Nick Arquette was still a kid when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. The experience tore him apart, at once wanting to help his mom and still wanting to be with and like all the other kids who weren’t worried about their parents.
Ultimately, his mother succumbed to the cancer. As the years went by and her memory faded, Nick increasingly wanted to do something in her honor. Reflecting on his childhood, he launched Walk With Sally in her name to mentor children of cancer patients so they can enjoy more normal lives.
Interview with Nick Arquette, the Founder & CEO of Walk With Sally.
The following is the pre-interview with Nick Arquette. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?
At Walk With Sally, I believe we are really filling a crucial support gap in the cancer community by offering hope and mentorship to the children who are often left by the wayside in the wake of a parent’s cancer journey.
More about Walk With Sally:
Walk With Sally believes no child should walk alone in the face of a loved one’s cancer journey. Because we don’t want cancer to define or limit children for the rest of their lives, we create hope, healing and a supportive community through individualized mentoring, which transforms the lives not only of the children but also of the families impacted by cancer.
For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit
Revenue model: The majority of our annual revenue comes from our special events and fundraising efforts. Rallying the support of the community in order to really grow our fundraising model has had the biggest impact on our growth. This makes up for 50-55% of revenue generated each year. The remaining revenue is generated from either grants or private and corporate donors.
Scale: When Walk With Sally first started back in 2006, it was just a vision, and it all began by testing out the idea of a mentor friendship with one child, thanks to a partnership with the Lawndale school system. From that point until 2014, we were completely volunteer based. In 2014, Nick stepped in as CEO to oversee the nonprofit full time. From 2014 to current day, we have been able to grow the program from all volunteer based support, to now having 7 full-time employees. Our impact has also grown by 300%, from supporting only a few families at a time, to now having helped hundreds of families throughout 35 cities across greater Los Angeles. Since 2014, when Walk With Sally really implemented a solid business model and moved away from being volunteer-based, the annual revenue has increased by 200% between 2014 and current day.
Nick Arquette’s bio:
Nick Arquette founded Walk With Sally in 2005, naming it for his mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer and after many years of treatment, died when Nick was sixteen. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Nick never forgot how challenging and isolating the years of his mother’s illness and loss had been for him as a child. Wanting to keep the legacy of his Mother alive while seeking to serve youth facing similar circumstances, Nick searched for mentoring opportunities in the community only to discover that NO organization was filling this critical support gap. After careful research, he launched Walk With Sally and began mentoring a youth who had recently lost his mother to cancer. From that first successful friendship, Walk With Sally’s core Mentoring Program has expanded, having served hundreds of families throughout the South Bay over the past 10+ years. Today Walk With Sally has helped countless families along the way and the program currently supports over 100 active children; boys and girls ages 7-17, with trained volunteer mentors throughout Los Angeles County. With all his work throughout the community, in 2011 Nick was awarded Citizen of the Year by MB Chamber Women in Business and was a finalist for the Daily Breeze Most Philanthropic in 2012. Walk With Sally was awarded the distinction of Nonprofit of the Year in 2017 by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.