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story.lead_photo.caption Rachel Cox, Executive Director of Healing Gardens of NWA

Rachel Cox

Executive Director,Healing Gardens of NWA

It’s A Wonderful Waltz - Winter Garden Ball

Who: Healing Gardens of NWA

What: Ballroom dancing, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, hot chocolate bar

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 8

Where: Center for Nonprofits at St. Mary’s in Rogers

Tickets: $25, $45 per couple early bird through Black Friday, and $75 family pass (2 adults and up to four children 17 and under)

Information: (479) 366-6944 or healinggardensofnwa.org

Tell us about your organization:

Mission: Our mission is to provide a green space that will enrich the quality of lives in Northwest Arkansas and beyond. Healing Gardens of NWA is based on four pillars of healing including health/wellness, education, arts integration and community building.

Services provided: Healing Gardens is a state-of-the-art garden space campus and will be located alongside the Razorback Greenway and designed to enhance the quality of life for Northwest Arkansas and beyond. We are amid a $5.6 million campaign to bring this project to fruition by the end of 2020. We anticipate outdoor art exhibits that will rotate seasonally, weekly educational programming, wellness classes, musical and arts performances, and reflective and community spaces.

Service area: The space will be open to the entire public region as a whole, and a special emphasis during the weekdays to those being served at Highlands Oncology Cancer Group and their families.

Average number of people served annually: 100,000+ is the anticipated number for our first year open.

How is your organization's mission unique? We will be the only healing garden green space campus open free of charge to the public as a public/private partnership.

Why do you work for a nonprofit organization? Do you have a personal connection to the mission? If so, what is it? I have had the opportunity to serve in philanthropy for many years here in Northwest Arkansas, which I have been blessed to call this area home for over 30 years. When the opportunity came available in 2016 to spearhead this campaign, I could not pass up the opportunity. My grandfather had been a patient in 2012, the same year the dream for the Healing Gardens was initiated by its founders. So many wonderful people who were a part of the vision casting, had ties to cancer, to overcoming, finding joy in life's many amazing twists, turns and the beauty of love in the journey. Having had my own cancer scare in 2015, I was excited for the challenge to be a part of something that could be life giving to others.

What part of your job fills the most of your time? Right now the majority of my time is spent on campaign building, and as a staff of one (with an amazing board).

What have you learned on the job that you didn't expect? With a campaign and project that is this size and scale, it takes time. The best thing I can remember is to trust, and remember that the right people will come at the right time who want to see this dream come to life.

What challenges face your organization? Being a new organization, and not having anything like this organization in the area, it is hard to envision how this space will be used. We hope that the community will continue to rally behind making this project come to life and see the need for the community at large.

Are there volunteer opportunities in your organization? What are they? Yes, currently we need volunteers for our committees to help with events, administrative support, outreach efforts and planning projects throughout the year.

What upcoming fundraisers and/or other events does your organization have planned? On Dec. 8 we have our It's A Wonderful Waltz -- Winter Garden Ball at 7 p.m., Center for Nonprofits, McAuley Hall, 1200 W. Walnut St. in Rogers. Tickets are $25/person, $45/couple, early bird through Black Friday, and $75 family pass (two adults and up to four children 17 and younger). The family-friendly night will include ballroom dancing, heavy hors d'oeuvres, silent auction, hot chocolate bar and holiday fun.

-- Carin Schoppmeyer

cschoppmeyer@nwadg.com

NAN Profiles on 11/18/2018

Print Headline: Personified

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