William Smith College field hockey coach Sally Scatton, who is one of the organizers of The Great Heron Road Race, was featured in an article in the Finger Lakes Times. The article called the race, “a local success.”
“Success” for this event means more than just a good time. Proceeds from the race go to local breast cancer charities, the Finger Lakes Breast Cancer Support Group and the relatively new Embrace Your Sisters, which the article describes as “an Ontario County organization that aids women who need financial help in their fight with breast cancer.”
“You have to give credit to the initiative they take to organize this race,” said participants John Hicks. “It shows sensitivity to other people’s issues. It takes a lot of work and coordination. Sally Scatton does a great job.”
The full article follows.
Racing for a reason
Heron 5K proceeds go to breast cancer groups
John Addyman • April 27, 2009
GENEVA – The longer you live, the more important the small gestures of friendship and compassion become.
On Saturday morning, William Smith College field hockey coach Sally Scatton was in full race-organizer mode: microphone in one hand, papers in another, more papers sticking out of her pockets. When she moved to get something done, she took big steps and leaned forward.
It’s the strength of her will – and the help of many others who care – that make the Great Heron Road Race such a local success.
Standing at trackside, sitting in the stands, walking or running in the 5K road race were women who know how frightening breast cancer is – and what it takes to be a survivor.
“Every one of these runners is a testament to the women who would have been standing at the fence with us,” said Julet Dinan of Geneva, a breast cancer survivor and someone who has lost friends to the disease.
Her mother, Jean Goodwin, another survivor, stood right next to her. Both wore pink.
Next to them was Cathy Thurston, a fellow member of the Finger Lakes Breast Cancer Support Group, one of two groups that will receive proceeds from the event.
She looked at the runners – nearly 400 strong – and reflected on a “sense of wellness” that athletes radiate.
For survivors, that sense of wellness is the goal.
Proceeds from the race will also go to Embrace Your Sisters, an Ontario County organization that aids women who need financial help in their fight with breast cancer. The group was started in 2006.
“We were a bunch of friends, and one was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time,” said Lisa Cessna of Embrace Your Sisters. “We decided we needed to throw a fundraiser for her. We’re all huggers. We’re all friends. We embraced our sisters.”
Embrace Your Sisters is branching out, searching for women who need help in the counties that touch Ontario – Seneca, Wayne, Yates.
“We’re looking for people who can man a chicken barbecue for us, help us get the word out, speak for us at groups, pass out brochures, hang posters for us,” she said.
The group has helped women make car payments, pay medical bills and fill oil tanks. It even helped hire a nanny when a mom went to hospice.
“It has taken three years for us to become organized,” Cessna said. “We’re just a bunch of women who didn’t know what we were doing. No one is paid, and we work out of our homes. We have no office. This is just a bunch of women trying to make a difference. We’re finding there is such a big need. Even though many have insurance, there is still a big need and such a high cost when someone is diagnosed with cancer.”
Cessna does much of the intake and arranges for financial help. Few if any of the board members know who is being helped – it’s all confidential.
“Our goal for the rest of this year is to get more recipients from the Finger Lakes area,” she said. “We hope to be able to reach people in this area. We’ve had so few applicants.”
Terri Van Brooker, who also just ran a marathon in Georgia, competed Saturday as an Embrace Your Sisters member. She said the group has been working with cancer centers, doctors’ offices and churches to get the word out.
“A lot of woman are willing to reach out to their churches,” she said, adding that it’s hoped the church will then refer women to Embrace Your Sisters.
Thurston said Finger Lakes Breast Cancer Support Group volunteers offer support for newly diagnosed women and those going through the treatment process.
She was one of 40 walkers in yesterday’s event.
“There is life after diagnosis and life after treatment,” she said. “You say the word ‘cancer’ to people, it’s extremely scary. But the treatments now are so good and so effective, you can move through the process and come out the other side. Not only can you survive, but you can be strong and healthy.”
John Hicks, who has run in several of the Great Heron 5K Road Races, usually with his daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters, tipped his cap to all involved.
“You have to give credit to the initiative they take to organize this race,” he said. “It shows sensitivity to other people’s issues. It takes a lot of work and coordination. Sally Scatton does a great job.”
Cessna said it is events like the road race that helps people “be much more driven to be a part of the celebration of life and the efforts to find a cure.”
Embrace Your Sisters’ major fundraiser, “Embracing Fashion with Tea at 2,” will be from 2 to 5 p.m. May 3 at The Inn On The Lake, Canandaigua.
A fashion show will include items from Cache, Eddie Bauer, H&M, Lord & Taylor and other stores at Eastview Mall. Steve Hausmann of WBEE Radio will emcee.
Tickets are still available.