Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend with family and friends and enjoying the start of the holiday season! I love the Thanksgiving holiday because it is all about being with each other and being thankful for all of our blessings. Here at the Marco Island American Cancer Society we have so much to be thankful for and it’s all because of you – everyone that supports us day in and day out in the fight against cancer.
More than 100 years ago, the American Cancer Society was started by volunteers relentless in their desire to change the course of cancer’s history. There are no words that can possibly express our gratitude for all that our local volunteers do right here in Marco Island. They selflessly give their time and talents to make sure we end this disease. Everything the American Cancer Society is doing to end cancer is possible because of their dedication.
Right here on Marco Island, we are so thankful for our dedicated group of volunteers who work so hard to support our mission in the community. We are thankful for those who lead and participate in our Relay For Life and Imagination Ball. You may have seen that our Relay For Life of Marco Island was the fifth largest in the state of Florida where there are more than 300 Relays! Our Imagination Ball raised more in 2014 than in the 32-year history of the event. Our newest event, Luau Against Breast Cancer, was the fourth largest fundraiser that supported Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Collier County. Marco Island may be small, but when we come together as a community to support a cause we are hard to beat. I am so thankful that we call it home.
We have an amazing group of community leaders on our board who provide us guidance and assistance in the community and help us get important information about our services to those who need it most. We are so grateful to have them on our team and for all they and their families do for the American Cancer Society. They recently honored one of our volunteers, Cathy Nelson, as our 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Cathy is passionate about the mission of the American Cancer Society and has volunteered thousands of hours to our events primarily through Relay For Life. She currently serves on the Relay committee and as the team captain for the Marriott. She is always available to help at any event and has helped us recruit many new volunteers. Cathy represents hundreds of volunteers that we cherish in our community and on behalf of all of us at the American Cancer Society, we thank her for her contributions to our community!
We are thankful for everyone in the business community who support us by being sponsors for our events, who provide amazing live and silent auction items, who donate food and drink for our activities, who allow us to put flyers in their windows and donation cans on their counters and who hold unique fundraisers to benefit the American Cancer Society throughout the year, such as exercise challenges, fishing tournaments, golf tournaments, fashion shows, BBQ’s, clay pigeon tournaments, haircut-a-thons, talent shows and casino nights, to name a few. Because of our businesses and their donations, we are able to keep our expenses low and raise more which at the end of the day increases our contributions to the mission of the American Cancer Society.
Regardless of how you participate whether it be as a business, donor, supporter, participant or volunteer, you are making a difference in the lives of others in our community who benefit from local services such as rides to treatments or wigs from our resource room or from national services such as research, clinical trials and lodging for treatments. Sue and I are so thankful for all you do to help those who need it most as they are fighting this terrible disease. We continue to be humbled by your generosity and compassion and we enjoy working with all of you. Thank you!
This is an ongoing series of columns dedicated to informing the Marco Island community about The American Cancer Society, the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. The Marco Island American Cancer Society office is located at 583 Tallwood, Unit 101 and is open daily from 9AM-5PM. For more information about volunteer opportunities, events and services please contact Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3891.