Every year, people from all over Western New York attend Summer Splash on the Buffalo waterfront. Attendees get dressed up in their favorite fashions, all in the same color, to sample delicious drinks and food from local restaurants and raise funds for the Courage of Carly Fund, which aims to give children with cancer and blood disorders the fighting chance they deserve.
This year, Summer Splash will be a little bit different. Instead of one giant party, supporters are hosting parties in their own backyards to continue to support Roswell Park’s youngest patients. Allison Joseph, Vice President of Clover Group, Inc., and co-chair of the Future of Roswell Society, will be hosting her own Into the Jungle-themed Summer Splash party in August. Get to know her and what she has planned for her Summer Splash party.
How did you first get involved with the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that manages all donations to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center?
It feels like both Roswell Park and the Alliance Foundation have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The short answer is that my sister Jordan and I were approached about two years ago to help create a Roswell Park giving society for young adults ages 25 to 40. The Future of Roswell Society (FOR) exists to help Roswell Park in the fight against cancer, but on a financial and social level that fits with young adult’s current stage in life. In order to help our members feel the impact of their gifts, we pick a different project (research or otherwise) to fund each fiscal year. I’m proud to say we just finished our first full, successful year in existence, and my sister and I will continue to chair the FOR committee until the end of our three-year term.
Why did you decide to host a Summer Splash party?
Summer Splash is such a wonderful event and one that my personal network looks forward to attending every summer. In addition to being a great excuse to enjoy some cocktails with a beautiful backdrop, it’s amazing to be able to support Roswell Park’s youngest patients by raising funds for the Courage of Carly Fund. With the virus making it impossible to hold a large fundraiser, we felt that we could still do our part to raise money and awareness for children battling cancer and other blood disorders by hosting a small gathering.
What can partygoers expect at your event?
If there’s one thing my sister and I know how to do well, it’s throw a party! Our guests can expect some delicious lite bites, fabulous specialty cocktails and wine, and the opportunity to win some fun raffle items and prizes. It’s important to us that our partygoers feel safe, so in addition to hosting the party outside, we will have hand sanitizer on every table, as well as masks available for those who may have left theirs at home.
Why do you think it’s important to give back?
I’m a big believer in giving back to the community. As someone who has been given many advantages in life, I believe it’s my responsibility to help others who have not been as fortunate. As a proud Buffalonian, I think it’s even more imperative to give back to the community that I love so dearly. And lastly, I’m a big believer in karma — you get back what you give, so give often and give plenty!
What would you say to others who want to give back, but aren’t sure how?
I would tell those who are unsure of how to give that there are so many ways to do it! Giving what you’re able to, financially, is so important. Every penny helps — you don’t have to give $1,000 to make an impact. Giving of your time is equally as important, and there are so many different ways to volunteer and get involved! I think the biggest mistake people make is feeling that they can’t make an impact, so why bother? Your time, energy, ideas and spirit matter, and every little bit of it helps when it comes to supporting an organization like Roswell Park or the Courage of Carly Fund.
What does it mean to you to be able to help children with cancer and blood disorders through your fundraiser?
For me personally, nothing lifts my spirits like the smile or laughter of a child. And that’s exactly what the Courage of Carly Fund provides to these young kids battling cancer and blood disorders — plenty of reasons and opportunities to smile. To be able to raise money that will contribute to keeping smiles on the faces of these brave children means everything to me.
If you’d like to contribute to Allison’s party, you can donate here. If you’re interested in hosting your own party, you can also contact Megan Crawford, Courage of Carly Fund Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow along on the Courage of Carly Fund’s Instagram to see all the party coverage, too.
Additionally, if you are interested in joining the Future of Roswell Society, please contact Allison at email@example.com