Here is a story about a recent order that we completed about an amazing innkeeper named Kathy Hartley, and an annual retreat that she hosts at her inn.
The three-day retreat is offered to those who are undergoing treatment for any type of cancer, not just breast cancer. Some of them even have multiple forms of the disease. There is no cost to the women who attend because of Kathy’s tireless efforts to provide funding for the event. Not only has she applied for and received grants, but she also approaches local businesses for their support. She has been successful at getting the retreat covered under the Ventura County Medical Group’s 501(c)(3) status which recognizes it as a nonprofit program. According to the article, a locally-owned grocery store offers food that the ladies use to prepare meals together in the kitchen.
We were so moved by this article that we wanted to do something for Kathy and the ladies who will attend the next retreat. Since making handmade stoneware mugs is what we do best, we decided to create the first-ever INNcourage commemorative mug as our way of thanking Kathy for her noble and benevolent work.
Teena, our talented art director, was able to combine the two pieces to create the beautiful medallion. For this unique run we selected the round belly mug because of its graceful shape and it’s a perfect size for wrapping your hands around. This is our first announcement of the special project for Kathy and the INNcourage retreat!
The entire retreat is designed around serenity. Facials, makeovers, and yoga by candlelight are just some of the examples of the special treatment that Kathy provides. One-on-one therapy as well as group sessions led by a certified therapist are also offered. Those who attend are always encouraged to participate in the activities but are free to spend time alone. Kathy’s goal is to make them feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible. They are also treated to dinner at Ojai’s Feast Bistro. The owners there have supported Kathy since day one.
The most touching part of this story for us is that these ladies are hand-selected by nurses at the local oncology clinic. Those who get chosen are ones who wouldn’t normally have the chance to experience this type of retreat due to financial or familial obligations. Many of them don’t even have insurance, and some of them are single parents working two jobs. This year each guest will receive her own INNcourage mug that we created especially for the retreat.
We hope that our small donation will not only raise awareness for cancer itself, but will also be a call to action for others to make a difference whenever and however possible. We are so fortunate to have grown our family business within this industry where individuals like Kathy continue to inspire and INNcourage us every day.
Niles Deneen – VP, Marketing