Where volunteers gather to get inspired, be empowered and spread hope.
As a longtime volunteer, the Pathways Conference helped me understand more about the Foundation and how to make more of an impact and reach more people in my local area.2023 Pathways Conference attendee
2023 Pathways Conference Honors Top Volunteers
As a volunteer-powered organization, the Foundation is guided by our strong community of patients and volunteers. Each of them is critical in driving the organization’s mission, priorities and research. This year’s award winners were recently honored at our annual Pathways Conference, held this year in San Francisco.
On March 10, 2023, the Arthritis Foundation named the recipients of the 2023 Charles B. Harding Award for Distinguished Service and Champion Awards, which honor excellence in volunteer leadership.
Each year, these awards are presented to volunteers who demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the organization’s mission to conquer arthritis. The selection process is made at the national level.
“We find ourselves energized by how many of our volunteers came together for a shared purpose: to help those affected by arthritis find a pathway to an improved quality of life and to champion the fight for better treatments and access to care,” says Steven Taylor, Arthritis Foundation President & CEO.
Charles B. Harding Award for Distinguished Service, Robin Dore, MD
The Charles B. Harding Award for Distinguished Service is the highest level of national volunteer recognition with the Arthritis Foundation. The award was established in 1976 in honor of one of the Foundation’s most well-known chairmen, a nationally regarded philanthropist.
Dr. Robin Dore, this year’s honoree, first became involved with the Arthritis Foundation through a rheumatology fellowship funded in the late 1970s. Since then, she has poured her heart and soul into giving back. Dr. Dore credits her late husband, Cliff, for convincing her that raising funds for the Arthritis Foundation would resonate with her patients. When Team Dore formed for the 2005 Walk to Cure Arthritis, the team raised $8,000. Since then, Dr. Dore’s team has raised nearly a half million dollars, including $9,900 for the 2021 Jingle Bell Run.
“Every year, my patients can’t wait to raise more money,” says Dr. Dore. “The Arthritis Foundation makes it possible to advance scientific research for treatments and a cure – and advocacy efforts that are helping patients access the medications they need.”
The Foundation’s Champion Awards are given to individual volunteers or volunteer groups who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to the organization. These volunteers lead fundraising efforts, build partnerships and champion arthritis-related activities within their community. This year, there are four deserving winners of the Champion Awards.
Sarah Cloud, a member of the National Advocacy Committee and the Arthritis Foundation’s Local Leadership Board Advocacy Chair in Utah, has been an advocacy Platinum Ambassador since 2016. Cloud has lived with osteoarthritis since age 19, and she is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and Ehler’s-Danlos syndrome. Sarah’s entire family is affected by arthritis: Her adult son has enthesitis-related juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and her husband, Mike, lives with ankylosing spondylarthritis.
Derek Engfelt is a longtime bike rider and fundraiser for the California Coast Classic Bike Tour (CCC). Engfelt serves the Arthritis Foundation as an advocate for its mission to conquer arthritis and devotes hours annually to soliciting donors and raising awareness. In 2022, Engfelt completed his tenth CCC, raising $40,379 to date, which is more than ten times the required minimum to participate. He has raised more than $275,000 since 2013, which has motivated other Champions and raised the stakes for CCC top fundraisers.
Helen King’s impact and contribution to the Arthritis Foundation started in 2015 after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Currently, she supports the arthritis community and the Foundation at the local, regional and national levels. She chairs the Local Leadership Board Chair in Philadelphia and the local Walk to Cure Arthritis (WTCA), where she also captains the top fundraising team.She is a Live Yes! Connect Group facilitator, a National Board and Executive Committee memberand has been an advocacy Platinum Ambassador since 2018. She has served as both a local and national WTCA Honoree, and was a member of the WTCA National Committee in 2020. Helen’s impact as a fundraiser has raised more than $300,000 for WTCA. She has attended key advocacy events in Pennsylvania as well as National Advocacy Conferences and “Hill Days” in D.C.
Mark Whited serves on the Cincinnati Leadership Board and is the Captain of “Mayro’s Milers” WTCA team. As a longtime Kroger employee, Whited became involved with the arthritis community through a coworker, Mayro Kanning. He embraced her battle with rheumatoid arthritis and devoted his time to supporting research to find a cure. Through his business and network, he has inspired many others, including local corporations, to join the fight to raise money for the cause. Whited has led the “Mayro’s Milers” team for 15 years, a team that has raised more than $500,000 for the Arthritis Foundation mission. He shares Mayro’s story through fundraising and advocacy and invites friends and colleagues to join him.
Learn more about volunteering for the Arthritis Foundation.