Looking back and facing forward

The beginning of the year is a great opportunity to review the events of the past year and look ahead to the future. As I review all of the Healing Odyssey sponsored events of 2019, I am so grateful for all of the time, talents and love shared in our ongoing support system, the Healing Odyssey Difference Makers.

2019 in review

First of all, we held two successful retreats in our beautiful mountain home at Pali Retreat Center in Running Springs in April and September. The retreats were full and artfully lead by professionals and our cancer survivor volunteers. There was lots of laughter, a few tears and many success stories at the retreats.

Aside from retreats, our follow up programs were diverse and lots of fun for our local grads and supporters.

In February, we hosted a very successful kick off meeting with over 25 women sharing their retreat reflections and their lives post retreat. Important resources were shared and new grads were integrated into the group.

In March, we met as a group and worked to create fabulous gift baskets for our annual fundraiser.

In April, we had a sold out crowd at our fundraiser, Wine, Women, and Song…and Men Too. Led once more by the very talented grad, Joji Angeline, it was a big hit and a tremendous financial boost for our retreat programs.

In May, we were joined by Denise Padgett, a professional make-up artist from LA, who gave a great presentation about Green (healthy) make up choices. It was so kind of her to donate this afternoon to share her passion with our grads.

In June, we returned to Cook’s Corner, a local restaurant and bar, for another popular Pop Up dinner event. With live country music and an economical pasta dinner, we cannot lose there. Such fun!

July brought us another professional from back East, Shelley Botwinick, who shared a program “The Healer Within”. This valuable workshop was enjoyed by about 25 grads.

In August, the Roskamps again hosted our annual family beach party in Dana Point. This was a great opportunity for grads to bring their families to share this popular picnic event.

In October, we hosted another pop-up dinner for Octoberfest at Old World Village in Huntington Beach.

The holiday season was busy with a successful “Giving Tuesday” fundraiser which netted over $ 10,000 for our programs and the annual holiday party with close to 50 grads partying together.

The hard working Board of Directors for Healing Odyssey is pleased to offer these free, ongoing workshops and events so that our grads have the opportunity to reconnect and support one another in survivorship.

Moving into 2020

It is very exciting that Healing Odyssey enters their 25th year in this new decade. Over the years , we have met and shared our retreat experience with over 1200 women. We have developed long term friendships with many survivors who are still involved with our organization. What a blessing!

This year we will continue to offer a Spring and Fall retreat in Running Springs. We will continue to offer free educational and support programs for our grads. We will have our 4th annual Wine, Women , and Song… and Men too fundraiser on 3/15/20. An international singing star, Osayande Baruti, will join us with a tribute to Nat King Cole.

Our future is bright. We are open to new ideas for education, support and fun for our grads. It is never too late to get involved with Healing Odyssey!

Donna Farris, LCSW

Healing Odyssey President