News from the American Cancer Society SCV Unit A Coalition of Joy: SCV Cancer Survivor Day
It was a dream shared by ACS super-volunteer Nancy Coulter, and her daughter, Heather Warrick, the longtime ACS SCV Health Programs Manager who battled breast cancer for 19 of her 43 years on earth. Their vision: To bring cancer survivors together via local cancer-related non-profits, and give them a party that celebrates survivorship and the caring support within this community.
Their goal was realized on June 24 when the inaugural SCV Cancer Survivor Day took place at Real Life Church in Valencia. Participating non-profits included ACS, Circle of Hope, City of Hope, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Michael Hoefflin Foundation.
“Our valley appreciates its cancer survivors and we honor their cancer journey,” Coulter said to the crowd of 200-plus, from tots to seniors. “When you’re diagnosed with cancer, there is a community here that offers hope, help, and friendship.”
Event highlights included speeches, City of Santa Clarita recognition, food, and free raffles. Mike Keesler provided enjoyable music during registration. A touching performance of “I Lived” was delivered by the Canyon High School Madrigal Chorus, under the skilled direction of Mary Purdy.
Tricia Eugenio, a Providence Cancer Center Oncology Nurse and ACS volunteer, and Judith Harris, a psychotherapist, cancer survivor, and life humorist, provided speeches on survivorship and positivity.
Event sponsors included Betty Oldfield (a founder of the ACS SCV Unit), Friends of Heather Warrick, Dianne and Wayne Crawford, Donna Nuzzi, and Candy Spahr. Local businesses and private supporters donated 42 raffle gifts, valued between $50 and $300. An overnight Hyatt Valencia getaway, Hanson Skincare sets, a Paseo Club one-month family membership, Starbucks gift baskets, and Majorca earrings were among them.
City of Hope’s Mandy Edlseder, an ACS Leadership Council member and former ACS staffer, praised the meaningful soiree.
“With special thanks to our leader, Nancy, for bringing us all together, this event was heartfelt, emotional, and impactful for our community,” she said.
Sandy Ends, ACS SCV Unit Leadership Council chair, lauded Coulter and everyone involved for bringing the mother-daughter goal to fruition.
“Nancy, who worked on Cancer Survivor’s Day for many months, did an outstanding job of starting this great group. Her wonderful event kept us together to provide a first-time success and a beautiful opportunity to become friends within a powerful team,” said Ends, a breast cancer survivor.
With visible emotion, Coulter acknowledged the group’s success, and her precious daughter’s input.
“Heather wanted cancer survivors to know that their courage and strength are inspirations to everyone, and she really wanted to throw a party full of laughter, happiness, music, food, gifts and plain old fun! As I think of her, I can hear her saying, ‘Hope and hopelessness are both a choice, why not choose hope?’ That’s exactly what we’ve done here,” the mother stated.
A nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization, the ACS is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Call its local office at 661-298-0886, option 3. Address: 25020 Avenue Stanford # 170, Valencia, 91355.
The ACS’ 24/7 main number is 1-800-227-2345. Go to www.cancer.org to learn about the ACS’ many programs, services, community activities/volunteering, and cutting-edge research efforts.
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