Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

Annual breast cancer benefit ‘really is a Lansing project’

August 24, 2006

It will be a year of differing insights at the sixth-annual Share the Hope Luncheon, where the list of speakers includes not only cancer survivors, but their relatives as well.

Barb Alonzi, a fifth-grade teacher at Lansing Intermediate School who is one of the primary organizers of this year's event, has lined up speakers to include the husband of a breast cancer survivor as well as the mother of a teenage cancer survivor.

"It's going to be a different perspective, it should be very interesting," Alonzi said. "Even though this started out as kind of a breast cancer awareness thing, we talk about all different kinds of cancer."

At 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, attendees will gather at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2101 Tenth Ave. in Leavenworth for the event, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research. The $12 registration includes lunch and attendance at the silent auction and raffle. All proceeds from the event go to the ACS.

But for Alonzi, the event is more than charity. It's a personal obligation.

"My grandmother died of cancer, and my father has cancer. It's hit home," Alonzi said. "Some of the teachers here have experienced it, so very close friends."

Last year, the event caught the attention of the Lansing High School Class of 2005, which donated $500 to the cause - nearly 20 percent of the total donated.

The local support of the event is one aspect Alonzi cherishes most.

"All the people working on this are Lansing teachers," she said. "10 Kayettes will be volunteering.

"So this really is a Lansing project."

Alonzi said she spent nearly 100 hours preparing for the event, but that in the past, her efforts have been worthwhile. She's expecting this year to be the same.

"Last year we were able to donate about $2,400," she said. "So I'm hoping between $2,000 and $2,500.

"We're expecting about 75 (people)."

But so long as the event stays local and stays true to its mission of promoting cancer awareness within the Lansing community, Alonzi is satisfied. Cancer will remain a challenge for many in the area.

"I would like to see it get bigger, but I'm happy with the size it is," Alonzi said. "I can't think of anyone who probably hasn't been touched.

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