Many thanks from Making Strides

Friday, November 23, 2012

To the Editor:

On the morning of Sunday, Oct. 14, the American Cancer Society celebrated the 20th anniversary of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Nashua at Greeley Park. Although it was a very rainy day, it was also a very successful one. The true community spirit and caring from the Nashua area shone brilliantly through our less-than-ideal weather. Our 97 teams, 955 participants and wonderful sponsors were able to bring our current total to more than $169,000, which is still growing. We were thrilled to have 106 breast cancer survivors as part of our event, and to witness a wonderful community-wide interest in a cause that means so much to us!

Speaking for the entire planning committee, I would like to thank our sponsors – WMUR-TV, WZID, the New Hampshire Union Leader, Hannaford, MacMulkin Chevrolet, Atrium Medical, Radiation Center of Greater Nashua, Rite Aid Pharmacy, St. Joseph Hospital, Electricity N.H., and N.H. Orthopaedic Center – for their thoughtful and generous support.

Our day went smoothly, with the assistance of our dedicated friends at the Nashua Parks and Recreation Department and the Nashua Police Department, our tireless “go-to” guy, Gary Symolon; our personable emcee from WZID, Tracy Caruso; our much-loved WBIN-TV meteorologist and friend, Al Kaprelian; our ace photographer of creative team photos, Sue Catino; our very special survivor speaker, Julie Spencer; our wonderfully talented DJ, Scott Merchant; the always-popular Jazzercise of Hudson; the special musical talent of Thomas Lessard; the bugling talents of Kyle Cormier; the pink-abilities of the talented volunteers from Snip-its; the dedicated artistry of our face painters Katie Swafford and Caitlyn Dine; the upbeat talents of Tokyo Joe’s Studio of Self-Defense; the cheering and assistance from our Girl Scout friends, and the consideration of State Line Super Store. We were honored to have the pink fire truck from our friends at Guardians of the Ribbon Southern New Hampshire, which made a huge, powerful statement as our survivors and caretakers purposefully signed their names, remembrances and messages on it. We also thank all of our volunteers who helped set up and break down the park or work at our different tents and areas. Your hard work is very much appreciated.

We needed to feed our hungry participants, and we couldn’t have done it without the generous donations of many businesses in the community – Bagel Alley; Brookdale Farm; Dominos (Amherst Street); Dunkin’ Donuts (Main Street, Nashua; and Lowell Road, Hudson); Family Pizza; Gianni’s Pizza; Hannaford; Klemm’s Bakery (Windham); Lucia’s Portuguese Bakery; Lull Farm; Mobil on the Run (Nashua); Nashua House of Pizza; Panera Bread (Amherst Street); Papa Gino’s (Amherst Street); Papa John’s; Peters of Nashua; Southern New Hampshire Medical Center; Starbuck’s (Coliseum Avenue); Sweetie’s Bake Shoppe; and The Weathervane. We appreciate your generosity more than we can adequately put into words.

Our prize tent and random prize questions were huge successes due to the donations of so many caring people and businesses. We thank Anne’s Florals & Gifts; Applebee’s; Atlantis Sports Clubs; Beckonings; Bob’s Discount Furniture; Paul Bouffard; Sylvie Bouffard; Susan Catino; Chili’s; Kerry and John Claflin; Courtyard by Marriott; Susan Cunningham & Fine Wine Designs; Michelle Driscoll; Edible Arrangements; Estabrook Grill; Sharon & Gene Fennelly; Frederick’s Pastries; Adam Galonski and Julie Spencer; Gold’s Gym; Goodyear Auto Service; Stacey Gugliuzza; Gurney’s Automotive Repair; Hampton Inn; H. Daw Service Station; Joey’s Diner; King Arthur Flour (Norwich, Vt.); Bob and Sue King; Holly King and Luke Croteau; Leda Lanes; Lia Sophia; Lindt Chocolates; LongHorn Steakhouse; Lowe’s (Lowell, Mass.); Mel’s Funway Park; Nashua Wallpaper and Paint Co.; Olivia Newton-John; O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar (Worcester, Mass.); Odyssey (Boston, Mass.); Cheryl Palucchi; Pep Boys; Pickity Place (Mason); Judy Martin-Royce; Saffron Bistro; Scrivanos’ Dunkin’ Donuts; Stonewall Kitchen (York, Maine); Chris Symolon; The Common Man; Mary Tapp; The Big 1 Ice Cream Stand; Kelley Tuthill; Uno’s Chicago Grill; Cathy Wojtkun and Nick Monteforte; and York’s Wild Kingdom (York, Maine).

Our breast cancer survivors were so happy to be remembered with beautiful pink carnations, graciously donated by Shirley’s Flowers & Sweets and Collins Flowers who also donated two beautiful corsages for our newest and longest breast cancer survivors). We thank Jackie Staiti, from Amanda Thomas Boutique, for the lovely survivor gifts; Sheila Caron, from St. Joseph Hospital, for donating bags and nail files for our survivor gifts; and Terry Hill Photography for donating cards for free survivor photos.

We hope that more people will join us, next year, in planning our event, helping out at our event, donating to or sponsoring our event, or becoming participants. Breast cancer has affected so many people in our community, and the American Cancer Society works tirelessly to get that important funding to continue ground-breaking research and important programs. The more people involved in this very worthwhile, meaningful cause, the quicker we can help find a cure and put an end to breast cancer.

As a six-year survivor of very aggressive Stage 3A breast cancer, I was honored to be this year’s chairperson, to work with a Planning Committee full of hard-working, special people, and to see our event take shape through the kind considerations of so many in our community. The planning committee’s goal this year was to make our 20th anniversary event one that showed true community spirit. Speaking on behalf of everyone who planned, who asked, who helped and who attended, I thank the Nashua area community for coming together to make our event a huge success. Thank you for assisting, so positively, in our battle to put an end to breast cancer.



The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
of Nashua 2012

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