Featured letter to the edtior: The gift of life

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The president of the Gift of Life Foundation thanks the community.

To the Editor:

On behalf of the board of directors of the Island Gift Of Life, I would like to extend our thanks to the community for their overwhelming support of the Cheryl Hannabury  Memorial Community Cocktail party held a the Ram’s Head Inn Saturday, March 2.

In addition, my thanks goes out to all of the volunteers, contributors and underwriters that helped to make this event possible. This is one of two events, the other being the Beach Blast, (of late afflicted with bad weather), that the Foundation depends on to fund it’s efforts to aid those with life threatening illness as well as to increase the bone marrow donor registry.

The Gift Of Life was the inspiration of Cheryl Hannabury and is her legacy. At the outset, we on the board actually worried that “business” was not good, people didn’t seem to need us, but as the years rolled on — this is our 14th — we developed traction.

Through doctors, clergy, social workers, and just plain word of mouth  coupled with hard economic times, our “business” is booming. This is certainly a mixed blessing and great challenge, but one we are endeavoring to meet.

Our service area includes the four towns east of Riverhead, though we in some way try to help anyone who contacts us. At this moment we have fourteen active cases. It is clear that despite successful events such as the recent Ram’s Head Inn party, soon the volume of cases may outstrip our ability to raise these life giving funds. It is our hope that you will continue to keep the Gift Of Life in your hearts throughout the year. Not only through monetary donation, though this is always welcome, but by helping to spread the word not only to those in need and to others who may be able to help the Foundation continue it’s mission.

We are also always in need of new volunteers whether as board members or on one of our committees.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for any reason. We are a 501-(c 3) corporation and may be reached through our website  at islandgiftoflife.org or by contacting any board member directly.

Again, thank you all for helping to make this month’s event truly a great party.

James Eklund

Shelter Island

President, Island Gift of Life Foundation