2016 Catalyst Award Finalist
Janel Huston has had a transformative influence on Children’s Oncology Services Inc. (COSI) since 1994, when she volunteered at the organization’s annual Boat Day, an event for kids with cancer that includes boating, BBQ and a pool party. As she spoke with children battling cancer, she realized how important it was for them to experience normal childhood events, connect with others in similar situations and create foundations of support. COSI’s programming encourages pediatric cancer patients to heal their emotional scars, which include fear, isolation, loss of hope, broken dreams and the feeling of no longer “fitting in.”
Janel’s relationship with COSI has continued to blossom, and over the past 22 years she has taken on progressive leadership roles in fundraising, as a Board Member, and now as Board Chair. COSI’s organizational health has improved thanks to Janel’s dedication, expertise, and commitment to its long-term sustainability and success. She overhauled the nonprofit’s accounting and bookkeeping process, updated its Bylaws to reflect national best practices, established new Board committees, and recruited a top-notch management team. Under her leadership, COSI moved to a new campus in order to double its capacity, secured a record-breaking grant award of $1.25 million dollars and increased its number of campers by 11% in the past year. Janel continues to be driven and inspired by the courage of children fighting cancer.