City of Hope keeps on believing

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City of Hope keeps on believing

By Kenneth Clark - 06/29/2020
The grounds at City of Hope.

There were more than 1.4 million reasons to declare this year’s City of Hope “Spirit of Life” ceremony a resounding success. That’s the approximate number of dollars the hardware and homebuilding industry raised at the January event for the California-based research facility and world-class treatment center.

The ceremony presented Brad Paulsen, CEO of HD Supply Facility Maintenance, as the Spirit of Life honoree. Paulsen, steps into a long line of industry leaders to take on the annual role of fundraising ambassador for City of Hope.

Little did anyone know in January 2020 that the industry, and industry fundraising, was about to get complicated.

HBSDealer revisited the Spirit of Life honoree at a time when the pandemic continues to disrupt business, communities take their first steps toward reopening, and – yes – fundraising continues. Here’s the remote interview:

HBSDealer: Fundraising during any year is a challenge. But fundraising in 2020 must be a million times more challenging. The show must go on, but how?
Brad Paulsen: 2020 has thus far presented a number of challenges and our fundraising efforts have certainly been impacted due to the restrictions on travel and large group gatherings.

That being said, our industry has continued to show its interest and support for City of Hope and its critical life-saving mission.  We appreciate everyone’s creative thinking and suggestions on how to continue our fundraising efforts in the current environment and obviously appreciate the continued generosity of all our industry colleagues.

HBSDealer: What kind of conversations are you having with people when you talk to them about City of Hope? 
Paulsen: More than anything, I continue to reinforce the importance of City of Hope and its positive impact on our communities.  I find that I cannot over-communicate the role life-saving research and treatment procedures have on providing people across the world with an opportunity for a healthy and fulfilling life.

HBSDealer: City of Hope has been sharing regular updates on its efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19. My question is: How cool is that?
Paulsen: It is a testament to City of Hope and the quality of its team member.  City of Hope is an incredible organization filled with very talented individuals and teams focused on improving people’s lives and turning hope into reality.  Its ability to innovate and solve many of today’s medical issues serve as source of inspiration for so many institutions and individuals which is why our continued support is so important. 

"Our industry has continued to show its interest and support for City of Hope and its critical life-saving mission."
Brad Paulsen

HBSDealer: We spoke prior to the Las Vegas Spirit of Life event. Looking back at it, were you as amazed as I was at the generosity of those in attendance?  
Paulsen: II was not surprised because I know our industry has a long history of stepping up and providing unbelievable support to the City of Hope.  I did, however, walk away from the event genuinely moved by the passion and dedication so many individuals have for this organization and their complete willingness to financially do their part in the mission to cure cancer, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.

HBSDealer: What was your big takeaway from the event?
Paulsen:  Like I said, I was very inspired watching our industry, our team if you will, come together and do our part to support this critical life-saving mission. While many of us our competitors Monday through Friday, it was special to see the power of our industry rally behind such an essential organization like the City of Hope.

For more on City of Hope’s mission, and the hardware and building industry’s involvement, visit www.cityofhope.org.

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