Dear Forest Moon Community,
I am writing to tell you that, after much deliberation and with deep sorrow, the Board of Directors has decided to close Forest Moon. Our fundraising efforts have simply not met our funding needs.
Since its creation in 2004, Forest Moon has been providing unique programs to support cancer survivors and their loved ones in the mainly rural areas of western Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Forest Moon’s co-founders, Cindy and Phil Blood, understood from personal experience the need for emotional support when faced with a cancer diagnosis, and established the non-profit to help reduce anxiety and promote well being through evidence-based programming offered for free to the cancer community.
Forest Moon gained a reputation for excellence. Glowing evaluations by participants attested to the benefits of our programs. We collaborated with and received referrals from medical centers and organizations throughout New England. In 2012, Forest Moon and our partners conducted 23 individual programs over 94 program days, directly benefiting more than 200 individuals and their families. Through gallery exhibits, our fundraising events, regional survivors’ days, and conferences, we brought Forest Moon’s message of hope and transformation to thousands more.
Unfortunately, the financial foundation needed to operate our programs has just not been sufficient. While Forest Moon has continued to compete very successfully- and gratefully- for grant support, grants typically cover direct program costs but not the operational support necessary to maintain our organizational infrastructure. And the current economic climate has resulted in a significant reduction in philanthropic giving.
Although Forest Moon’s doors will close, we remain committed to Forest Moon’s mission to provide free programming to cancer survivors and their loved ones. We have been in conversations with collaborators and funders, seeking ways to keep the door open for Forest Moon programs. Some of our programs have been collaborations and they will continue. These are: Gentle Yoga for Women with Breast Cancer and Spirit of the Written Word writing workshops, in Greenfield, MA, through the Oncology Dept of Baystate Franklin Medical Center; Circus for Survivors in Brattleboro through New England Center for Circus Arts; and Festive Holiday Cooking and 1 in 8: The Torso Project through Cancer Connection, in Northampton, MA. Discussions are ongoing to see if even more of our programming can continue.
We are delighted that, as part of supporting our programs, Cancer Connection will step into our role as a local charity of the 35th Annual Bridge of Flowers 10K and Steve Lewis Subaru Charity 3K race held in Shelburne Falls, MA on Saturday, August 10.
We hope you will join us at this event as we pass the baton and honor Forest Moon’s and Cancer Connection’s shared mission of providing free programming to individuals living with a cancer diagnosis and their family members and friends. For more info or to sign up to walk or race and raise funds, or to make a donation on Pam Roberts’ pledge page as she walks the 3K, please visit www.bridgeofflowers10k.com
We will be forever indebted to Cindy and Phil for their vision and commitment in creating Forest Moon, and for the inspiration they have provided to so many of us. We want to thank Executive Director Richard Ewald, Executive Assistant Caroline Conrad, Program Director Pam Roberts, and our skilled facilitators for their extremely dedicated and generous service. We also would like to acknowledge our donors and grantors who recognized and believed in our mission and programs. And we give thanks to all of you, our Forest Moon family, who have attended our programs, volunteered, made referrals, donated time and money, and supported us in so many ways.
While we wish that we did not have to share this news with you, the financial realities made this outcome unavoidable. We remain hopeful that Forest Moon’s contributions to survivorship will continue.
We will be back in touch with more details about the Bridge of Flowers race and fall programming in another email soon.
Thank you to all of you.
With best wishes,
President of the Board of Directors of Forest Moon