Recently I had the honor of speaking at a remarkable event. My friend, Peg Ruppert, is a Partner with the Advantage Performance Group. She works with organizations to create Talent Optimization – aligning the people, processes and capabilities required to execute a business strategy. I’ve been fortunate to partner with Peg to support many of her clients with custom training.
Peg holds an annual holiday give-back event to which she invites her clients. It’s a festive evening of food, fun, and a focus on a charity that her team has decided to support. This year it was the Karen Wellington Memorial Foundation for Living with Breast Cancer.
Karen Wellington died in 2007 at the age of 40… yet her legacy clearly lives on through the foundation’s mission: to send women battling this disease on fun, relaxing vacations and outings with family and friends. As Kent Wellington – Karen’s husband and foundation president – explains, life can be pretty dismal when the calendar is filled with radiation and chemotherapy appointments. Having a vacation on the horizon changes everything You can hear Kent speak about the foundation on youtube.
This was clear from videos of three recipients who described the joy of time spent with their children and the memories they made. While the memories were short-lived for these women (all have succumbed to the disease), their families will remember precious time with a wife, mom, or sister.
The evening made me think deeply about mortality, legacies, and the quality of the time we spend here.
- Why do we wait for a life-threatening illness to give ourselves and others the gift of vacations, spending quality together, and respites from reality?
- What if we treated everyday as if our time here was limited (which it is)?
- How would we spend a week if it might be among the last we’d enjoy with family and friends?
This holiday season, I intend to honor Karen Wellington and the millions of women who have lost the battle with breast cancer with a donation to this foundation… and to honor myself and my own family with a week-long vacation from work and focus on the importance of taking time to really appreciate living.
What will you do?
PS – Please consider joining me in supporting the Karen Wellington Memorial Foundation for Living with Breast Cancer. If you have a vacation home or timeshare consider donating one week. The Foundation Team makes it easy working around your calendar and taking care all of the details for the recipient. You get a tax-write off and your home will beam with that “pay it forward” spirit of gratitude. No vacation home? No problem. Cash donations help to cover airfare, groceries, and other vacation expenses.