Less travel, easier treatment and more options are now
available for people diagnosed with breast cancer in our area. And we all know that being away from one's support
network is stressful, which in no way helps the healing process.
How did that happen? Through the generosity of donors
who raised more than $3.4 million for the center - it was completely paid for by private donations - the Mercy
Regional Breast Care Center will officially be open to patients Tuesday. Contributions ranged from 28 cents to $1
million from more than 12,000 donors, and every single penny was given from the heart.
From her arrival on a pink bike to start the fundraising
in 2007, campaign chairwoman Linda Campbellhas been
actively involved in bringing in the dollars. Mercy Health Foundation Chief Development Officer
Karen Midkiffand her crew, Joy Hessand Lauri Wilson-Lacy, are among the most effective fundraisers in our community. All could take a
moment to rest on their laurels before getting back into meeting the next need.
Generosity and completion of an objective are always a
great reason for a party, and this was no exception. The center was decked out with calla lilies hanging from the
ceiling and people in their best black, white and pink (the theme) Durango casual finery Oct.
23. Benand Sheryl
Baderwere perhaps the most
appropriately dressed couple - hard to beat a pink bow tie - and Bette Serzenhad on a darling fake-fur pink shrug.
As guests arrived, they were given a piece of paper to
write down what really matters to them, inspired by Mercy Health Foundation Board President
Scott Mathis' reading of "What will Matter?" by Michael
"What will matter is not what you bought but what you
built, not what you got but what you gave."
That excerpt alone describes Durangoans to a T. (To read
the entire poem, visit www.thejeffcenter.org and scroll to the bottom of the newsletter.)
Attendees enjoyed appetizers based on a zen-like spa
feeling including wraps presented in black and white tissue paper with pink raffia ribbon, chicken skewers displayed
on black river rocks and other goodies. The evening ended on a sweet finale with a fountain of chocolate and
strawberries for dipping and M&Ms featuring the dragonfly logo from the fundraising
After Mercy Regional Medical Center Spiritual
McKennaprayed to bless all who
enter the new center, Campbell cut the ribbon officially opening the center. A few words from Mercy Chief Executive
Dignumand an acknowledgement of
dignitaries from Catholic Health Initiative and Gary Campbell from Centura Health, and the festivities
Of course guests checked out all of the equipment and
other facilities designed to make patients more comfortable, and the spirit was one of celebration as everyone
marveled at yet another great addition to health care now available locally without a journey to another city.
Digital mammography, and breast MRI upgrades and a tissue-staining system for the laboratory at Mercy are just a few
of the additions to the technology. A waterfall, fireplace and artwork ranging from the serene to sheer whimsy make
the technology more human.
The timing, of course, was fortuitous because this is
Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
At 7:30 p.m., in a spectacular
Davisof the Fast & Loud
Rocket Club launched a 5-foot rocket 1,000 feet in the air with all the pieces of paper attendees had submitted.
Those pieces of paper were saved and will be put into a journal to keep at the breast-cancer center, where patients
and their families can add their own thoughts.
Guests went home with goodies including aromatherapy
scents created with healing essential oils for the breast cancer center by the Touch, Love and Compassion Department.
Dragonfly features vanilla and spearmint, while ICT (in a nod to all those medical acronyms) also known as Ice Cream
Truck smells just like a Creamsicle.
These birthday folks will be expected to give (candy) as
opposed to just getting for their Halloween-week birthdays - Tina Trump, Barney Anderson, JoAnn Vota, Paul
The Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County is holding
its second annual Bid 4 Kids Online Auction through 7 p.m. Nov. 16. When I checked earlier this week - and they've
added more items since then - there were 130 items on the block, including local getaways, gift cards to local
restaurants and food purveyors, massages, haircuts, wine packages, raft trips and lift tickets.
One cool section features a royal retreat to Monte Carlo
worth $20,000, an Orient-Express package to Machu Picchu worth $14,500 and a stay at a Ritz-Carlton property in New
York City worth $9,000.
