The Smyrk Pratt Pediatric Oncology Fund was founded to support pediatric oncology research with donations from the not-for-profit-concept company, GAINS VILLE™ Apparel. GAINS VILLE™ Apparel was founded with the goal of “Lifting Spirits” through fitness and health in June of 2017 by Will Smyrk, a UF student. “Gains” represents the positive strides that can be made when we support one another. The idea for a fitness apparel company that donates profits to help those overcoming their life challenges grew into GAINS VILLE™ Apparel, which has since made donations to various causes benefitting charities in the Gainesville, FL community.
GAINS VILLE™ Apparel is operated by Will Smyrk and his mom, Lana Smyrk with the help of UF students Will Fitzgerald, Chris O’Meara, and Coby Hancock, who have been great additions to the team. Everyone involved in growing the GAINS VILLE™ Apparel effort is an unpaid volunteer.
Will Smyrk shared the inspiration behind making pediatric oncology research at UF Health, GAINS VILLE™ Apparel’s primary philanthropy:
“My parents have always emphasized the importance of living a life of integrity and leaving a positive impact on the lives that I come to meet. When applying to UF, I promised to be an integral part of the Gator Good, seeking to lessen other people’s burdens and do what I could to fill my life and the lives of others with moments worth smiling about. Founding GAINS VILLE™ Apparel and this fund are ways I sought to reinforce this promise.
Over the course of my life, my dad has taught me so much about the world of finance and business and he has helped guide me as I navigate my first business venture, GAINS VILLE™ Apparel. My mom is the kindest and most selfless person and she has always supported my goals and encouraged me through any roadblocks. She was a huge help to me in starting GAINS VILLE™ Apparel and has continued to be my greatest support, volunteering her time and energy to this effort to make it a success and leave a positive impact.
Cancer took the lives of 3 of my grandparents, Don Smyrk Sr., Joan Smyrk, and Bill Pratt who passed away before I was born. These events over the course of my life strengthened my desire to support cancer research. Furthermore, my mom has always been passionate about supporting pediatric oncology research. For these reasons, I chose this cause to support. We are so happy to be supporting the great research that is being done at UF Health.”
Will Fitzgerald, Coby Hancock, Chris O’Meara, & Will Smyrk