Dawn values her colleagues

Dawn values her colleagues

At our monthly team meetings, one of our crew members discusses some of our five values: strength, courage, commitment, heart, and spark. This is Dawn’s reflection from this month’s meeting.

It’s been a busy few months as usual with some new and exciting things on the horizon, and I felt it was only fitting to reflect on this and to combine my gratitude with our values.

During Shave for the Brave season, we express our gratitude publicly and directly to the Shavers, Head Hunters, hair stylists, and donors. They commit to our cause and get involved without hesitation. We try to express how their hair, time, and donations help YACC and our community.

I am also grateful for our team, especially Brittany Barry. Brittany has worked on and off with YACC through work terms and part-time contracts over the years, and became a full-time team member in 2018. Brittany does not give up and continues to make call after call, email after email to recruit more people and groups to take part in the event. She dives into the evening and weekend Shaves like a pro, even sidelining as a hair stylist. Brittany comes through with her own ideas to help YACC. She may be sweet, cute, and bubbly, but she has determination like no other. She’s pretty wicked!

This year’s Survivor Conference took place in a new venue in a new city, but that was no match for logistics queen Lesley Morrissey. I don’t know how Lesley keeps it all together, but she does. She has been around YACC for 12 years now, and has had literally every job (I think we could argue you’ve even been ED at some point).

To say she has spark is an understatement. She has seen YACC at every stage, and even when we change up her role (again) and have a clear path forward, she just rolls with it, knowing that together we will figure it out. She takes the bull by the horns and just digs in, often taking charge and getting the ball rolling. Thank you, Lesley, for always being the authentic you!

We had a dream to get our YACCtivist program back up and running so trained advocates could help grow YACC’s network across the country. We knew it would take someone with charisma, charm, wit, and brains, and that someone is none other than Dani Taylor.

Dani has shown her commitment for a long time as a YACCer and now a team member. She shares YACC’s vision and passion (even wanting to dip her feet in fundraising for YACC). I can’t wait to see this program unfold because I have no doubt how wicked awesome it will be with her behind the wheel. Dani, you rock (and you’re a pretty great roommate, too)!

Taking a new path, even taking a step back to evaluate, is a big deal. It takes courage but that is just what the talented, kind, and loving Kathy Stock embodies. I have seen Kathy’s story unfold. There have been many peaks and valleys, but she faces they all with courage and grace. Over this past year, I have loved seeing her in a role that is so fitting with her love for YACC as she shared her story, and the stories of others as well. Kathy is open and honest, genuine and sincere, and that shines through. She always makes me want to be a better person.

It’s been a long year getting the new YACC website up and going, but not without the drive and persistence of Angie Barrington to oversee this and push it along. Angie is very talented (and knows so many random, wonderful things). To her, it’s not just a website, it’s a place for new people to learn about us, it tells a story, and it shows who we are and what we do. Angie has so much love and heart for YACC and our community and puts this into her daily work and personal life. She embodies Geoff’s motto to “Live Life. Love Life.” I adore her.

She’s often been called the heart of YACC, but today, I want to focus on the strength of Karine Chalifour. Karine has shown strength from the very beginning when she took that leap of faith and packed it all in and moved her life from Montreal to St. John’s. She lifts our spirits through weekly Facebook posts reminding us all to take a minute to breathe, and we just can’t help but smile when we hear her wonderful laugh. We get strength from her, especially during these busy times. Karine is THE best role model.

It goes without saying that YACC would not even be here had it not been for Geoff Eaton’s courage to start this organization nearly two decades ago. Geoff often says he gets a disproportionate amount of the credit for the success of YACC, but our team is who we are because of him. He continues to inspire us to push our limits. I do not believe I am biased at all when I say our team is pretty freaking amazingly wicked awesome. There have been many ups and down since I’ve been at YACC, but Geoff doesn’t waiver. He is calm and always encourages the good.

I am honoured to be in the presence of you all. Here’s to another year coming up of more strength, courage, commitment, heart, and spark!

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