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Cancer Relief Fund drive begins

Posted: Thursday, Oct 4th, 2012

Tony Ross

ALAMOSA — October is membership drive month for the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund according to Teri McCartney, chairman of the SLVCRF Board. The fund was established in 2008 by Tony Ross, whose idea to spread the seeds of hope came from personal experience. Since that time, the organization has distributed almost $13,000 to cancer patients in the San Luis Valley, offering them hope and some financial relief.

Tony Ross created the fund to help others after his own cancer diagnosis in 2006. Tony sought treatment in Chicago and upon arriving, learned that an organization in the Chicago area would pay for a five-week stay at a hotel near the hospital. In Tony’s words, “one hidden benefit was the boost to my spirit. The fact that some organization, made up of people that didn’t know me, extended such an incredible gift made everything more endurable. At the basis of this concept is a feeling of support coming at a time when everything else seems to be falling apart and the cards are stacking up against you.”

Tony Ross passed in July 2009, after a courageous and graceful battle with cancer. Before his passing, he met with the board of directors and decided to keep the SLVCRF going. His brother Richard Ross chaired the organization for three years until McCartney was elected by the board this fall.

The SLVCRF is a totally volunteer organization with no overhead coming from membership fees, as Tony required that 100 percent of membership funds be distributed to cancer patients and their families. While the bulk of the monies come from memberships, the SLVCRF has also held small fundraisers in the past such as the Bean Bag Toss, Take a Pie and Pie-Eating contests during Autumn@Adams, and a benefit concert this past spring. The Board plans future events as well but relies mostly on the membership fees to support its mission

Membership in the SLVCRF simply means donating an annual membership fee. No work is involved, though volunteer opportunities are always available. The current levels of membership are Silver Membership, $25 for individuals and $50 for businesses; Gold Membership $100 for individuals and businesses; and Platinum Membership $500 for individuals and businesses. Students may become members by donating $10.

“Even a small amount of money makes a big difference in healing, knowing that others are thinking of you and want to help in whatever way they can” said Teri McCartney, whose husband, Don Richmond was diagnosed in 2007. “Knowing that others care about you truly lifts the spirit and helped both Don and I focus on health and wellness. We hope our small donation to cancer patients has the same effect.”

If interested in contributing and becoming a member, please send checks to the San Luis Valley Cancer Relief Fund, PO Box 1297, Alamosa 81101, or pick up an envelope at the Green Spot, Valentino’s Food Mart, or Community Partnerships on the ASC Campus.

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