The Boys and Girls Club has filled an important need in
our community - a place to go not just to hang out, but to learn leadership skills, art, self-defense and all kinds
of new skills. There are now 500 members at the club, which has kept the annual membership fee at $15 per kid, which
doesn't begin to cover the cost.
So another thing on the auction list is a place to
sponsor a young person for six months or a year.
Check out the auction at www.bgclaplataq.org, or give
the club outreach coordinator Matthew Sheldona call at
375-0010, ext. 4, if you have questions.
For those of you who joined me in buying a few too many
boxes of Thin Mints during last spring's Girl Scout cookie sale, you might be interested in learning how one troop
spent part of the money it earned.
Troop No. 1568 at Florida Mesa Elementary School
(fifth-graders) decided to set aside about 10 percent of its profits to help a group among the homeless that most of
us don't think too much about - kids. They held a backpack drive at the end of the school year in May. When they came
back to school this fall, they cleaned the backpacks and made any necessary repairs, then took the money and filled
the packs for young people with comfort items.
Among the things they included were shower items and
personal supplies, coloring books, games and school supplies. Each girl was allotted $13 per backpack (about $300
total), and some spent some of their own money on top of that. The backpacks included personal notes to the
Leader Kristen Gurzicksaid she hoped her girls could be acknowledged for their kindness, and they are certainly a great example of giving hearts.
So kudos go to troop members
Ashley Beach, Gabby Brown, Chantel Fugate, Alexis
Herrera, Lilly Jameson, Jessie Manley, Zanna Moore, Baylee
Redmond, who were part of
the project from the beginning, and new members Kaitlyn Parsons, Julie Pepperdineand Jessica
My next Thin Mint (yes, I still have a few in the
freezer) will be guilt-free.
The Durango Club held its October meeting at Digs Market
Café in Three Springs on Sunday. This group meets sheerly for the joy of conversation with old friends and the chance
to meet new ones, with the bonus of getting to try out a wide variety of restaurants in the
Because it was the Halloween month meeting, attendees
were encouraged to wear costumes, and few took organizers up on the idea. Kit Kaufman, who came as Pocahantas, Frank Bowmanas a wizard and his wife, Mary Ruth, who had on a crocodile version of one of her famous hats, took
home the prizes, bags of Halloween memorabilia given by President Barbara Shore, for their efforts.
Member Cheryl Jackson is becoming known at clubs all over town for her expertise at
creating theme-appropriate centerpieces and party favors. Every one of the 48 guests at the Digs event got a small
pumpkin filled with spider rings, candy corn and other Halloween-themed goodies.
Of course, the meal matters at Durango Club events. I
had enjoyed the restaurant's food at fundraisers, so was glad to check out the joint.
For a first course, the choice was between a house salad
with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, pork posole with a warm flour tortilla or a "white" gazpacho made with cucumber, tomatillo, cilantro, lime, jalapeño and onion.
There was an interesting choice for the entrée as well, from a lamb or Portobello gyro on white or pita bread, mahi mahi tacos or half of a jerk-flavored rotisserie chicken.
I had the gyro, and particularly enjoyed the side of fruity rice.
There was a choice for dessert as well, between a
chocolate mole cake or a cinnamon-cardamom cheesecake on a roasted pine-nut and graham-cracker crust. Everyone at my
table went for the chocolate cake, so I didn't get to try the cheesecake, but I found I liked a spice in my
Thanks to my tablemates
Deanand Lee Conger, Ann Flattenand her
Cramer, Kaufman and the
Bowmans for a congenial evening of conversation.
Enjoying the leftover Halloween candy for their
anniversary are Donand Ginny
Happy Halloween wishes go out to all of my readers.
Watch out for the princesses, Darth Vaders, ghouls and ghosts if you're out driving while trickor-treating is going
For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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