West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Raises Dollars and Awareness for the Academy Foundation with the Help of Christina Gayheart!

When Christina Gayheart was asked to be the West Virginia State Fund Raising Chair a couple months ago, she knew she had her work cut out for her because there were only a few short weeks before their 2016 Annual Meeting. She got to work right away, making calls to local businesses and asking fellow RDs to bring in local food items to assemble more than 12 different baskets that were auctioned off over the two-day meeting.

When it was all said and done, Gayheart and her efforts raised $1,384 for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. “I am not afraid to be told no, I think that has helped me to be successful,” explains Gayheart. “I was very pleased to surpass the goal of a dollar per member and hope to raise the bar even higher over the course of this next year.”

She is a strong proponent of sustainability and buying locally. One of the more successful baskets auctioned off was a Taste of West Virginia basket containing more than 30 items from local vendors and farmer’s markets.

State Fund Raising Chairs are volunteer leadership positions with all Academy Affiliates and work closely with Foundation staff to help create awareness and raise needed dollars to sustain and grow Foundation programs. “I have a passion about our profession and what the Foundation does for us as students and professionals,” said Gayheart.

Gayheart knew she would have to educate attendees about the Foundation so she found resources on the Foundation’s State Fund Raising Chair webpage, printing and laminating the Foundation’s latest infographic and displaying copies around the conference. She also made announcements about the silent auction after every speaker. “I was continually selling the Foundation and letting everyone know why it is so important to us.”

She also knows the value of getting students involved early in their career with an appreciation and understanding of the Foundation, utilizing student volunteers to assemble baskets from Marshall University and the University of West Virginia.

Gayheart has been a student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for a little more than four years, she is pursuing a master’s degree as she completes her internship at Marshall University and prepares to take her RDN certification this July.

The Foundation does not receive a portion of any member dues and relies on donations to thrive, please consider a contribution when renewing your membership online each year or donate today. Thank you!

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