jefferson. The group, which began with 16 women, has grown to more than 260 members and raised more than $5.5 million through the tremendous success of three annual fundraisers: Martha’s Market, the In The Pink Tennis Tournament and Squash Cancer.
This fall, Martha’s Market will celebrate “her” silver (25th) anniversary, culminating a year of planning and dedicated support from numerous corporate and individual sponsors—many of whom have backed the event since its inception. Held in John Paul Jones Arena, the Market takes place over four days, involving about 75 vendors from near and far who contribute 15 percent of every sale to the fundraiser. “We could not accomplish what we have over the years without these sponsors!” says Kreienbaum. “The community has been so wonderful in supporting what we do, and it really does take the collective energy of the community to make the Market such a success.”
Over the years, Martha’s Market has provided funds for a wide range of programs and services benefiting women’s health care, including early detection technology such as digital mammography and 3D mammography; MRI- and 3D-guided breast biopsy equipment; support services such as the Cancer Resource Center and Marianne’s Room; therapeutic activities such as Celebration of Life, massage therapy and a Spring Fly Fishing event. Funds raised by Martha’s Market also provide critical services to underinsured or uninsured women in our community through free biannual breast health screening days.
The volunteers who serve on TWC consider their hard work a way to give back and ensure that future patients receive the very best care possible. For Kreienbaum, serving alongside so many compassionate women on the committee has truly been a gift. “We encourage the community to get involved, and we hope we’ve provided many opportunities to do so,” she shares. “Whether you would like to volunteer, shop at Martha’s Market, play tennis and/or squash, or support these events financially, we welcome your involvement.”