Posts Tagged ‘president clinton’

Scholarship Awardee meets Bill Clinton!

April 26, 2011

At the April meeting of AFP Suncoast, Julie Wills, Executive Director of the Suncoast Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, described how a scholarship transformed her CFRE continuing education requirements into a fun and rewarding experience. Following is her story:

I was sitting at my desk one day thinking about the fact that I had to renew my CFRE credential in 2011 and would need continuing education in order to meet the requirements of renewal.  That same day, I received my AFP Suncoast Chapter newsletter by email.  As I was reading the newsletter, I saw something about the upcoming International Conference on Fundraising in Chicago.  It also mentioned that our AFP chapter had scholarships available.  I followed the easy link to the scholarship form.  After reviewing the criteria, I determined that I was eligible to apply.  A few short weeks later I received a notification from Debbie Gavalas, our chapter Scholarship Chair, telling me I had gotten a full scholarship.  Eureka!

It had been eleven years since I had last attended an Int’l Conference and so much had changed.  At the Expo I learned about products that I didn’t even know existed.  Some of them are being pilot tested by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Chapters in other cities.  I’m keeping an eye on these as they may solve some problems we’ve run into locally with our auction events. 

The last time I was at an Int’l Conference there was only one keynote speaker.  Now they have one each day.  I was blown away by Blake Mykoskie of Tom’s Shoes.  I knew about Tom’s Shoes, but didn’t know how interesting his story is or what an animated speaker he would be.  It was fun and inspirational to hear him speak about his experiences launching Tom’s Shoes and giving away shoes to children in third world countries. 

The second day keynote was Queen Latifah.  Another amazing speaker.  In between these amazing speakers, I was attending wonderful continuing education sessions.  Not the same old speakers that used to make the rounds of all these conferences, but new and interesting speakers with current, relevant information to share.

The final keynote was President Bill Clinton.  I was so lucky to have been able to get a second row seat for President Clinton, who is doing amazing philanthropy in Haiti.  It was a dream come true for me to see him speak. 

Overall, the Chicago AFP conference was a wonderful experience and one I would highly recommend for all members of AFP.  Thanks very much to the Suncoast Chapter for providing this scholarship so I could participate in this excellent conference.