HIGH COUNTRY BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION
At the Rotary meeting, September 11, 2017, Irene Sawyer told her story of surviving breast cancer and the High Country Run/Walk scheduled for October 28th. Irene was an interesting presenter remarking she has a Chemo Brain and is a BlondÂ and that during her presentation, she may forget where she is. That never happened as she provided facts and figures to emphasize the seriousness of this terrible disease. Irene told us that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. In the United States there are 220,000 women die each year, after being diagnosed with this condition. Interestingly, while we normally associate breast cancer with women, 140 men will die this year with this disease. (Editor note: A friend of mine and a brother to Jane Rogers here in Blowing Rock, David Bolick, Professional Golfer, recently passed away with this very condition).
Irene said she was diagnosed in December of 2010. While sitting watching a football game with her husband, she told him of a small bump on her chest. Thinking it might be a mosquito bite, but not taking any chances, she had it checked out and sure enough it was a malignant tumor. 18 months of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy with restructuring surgery, she now says she is cancer free, largely because of the early detection and her faith in God. No one fights alone, she said, there must be personal support groups, other survivors, community assistance, and passion in order to go through this process.Â
Irene is passionate about this cause, so much so, she has organized a 501c foundation to support those in the High Country who need assistance.Â She has organized a run/walk for October 28th, which will start at 9:00 a.m. at the American Legion Hall, Blowing Rock, and wind its way through and around Laurel Lane, Mayview, and finally back to the Legion Hall. The entry fee is $20 and there are sponsorships available ranging from $250 to $5,000. Several Rotarians expressed an interest to adding their business to the sponsors list, along with Kenneth Werhmann’sÂ Monkees, already a sponsor. Irene said 100% of the money is plowed into scholarships, which include: Child Care, Pet Therapy, Support Groups, Wigs/Hats, Classes for Caregivers, Transportation Services, Career Workshops, Art Therapy, Nutritional Education and End of Life Support. None of the money is spent on staff, all workers volunteer their time and the money never leaves the High Country.
Auction Committee Meeting
Members of the Auction Committee and members of the Auction Committee met at 9:30a.m., September 11th to discuss distribution of the proceeds from the auction held August 29th at the American Legion Hall in Blowing Rock.
After all the expenses were tallied (credit card fees, software, the Villa in Italy (which the auction pays for at a reduced cost), their recommendation to the board is that the club will distribute $31,250.00 to charities that support families and children in our area-the original intent of the auction.
Board of Directors Meeting
Following the above meeting, the Board of Directors met and, in addition to other business, received the recommendation of the Auction Committee as outlined above.
Special Event Planned for October 9, 2017
Representatives the organizations that are to receive a portion of the funds from the auction will be invited to a special event scheduled for October 9th at which time each organization will receive a check and will be asked to say “very” briefly what this contribution means to their organization. All Rotarians in attendance that day and all the representatives of these organizations will gather in front of the Chetola Manor Lodge and have a group picture made.