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Cover Story: Louanne Roark – A Passion for Service

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: February 11, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“I am incredibly lucky to be in a role where I can match my professional skills with my passion,” says Roark. “Not many people have that opportunity in their professional lives, and I am thankful every day that I do.”

In days filled with meetings and conversations with collaborators and corporate supporters, she makes a point of spending time with the folks that ultimately matter in all this by attending several LGFB workshops every year. “It always refreshes me and clarifies my focus when I see and experience the program from a participant’s perspective,” says Roark.

Of course, serving those participants takes both time and money, and Roark spends as much as 15% of her time on fundraising efforts for LGFB. She is candid in expresing the one thing that would make her job easier: a significant financial endowment. Such an endowment would enable the Foundation to dramatically increase the number of people it serves, and support research about the effects of positive self-esteem and body image on the quality of life of cancer survivors.

DreamBall, the main LGFB fundraising event, also demands her time. Roark works closely with the ACS and the DreamBall executive committee, of which both Roark and PCPC executive director Pam Bailey are members, on DreamBall planning and execution, which starts early every year.  

A Dream of a Fundraiser
DreamBall was founded in the 1980s to bring together the cosmetic industry and the ACS in raising money to support cancer-related projects. Over the years, the event has grown from raising a modest amount of funds before the development and addition of LGFB, to an event now grossing between $2.2 and $2.5 million annually. It is one of the single largest fundraising events the ACS is involved with nationwide, having raised some $31 million since 1989. The funds from the DreamBall are split evenly between the Foundation and the ACS.