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Over a cup of tea - passion, purpose & partnership
February 10, 2015

a guest blog from Harmony Hill's Development Director, Tracy Merrifield

Magical things happen over a cup of tea with a friend. Community grows, ideas expand and partnerships are created. A special cup of tea is often shared at Harmony Hill with Gretchen Schodde, Founder and now Ambassador of Harmony Hill. On a particular late summer day we sat with Gretchen and a long time Hill supporter Tricia Raikes over a cup of tea above the dahlia gardens overlooking Hood Canal.

As we caught up around some exciting news, Mark Nepo, best-selling author recognized by The New York Times, poet, cancer survivor, and Oprah’s favorite had just confirmed his appearance as the keynote speaker at the Harmony Hill Spring Gala. Our board member and cancer survivor Marolan Tilcock had recently visited a glassybaby store and was taken by hearing of their founder, Lee Rhodes and  her cancer journey and how Lee grew her glassybaby business around helping others that were faced with the journey after a cancer diagnosis. Rhodes' partnerships were giving back and bringing hope and light to people facing cancer . Tricia looked up from her cup of tea and said, “Imagine a glassybaby named to honor Harmony Hill and Mark Nepo.”

Fast forward to Fall  2014 – A phone call came from glassybaby. They liked the symmetry of Harmony Hill's mission to transform the lives of those affected by cancer and to inspire healthy living for all combined with their glassybaby dedication to healing and helping cancer patients. Their motto is“one of a kindness." The company donates 10 percent of sales to charities helping cancer patients with costs during chemotherapy, and other charities "dedicated to healing". What a match! Not only did they call to let us know they liked the fit – they presented Harmony Hill with an incredible periwinkle glassybaby with the name ‘peace’. “Do you like it?” they asked… “Do we like it?..., We love it!” At the time not knowing the big impact this little hand-blown glassybaby named ‘peace’ was about to have. The Harmony Hill community and glassybaby customers loved ‘peace’ so much that over the holiday season ‘peace’ flew off the shelves and glassybaby went back into producing ‘peace’ for Harmony Hill.  Eric Blegen, Harmony Hill's Executive Director said, “We are very grateful for this partnership with glassybaby because we depend on raising funds to support the Cancer Program and our three day retreats. We offer our retreats free of charge to participants, because we know the negative financial impact a cancer diagnosis can have on families dealing with cancer.”  Collaboration takes many forms and creative collaborations such as this glassybaby partnership helped Harmony Hill reach a milestone fund raising goal at the end of 2014! Because of this partnership and other collaborations – Harmony Hill is on track to serve thousands more people this year than any previous year. Harmony Hill is honored to work with glassybaby as a giving partner and proud of this glassybaby ‘peace’ that brings light the lives of so many. For more information please visit www.harmonyhill.org

- Tracy Merrifield, Development Director 

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