Celebrating Those Who Give!
Meet Dulany Dent
Note: This story is from a WIN email delivered on 4/29/20.
For the second feature in our "Celebrating Those Who Give," series, we thought it only appropriate to highlight devoted volunteer, donor and WIN member, Dulany Dent. Here's a transcript of our conversation with Dulany which articulates her passion for WIN, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and the patients and students and their families, whom we serve.
What should our audience know about your background? I was involved with WIN in its “start-up” stages and was the first official president of WIN.
How did you learn about WIN? I first learned about WIN in 2011 when I took a tour of Kennedy Krieger Institute with Lainy Lebow-Sachs and my husband, Matt. I asked to tag along on the tour because I had always heard amazing things about Kennedy Krieger since I moved to Baltimore in 2003 and wanted to know more about it. Lainy had invited Matt to take a tour since his company, D.F. Dent and Company, Inc. had been a long time supporter of Festival of Trees. Lainy asked me at the end of the tour if I was interested in attending the WIN annual meeting which coincidentally was taking place the week after my tour. I said “Absolutely, sign me up!”
How have you been involved with WIN? My involvement with WIN has changed over the years. I was involved in its “start-up” stages and was the first official president of WIN. During that time, Nicole O'Malley served as the WIN vice president and Dara Schnee was also involved. We were a great team and I loved working with these women. Early on, I was active as a volunteer and president of WIN. I hosted numerous parent dinners in the inpatient unit with fellow WIN friends and volunteered in the Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation playroom. I also hosted several WIN events in my living room in an effort to build membership. I was the event chair of the first WIN fundraiser at the Waterfront Kitchen. The money raised went toward purchasing a new lift van for the high school. I also helped plan and attended Planting Hope, a very moving event in the Therapeutic Garden at the Institute where we painted rocks and listened to live music with patients. This, at the time, was a cornerstone WIN event. I attended the Art of Unlocking Potential [event] several years in a row at Living Classrooms. I brought my mom and my kids and we purchased amazing pieces of art that were created by Kennedy Krieger students. Once I stepped down as president, I was a co-chair of WIN Kids with Genevra Waldron, with the goal of hosting more events throughout the year where our kids could volunteer and help give back. We planned holiday craft events with the goal of decorating the inpatient unit during the month of December. We also helped plan the first WIN Carnival, where volunteers and their children could have fun with the inpatients and put smiles on their faces. Later I contributed more financially, when my career and family commitments didn’t allow much time for volunteering. More recently I have been trying to get back into volunteering since it is truly what I enjoy the most. Over the years I have always supported and attended fundraising events such as the WIN Wine Walkabout and Hats & Horses, whenever possible.
What's your favorite WIN memory? One of my favorite WIN memories was attending the final day of Camp SOAR up at Sandy Hill Camp in Northeast, Maryland. WIN had helped sponsor this event with proceeds raised at the Wine Walkabout. I was invited to come to the final ceremonies of the weekend, along with some other executive committee members. There were so many levels of love expressed that day. Parents of former inpatients came back to the camp to pick up their kids after two very rare days of respite. They were so happy to be reunited. The parents were grateful for the time off to recharge and grateful to come back and see smiles on their children’s face. They were grateful for the Kennedy Krieger staff who volunteered their time and expertise so that their children could experience a true camp experience in the safest of environments. They were grateful that their children were able to bond and that they could meet others who also struggle because of a family member’s challenging medical conditions. The smiles on the kids’ faces said it all.
What would you say to encourage others to join WIN? WIN is a special group of women. There is a level of dedication that is contagious. You get to meet the patients and families in person and get an inside look at the extreme difficulties they face. Volunteering at Kennedy Krieger via WIN you can really make a difference by helping to put a smile on the patients and parents’ faces when they are in some of their darkest days. It is a reality check each and every time I go to volunteer and I leave there so grateful for the opportunity to help.
Thank you, Dulany, for sharing your time and talents with Kennedy Krieger and WIN! We are humbled by your energy, commitment, generosity and kindness that you have bestowed on WIN and the Institute over the years. We look forward to continuing our partnership to further the mission of WIN and Kennedy Krieger Institute!