Kim Gerrish, Executive Director of Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center, named ‘Citizen of the Year 2018’ at the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala on Saturday, February 23rd at Pechanga Resort and Casino. Kim was one of thirteen nominees, all equally worthy of the honor. Kim is a shining light in the Community contributing her knowledge and experience to grow Michelle’s Place from its humble beginnings in a 350 square foot space into its future 10,000 square foot space. “I am humbled by this award. It is my pleasure to work in this amazing community and support families dealing with cancer,” said Kim.
Kim was the first official employee of Michelle’s Place 15 years ago. After hearing the story of Michelle from her parents, Bill and Marilyn Watson, Kim knew it would be her life’s mission to help those individuals fighting breast cancer. From Marilyn and Bill, Kim learned that Michelle was diagnosed at 23 years old with stage 4 breast cancer. Frustrated with the lack of cancer support services in Temecula Valley, Michelle’s dying wish was for her parents to establish a place, where individuals dealing with cancer could receive some emotional comfort, a listening ear, and an opportunity to talk with someone surviving cancer. Sadly, Michelle succumbed to her disease at 26 years old.
Today, Kim leads a staff of 10 overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of Michelle’s Place, including fundraising, marketing and community outreach. “Kim is an incredible member of our community and absolutely deserving of ‘Citizen of the Year’, said Stefani Laszko, President of Michelle’s Place Executive Board. Her passion to serve is truly incorporated in every aspect of her life and we are so grateful for her leadership at Michelle’s Place. “
Kim is also overseeing the expansion of Michelle’s Place, which is opening its services to all cancers and purchasing its forever home. “This expansion to all cancers is the biggest project I have ever attempted at Michelle’s Place, stated Kim. I hope you will join me in supporting the region’s first ever cancer resource center.” Currently, Michelle’s Place has raised $670,000 toward the Expansion with a goal of $1.2 million by June 1st. Through generous community support, Michelle’s Place can expand its square footage so that it can expand the program options offered to meet the needs of its clients.
Kim is also actively involved in several community organizations including the Rotary Club of Temecula; Board Member of Economic Development Coalition; incoming president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Inland Empire chapter; founding member of the Southwest Riverside County
For Immediate Release
Cancer Task Force; and co-founder of the Southwest Riverside County Nonprofit Cooperative, created to help nonprofit organizations learn more about how to run an efficient and effective organization.
About Michelle’s Place
Temecula is home to the ONLY cancer resource center in three counties. Michelle’s Place has provided over 110,000 free resources to individuals and their families dealing with cancer over the last 17 years. Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization empowering individuals and their families dealing with cancer through education and support services.