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KAREN JONES, KURE IT CANCER RESEARCH

An In-Kure IT-able Spirit When It Comes to Good Causes

In everyone’s life events take place that often change your perception of your place in the world and what you can do to be a better part of it. For Karen Jones, two such events have happened – finding out that one of her children had leukemia (which, happily, has been in remission for 14 years now) and meeting Barry Hoeven. After the first event happened Karen realized that she needed to do all she could to help cancer patients and after the second event she had found a great organization that could make a difference – Kure It.

A New Orleans native who moved to California when her dad’s Navy service brought him there just before starting high school, she now considers The Golden State home. "I fell in love with the nice weather and lack of mosquitoes,” she laughs.

Since living in California she has married and had four children – two boys and two girls, along with three stepchildren. They are all grown now, which affords her the ability to dedicate herself to a cause as noble as Kure It, founded by Hoeven. But it was finding out that her daughter had leukemia at the age of two that was a real wake-up call to the reality of cancer, the need for better cancer research and the fact that it can be treated.

" In 1991, my two year old daughter, Mary, was diagnosed with leukemia,” said Karen. "Her prognosis was very poor, but she was able to battle the cancer until late 1999, when we learned of a Phase One, early stage clinical trial being done in Portland, Oregon. She was accepted into the trial and went into remission in just 8 months. She is now a thriving 24 year old. So that explains my passion for research.”

"During Mary’s illness, I began volunteering with a local nonprofit that provides recreational activities for pediatric cancer patients, mainly in the form of the World’s Great Camp, a three-day family camp in the mountains. Over the course of 15 years, I did everything from grant writing to event planning to record keeping. I also volunteered with the kids’ schools and headed up several committees.”

When it was time to go back into the paying work force, Karen was able to get a job with the Child Abuse Prevention Center, where she also got to do a little of everything, but at a much larger nonprofit. After seven years there, she learned of the opening at Kure It, and loved everything she heard. Karen was so moved by Hoeven’s story and his commitment to help others, that she had no trouble finding a high level of enthusiasm for her new job.

"We hit our $2 million mark in late August last year, and by December of 2013, had surpassed $2.5 million. We are hoping that 2014 is the year we raise a million in one single year. We have awarded grants to researchers all over the United States, totaling $1.4 million to date. In 2014, we plan to award another half million dollars to innovative research projects.”

She has been particularly pleased with the support of the California self storage community for Kure It, notably the CSSA’s involvement.

"The CSSA was our first State Association partnership, paving the way for others to follow suit, as Arizona and Florida have done,” Karen says. "Erin and her team have really helped us in spreading the word about Kure It – as one of the top state associations, their endorsement of, and commitment to, our cause really matters. We appreciate the opportunities to speak to the top operators and vendors in the California self storage industry, whether at a networking breakfast or a major conference. And of course, we love joining forces with our CSSA friends to host fun events like the Napa Bocce Tournament and the Boat Cruise on Newport Harbor.”

Jones is always ready with a smile and friendly gesture, as well as interesting and enthusiastic conversation. She might let you in on her love for cooking (especially bacon) or her impending trip to her old haunt of New Orleans for Mardi Gras. But, most importantly, she’ll be happy to tell you why supporting Kure It is so important. And how much she loves the people she meets in self storage.

"The more I get to know about self storage, the more impressed I am,” Karen concludes. "What a great industry to be part of!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT KURE IT AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!


THE CSSA IS LOOKING FOR CURRENT MEMBERS WHO HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITY OR IMPACTED OUR INDUSTRY POSITIVELY IN SOME WAY.
 
TO SUBMIT A CANDIDATE PLEASE CONTACT US AT INFO@CSSAWEB.COM

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