With little more than an idea and the passion to see it through, 38 years ago a man named Harold Benjamin left his thriving career as a successful attorney to found, along with his wife Harriet Benjamin, The Wellness Community, now renamed the Cancer Support Community-Benjamin Center after joining forces with famed comedian Gilda Radner's Gilda's Club.
The center enriches the lives of tens of thousands of people affected by cancer and takes care to ensure that no cancer patient or family ever faces cancer alone. Not only that, patients and their families are never charged for any of CSC's many outstanding services and essential programs that are led by licensed therapists including support groups, mind and body classes, educational and nutritional workshops, social activities and individual counseling sessions.
High school freshman Riley Jackson became involved with CSC's events at a young age and in early 2020, Riley founded its first ever Junior Board of Directors, the first of its kind since the agency's inception in the 1982. By enlisting her peers to form this Junior Board, these teens are not only bringing awareness and funds to CSC, but are working to ensure that the next generation of leaders are aware of and support this incredible organization.
One of the first action items on the Junior Board's agenda is to "Drive With Daizy," the bright yellow VW convertible bus, with items for CSC families in need. Daizy Drives include School Supply Drives at the end of summer, Holiday Toy Drives in November/December and Prom Dress & Suit Drives in the spring.
Next, the Junior board collaborated with the City of Hope and Greenlight Women to produce the Celebrity Sale 4 Hope! Other action items of the Junior board include a $40 fundraising campaign in honor of CSC's upcoming 40th anniversary, and an exciting annual ticketed production featuring many of today's young celebrities.
The Junior Board members know first hand how debilitating it is when a family member faces cancer. It affects the entire family enormously - both emotionally and financially. As CSC's Chief Development Officer Nina Golding says about the Junior Board, “It takes a teen to know a teen. Riley and her team are able to share a similar perspective of what it’s like to be a teenager undergoing pressures outside of their control. Her efforts in fundraising, gathering items from the community, and planning the first ticketed teen celebrity event reflect her amazing spirit to connect to our members' teen and children's needs."
JUNIOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Riley Jackson, President
Izzy Lieberman, Vice President