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The Valerie Fund’s Camp Happy Times

Meet Millie Finkel   The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are! Millie: I’m Millie Finkel, volunteer director of The Valerie Fund’s Camp Happy Times. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 33 years ago. I had just finished chemo therapy when a friend called and told me he was involved […]

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The/Studio: What a wonderful organization. Can you tell us more about Camp Happy Times?

Millie: CHT is a one week sleepaway camp for children who have or have had cancer. All though most of our campers are from NJ, PA, NY and CT, we take any child, no matter where they live. Ages run from 5-21, the older campers 19-21, are part of our LIT program (Leaders in Training).

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The/Studio: What about Camp Happy Times are you most proud of?

Millie: I love watching the children grow, come back to camp one summer with hair after being bald the summer before and especially seeing the older campers return as counselors. This year we will have at least 10 former campers as counselors.

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The/Studio: What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your organization?

Millie: Camp is a very expensive proposition and as well as raising funds, in-kind donations are always needed. Some of our campers don’t have the means to provide for themselves what is needed for the week at camp, sleeping bags, linens, clothing etc., but we supply them from our “store”, at no cost to them. Every child receives t-shirts and sweatshirts with our logo. The camp we rent is not free, as is the needed golf carts to transport the children who need help and bus transportation and we provide all of this.

The/Studio: Where do you see Camp Happy Times in 10 years?

Millie: We like to say that we won’t need a camp for children with cancer because there will be a cure.

The/Studio: That would be amazing. What type of legacy do you want to leave?

Millie: I hope that some of my campers, as they grow up will continue their commitment to CHT. Over the years, my husband, children, sister, nieces, nephew and grandchildren have been counselors.

The/Studio: What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?

Millie: Since many of our counselors have been volunteering for many years, we decided to give patches honoring their years at camp.

The/Studio: How are you going to use this custom product?

Millie: Last year, we honored our 20 + volunteers with a patch for their sweatshirts and this year we decided to honor the 10+ years of volunteering.

The/Studio: Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?

Millie: Depending if they live in New Jersey. We have many fundraising events.

The/Studio:  Is there anything our community members can do to help?

Millie: We look for in-kind donations, about anything you could think of. Over the counter meds (I forgot to say we have a full infirmary with nurses and doctors, we give chemotherapy at camp), water, snacks, white tee shirts for tie-dying, just about anything for arts and crafts. And running a fundraising event is wonderful.

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Thank you Millie for sharing your story with us. Your story has truly touched our hearts here at The/Studio. We are honored to be able to interview you.

4th Avenue Media

Meet Lucas Mack   The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are! Lucas: My name is Lucas Mack and I’m the founder and CEO of 4th Avenue Media. Prior to starting my company in 2008, I was a broadcast TV reporter and worked in stations across the country. We are […]

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The/Studio: I like this story already! What does 4th Avenue Media do?

Lucas: We are a full-service creative marketing and communication firm that develops and leverages an entire network for companies to drive sales and engage employees. We believe only when passion and purpose combine with vision can inspired companies build deeper relationships with both customers and employees, which attracts the right growth. From Brand Development, Video Production, Graphic Design, Content Marketing, Internal Communications and Digital Marketing, we put the power of the media inside every business.

The/Studio: What have you learned since starting 4th Avenue Media?

Lucas: Life doesn’t always work out as planned and you can’t control the timeline. President Teddy Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy,” and he was right! I’ve had to learn to enjoy the journey, do my best and let the rest go. The outcome has been an incredibly powerful company, with amazing people who are on mission to see uninspired companies inspired and inspired companies build deeper relationships with customers and employees!

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The/Studio: What about 4th Avenue Media are you most proud of?

Lucas: Great question! I’m proud of my team. We have a code of conduct called DSAT, which stands for Do Right. Say Right. Act Right. Think Right. We do this at all times for each other and our clients. As a result of DSAT, we have a culture built on trust, which I believe is the premise of all great relationships. My employees are amazing!

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The/Studio: I love that! What are some of the greatest challenges you face with 4th Avenue Media?

Lucas: My greatest challenge is finding time to work on the business instead of working in the business. We are a firm of 10 and growing, so making sure I stay strategic and visionary is crucial for our growth.

The/Studio: Where do you see 4th Avenue Media in 10 years?

Lucas: I see our company with offices across the country that has kept the fire of DSAT burning so brightly that we teach classes to other companies on how to build amazing culture within your organization and in conjunction with that, I see us owning a 24 hour business news network that tells the inspiring stories of business leaders across the country who treat people like people.

The/Studio: What type of legacy do you want to leave?

Lucas: I think of this often. What I want people to remember by, is a man who loved people and who saw every individual as a mind and a heart that desired to be compelled and engaged. No titles, no labels, just people.

The/Studio: What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?

Lucas: It’s our company secret ; ) Just for us internally.

The/Studio: Aww, that’s not fair! I really want to know!  How are you going to use this custom product?

Lucas: We keep the patch at our desks and talk about the meaning weekly as a team.

The/Studio: Do you have any promotions you would like to offer our community?

Lucas: If there is a business that is struggling clearly communicating their value and driving sales, then I’d like to help. Anyone who sees this, calls us and tells us the acronym of our code of conduct, we’ll give a 30 minute free consultation and a copy of my book, “Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face”. http://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Plan-Until-They-Punched/dp/1936672693

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Thank you Lucas Mack for sharing your story with us. You taught us all a very valuable lessons and that is to “Do Right. Say Right. Act Right. Think Right.”