Breast Cancer Survivors Dinner celebrates life

Posted By | April 1, 2002 12:00 am

The first annual White County Breast Cancer Survivors Scholarship Dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m., April 18, 2002 at the White County Agricultural Complex according to Melinda Williams, co-chairman of the event
Tickets are now available for the dinner. Cost is $10 per person. Survivors’ meals will be complimentary. Tickets are available at the The Expositor, West Bockman Way (836-3284); Staffing Solutions, 605 North Spring Street (836-6376) and Preferred Logistics, 630 Vista Drive (738-7981). Everyone is encouraged to purchase advance tickets to be purchased because of catering.
Breast cancer survivors are requested to contact Sequoia Castolenla at 931/836-6376 to pick up complimentary tickets and to register for the dinner. Castolenia will be obtaining information needed for presentations the evening of the dinner.
Keynote speaker for the evening will be Mary Clement from Washington., D.C., who currently serves on the Advisory Board of Congressional Families for Breast Cancer Awareness and on the Board of Directors for the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. (See a biographical sketch of Clement following the story.)
“The dinner has the endorsement of the National Breast Cancer Coalition for Grassroots Advocacy,” stated Williams.
This endorsement is a huge encouragement for the efforts put forth in the evening.
“This evening is a combination of dedication, believing and people working together to make a difference to honor survivors or breast cancer,” continued Williams. “Dru Milligan and I attended the NBCC conference in Washington,, D.C. last May lobbying Congress for four days. Knowing perhaps we had not made a huge difference in Washington …. work had to begin at home first. So the idea of this dinner actually developed 35,000 feet above ground and I hit the ground running immediately after returning home. As I began to write down all the friends and ladies I knew that were survivors, I was shocked. Survivor is the key word. Many of the survivors are over 25-year survivors. That is a huge statement to any woman that has been told she has breast cancer,” said Williams.
There are three goals for this event: first-to honor every survivor in White County; second-to assist a high school senior from White County High School with a scholarship to continue his or her education in the field of nursing at Tennessee Tech; third-to bring much needed awareness to the disease and encourage all women to have annual mammograms, check-ups and screenings.
“If one person attending schedules a mammogram and one person is helped, then all the work has paid off. It is vital that every woman has her annual physical and mammogram to detect early signs that can be life-saving,” said Williams.
This event is not just for women. Everyone is invited to attend. “We are very excited that many are joining this project and partnered with this cause,” said Williams. “Awareness and encouragement are the keys to prevention. It is my prayer that in my lifetime breast cancer will no longer be. I believe it will happen, but until then this project is priority.
Several counties in the Upper Cumberland will be sending representatives to the dinner and will return to their communities and duplicate what is being done in White County.

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