Walk­ing with pur­pose

Can­cer Walk com­mit­tee mem­bers pas­sion­ate about roles

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - In Charge -

The com­mit­tee mem­bers who tackle the moun­tain of tasks nec­es­sary to make the 12th an­nual Vil­lage Walk for Can­cer Re­search a re­al­ity have a va­ri­ety of rea­sons for be­ing pas­sion­ate about their work.

The goal this year is to raise $40,000, with all of the pro­ceeds go­ing to the Univer­sity of Arkansas for Med­i­cal Sciences in Lit­tle Rock for can­cer re­search. The com­mit­tee mem­bers have worked ex­tra hours to get peo­ple in­volved be­hind the scenes, and not just take part in the walk it­self.

The walk will take place at its usual venue, start­ing at Cortez Pav­il­ion and pro­ceed­ing along Her­nando Trail. The rally starts al­most be­fore day­light as par­tic­i­pants gather and then walk at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 27.

More than 500 walk­ers have par­tic­i­pated in the past, and the com­mit­tee is rais­ing the bar this year, hop­ing to get 600 par­tic­i­pants to keep the event grow­ing and to raise aware­ness of the need for can­cer re­search.

Me­lanie Ped­er­son is serv­ing her third year as chair­woman of the event. Her roots for the event go deep.

“I am a can­cer sur­vivor. My fa­ther is a can­cer sur­vivor, and my mother died from lung can­cer. I vol­un­teer to give back to the com­mu­nity and do what­ever I can to help make a dif­fer­ence..”

Me­lanie Ped­er­son

chair­woman of the 12th an­nual Vil­lage Walk for Can­cer Re­search

“I am a can­cer sur­vivor. My fa­ther is a can­cer sur­vivor, and my mother died from lung can­cer. I vol­un­teer to give back to the com­mu­nity and do what­ever I can to help make a dif­fer­ence,” Ped­er­son said.

Claire MacNeill, who has been in­volved sev­eral years with the event, is serv­ing as co-chair with Ped­er­son, and has a deep pas­sion about the walk be­cause her daugh­ter died from breast can­cer. She wanted to get new blood on the com­mit­tee and re­cruited her neigh­bor, Linda Labowski, who is tak­ing part for the first time.

Bar­bara Harold­son is a skin can­cer sur­vivor. She is co­or­di­nat­ing the bake sale at Cortez Pav­il­ion and is also get­ting her women’s nine-hole golf league in­volved.

“It has been a great ex­pe­ri­ence get­ting on board, es­pe­cially now that I’m a can­cer sur­vivor,” Harold­son said.

The com­mit­tee is also look­ing to re­cruit groups from the area churches, with the re­spon­si­bil­ity fall­ing on Lynne Bor­der, whose fa­ther died of can­cer. Her mother is also cur­rently bat­tling the deadly dis­ease.

“All of us are united as one in our re­spec­tive tasks to make this 12th an­nual walk the best and big­gest ever,” Ped­er­son said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, or to take part in the walk, call Ped­er­son at 915-8747, or visit the web­site at www.walk­for­cancer­re­search.org.”

Vol­un­teers for the Vil­lage Walk for Can­cer Re­search come from all walks to life and have di­verse rea­sons for tak­ing part in the event.

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