All Roads Lead to GiGi’s!

We would like to re-introduce you to our Site Manager, Kelly Antonson.

Kelly has had the role of Site Manager since March 2020.  She started in this roll two weeks before we had to close the Playhouse doors due to COVID and has learned how to run and manage both a virtual and in-person Playhouse.

While Kelly has been here for about 18 months, she’s been a part of our team for about 3 years! 

Kelly shared “I was at a transition point from my career in the corporate world and was looking for something that felt meaningful and important. I don’t have anyone in my family with a Down syndrome diagnosis, but I do love a lot of people that rock that extra chromosome!”

She had heard about GiGi’s Playhouse through her daughter’s All Star Cheer gym because her daughter was a mentor on the gym’s all abilities cheer team.  About 4 years ago the team came to the Playhouse to do a showcase and invite others to join.  A few months after leaving the corporate world she saw a social media post from the Playhouse that caught her eye and  she reached out.

After a discussion with the past Site Manager she started volunteering to help plan the annual Gala.  “I had never volunteered with a non-profit before and had never even been to a fundraising Gala so I just jumped in blindly! I quickly learned that it takes an army of dedicated people to take care of everything that needs to be done for these types of events”.  Kelly came to us with a background in Brand Marketing so she took on a lot of the marketing, including creating marketing pieces and social media posts.  Eventually the Board of Directors asked Kelly to join as the Marketing Chair. During her time on the board she continued her hands on marketing tasks and also helped us secure our first ever outdoor advertising campaign. You can still see some billboards of our awesome Playhouse participants around town!

When the Site Manger role became available Kelly was at a point of wanting a new career and she finally realized that “all roads kept leading to GiGi’s!”

She “loves meeting the families and hanging out with the participants both online and in-person. Our Playhouse is a really special place and part of what makes it so special is the incredible energy the participants, families and volunteers bring. I really enjoy working with our volunteers because without them, we couldn’t do any of our programs”.  You’ll often find Kelly out in the community talking with different organizations, meeting with families and volunteers online and enjoying life as a new empty nester since both her kids are now in college.

Kelly’s Family: Husband, daughter and son all volunteer with GiGi’s Playhouse!

Kelly  said she’s excited for what the future holds for our Playhouse- “We not only survived COVID, we THRIVED.  We have some really big plans for the future and I’m so lucky to have a front seat to all of it”.

 

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