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LMP team members Anne Aurelia Lewis, Jessica Wilburn, and Katie Blood sitting with Co-Chair Nikki Miller before the Auction started at Beyond Bags (Cancer LINC)

Plugging In While Giving Back: Work and Volunteer Life

May 14, 2024
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By: Nikki Miller, Senior Project Manager

After my first year of employment at Lewis Media, I asked the President and Owner, Aurelia Lewis, in a one-on-one session what I could do to improve my job performance at the company. Her response to me was, “I love your work with CancerLINC, and I want you to keep doing it. Consider your work there as an extension of your job here, that is how important it is to me.”  I was delighted and inspired to hear such encouragement from the owner of the media agency I already loved working at.

With the support and confidence of company leadership, I leaned in. In addition to serving on CancerLINC’s Junior Board, Event Committee, and Marketing Committee, this year I served as Co-Chair for their marquis event, Beyond Bags 2024. Beyond Bags (previously known as “It’s in the Bag”) has taken place for 18 years and as indicated in the name, has progressed beyond an auction composed strictly of purses and bags. This year, the silent and live auction featured items from businesses all over the Richmond area including a shopping spree at Monkee’s of Richmond, show tickets at the Altria Theater, hotels stays, fun experiences, and even jewelry.  This year’s event was held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture on April 11th and we chose a French theme to complement the Julia Child exhibit currently on display there. As promised, Lewis Media sponsored the event, volunteered to help execute it, and showed up to support on the big night.

LMP team members Anne Aurelia Lewis, Jessica Wilburn, and Katie Blood sitting with Co-Chair Nikki Miller before the Auction started at Beyond Bags (Cancer LINC)
LMP team members Anne Aurelia Lewis, Jessica Wilburn, and Katie Blood sitting with Co-Chair Nikki Miller before the Auction started.
Anne Aurelia Lewis bidding on an item during the Live Auction portion of Beyond Bags (Cancer LINC)
Anne Aurelia Lewis bidding on an item during the Live Auction portion of the event.
Lewis Media team members Edie McCroskey and Emily Alexander volunteering at Beyond Bags (Cancer LINC)
Edie McCroskey and Emily Alexander both volunteered on the day of the event.

This support from Lewis Media helped make the event a success. 153 guests attended the Beyond Bags event. In total, the event raised over $136,000 in cash and donated items. All proceeds from the event support CancerLINC’s mission to provide legal, financial, and community resource assistance for local cancer patients. In their most recent fiscal year, CancerLINC helped 693 patients and their families with 813 legal and financial issues.

In the months of planning leading up to April, there were multiple meetings during typical business hours that I needed to attend. I also made several media appearances to help promote the event. Without the support of my employer, I would not have been able to take the time I needed for the planning and promotion. I appreciate the flexibility that was offered to me thanks to the support of company leadership, and my colleagues who had my back when I needed to be out of the office. As a Project Manager at Lewis Media, I’ve gained transferable skills that I’ve been able to give back to a local charity. Does your workplace help you give back? It matters!

To learn more about other fundraising events by CancerLINC and how they help the Greater Richmond community, go to cancerlinc.org.

Hope to see you all for Beyond Bags 2025!

Emily Alexander, Nikki Miller, Katie Blood, Anne Aurelia Lewis, Jessica Wilburn, and Edie McCroskey (Lewis Media team members) at Beyond Bags (Cancer LINC)
Emily Alexander, Nikki Miller, Katie Blood, Anne Aurelia Lewis, Jessica Wilburn, and Edie McCroskey
Nikki Miller