This past week, the Gilda’s Club doors welcomed back an excited and familiar face, a face that first stepped through Gilda’s red doors back in 2012 as an Edgewood College Child Life volunteer for Noogiefest and then again, though this time virtually, from 2020-2021 as our UW-Madison Master of Social Work intern.
Now, a full decade later from her very first Noogiefest, Elizabeth Kunz (she/her) is not only eager to attend Noogiefest 2022 this week, but also to be involved in the years to come, formally stepping into our full-time Program Manager role for Kids, Teens, and Families.
Elizabeth returns, ready to “press play” and get our kids, teens, and families playing again after a long hiatus. She treasures her past memories of the connections made with Gilda’s Club members throughout weekly virtual Kids Support, Relaxation and Guided Imagery, Construction Zone, Family and Friends, and Living with Loss. She recognizes how essential these spaces are. Spaces where we can show up as our authentic selves. Spaces to connect, create, listen, learn, talk, play, heal, grow, and be met with validation and support. Elizabeth has let this philosophy be a guiding light as she has committed to facilitating spaces that promote physical and psychological safety in her extensive trainings as a Certified Child Life Specialist, Advanced Practice Social Worker, Lead Child Care Teacher, Violence Prevention Educator, Wilderness First Responder, Emergency Medical Technical, and Firefighter.
With this strong background in health and wellbeing, Elizabeth’s focus has always been kids and teens. Throughout her time in AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, internationally and numerous states domestically, she has coordinated, directed, and facilitated youth programs in after school clubs, workshops, camps, and most recently in outdoor expeditions, in the Colorado mountains. She aims to design and facilitate each program with intentionality, ensuring the best fit for its participants, and creativity, providing an experience that is unique, engaging, and fun.
We are thrilled to announce that with Elizabeth on board, our programming for kids, teens, and families is currently in the process of resuming.
Be on the lookout for upcoming events and be sure to stop by this year’s Noogiefest and say hello!