Looking Back, Looking Forward

Gateway Garden Center

by Lisa Maguire

As a business, and a community within ourselves, we’ve always believed that giving back to the community that so generously supports us is a critical part of our mission. Averaging five major events a year prior to COVID, the toll the pandemic has taken on not just our business, but also our ability to do one of the things we do best, has been taxing to say the least.

Early Efforts
Over the years, we’ve participated and hosted many large events, ones that we’re sure so many of you have participated in or contributed to. Our first campaign in 2009, the Commemorative Walkway campaign, from which we donated over $25,000 to the Hockessin Fire Company, Hockessin Historical Society, and Greater Hockessin
Area Development Association, was soon followed by our proud run in the Delaware Bike to the Bay from 2009-2015 during which we raised more than $233,000 for the MS Society. That was then succeeded by our Ride for a Reason event in 2016 and 2017, which raised $21,000 for Attack Addiction and the Mike Clark Legacy Foundation. Through these physical feats and after-events, we watched so many people celebrate their success, form new friendships, and nurture existing ones, all the while supporting important local causes.

Camp Social
We added our Camp Social in 2010, which has raised more than $72,000 for Special Olympics Delaware and the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens (DFRC). This event has helped campers to understand the importance of supporting inclusion, diversity, and the community. This was an activity that was sorely missed over the last two seasons and one that we truly hope to continue in years to come.

Chip In for a Cure
Our next large event would come in 2015 in the form of a Golf Outing for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Delaware at Hartefeld Golf Club. In our five years of running the outing, we raised $96,000 for the cause.

HAC Salutes
HAC Salutes joined the ranks in 2013, raising $7,500 for the Veteran’s Hospital in Elsmere and bringing the community together through a proud display of flags along our drive. Between 2014-2020, the campaign has raised over $135,000 for Operation Homefront. Our members and community have shared thousands of heartwarming messages about their loved ones and their love for their country on the flags. We will continue the campaign this year, but with a new beneficiary, Beds4Vets.

Visit hac.fit/HACSalutes to learn more or purchase flags. Be on the lookout for the final driveway display on Thursday, November 11th!

Dancers giving back
Stage Stars Dance and Acro has adopted a family each year since 2016, raising money and donating the Christmas gifts for a family in need! Additionally, they frequently participate in other events such as nursing home visits and have raised over $4,500 for autism awareness.

Gateway Garden Center

Frozen Frogman
The first Frozen Frogman would launch in January 2016 to benefit the Navy Seal Foundation with a donation of $9,000. Through the event, we would get to know gold star parent John Mosko, who connected us with the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF). TMF would be the beneficiary of our subsequent events, which have raised over $129,000 and counting. While we were sad to miss 2021, we look forward to a grand return this upcoming January.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Virtual Challenges
In addition to our large events, we’ve participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s with a HAC Team since 2019 and created monthly virtual challenges starting in October 2020 to help people stay active while raising money for organizations. Since 2019, we have contributed $2,750 to the Alzheimer’s Association through our participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. With our virtual fitness challenges, we have donated to the American Cancer Society, the Food Bank of Delaware, the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware, the American Heart Association, Meals on Wheels of Delaware, and the Alzheimer’s Association. In total, we were able to raise $1,140 through our virtual challenges and helped people stay motivated to hit their step goals, weekly workout goals, and active weekly minutes.

Visit hachealthclub.com/walktoendalz to join our team! The 2021 Alzheimer’s Walk takes place Saturday, October 23rd

Holidazzle
Our first time hosting the DFRC Holidazzle was in 2016 as well, which raised over $192,000 in the four years it was held here on our pool deck.

It’s been a dry eighteen months for large events. But on the horizon, we look forward to putting on our annual HAC Salutes display, hosting our first Pull, Pedal, Plunge on November 13th, and starting 2022 in typical fashion by kicking off with a grand Frozen Frogman. We hope to see you at one or all of our events!


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