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Charity Spotlight: Cancer Support Community - Ladue News: Charities & Non-Profits

Charity Spotlight: Cancer Support Community

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Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:58 am | Updated: 5:02 pm, Thu Aug 2, 2012.

HISTORY: Founded as The Wellness Community of Greater St. Louis by Peggy Michelson, Marsha Wolff and Tina Borchert, the organization opened its doors in June 1993. In 2010, its name changed to Cancer Support Community (CSC).

COMMUNITY IMPACT: In 2011, 1,669 people participated in CSC’s programs:

  • 346 people took part in 146 workshops
  • 340 people attended 746 stress management classes like yoga and zumba
  • 488 people joined 533 support group sessions
  • 124 people participated in cooking and nutrition programs
  • 578 people received free items like wigs, nutritional supplements and compression garments

MISSION: To ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.

The nonprofit agency, an affiliate of the international Cancer Support Community organization, offers free services to individuals affected by cancer, including educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, support groups and stress-reduction classes. CSC also provides free medically related supplies not covered by insurance, as well as Kid Support, a peer support program for children who have a loved one with cancer.

What/When/Where

Celebration of Hope

Friday, Sept. 7, 2012

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

The gala, chaired by Tom and Carol Voss, and co-chaired by Joan Quicksilver, will feature Saturday Night Live alum and Weeds star Kevin Nealon as its headline entertainer. The evening will include a cocktail reception, silent auction and dinner before CSC presents awards to individual honorees Bill and Amy Koman, and corporate honoree Wells Fargo Advisors/Danny Ludeman for their impact on the community and families affected by cancer. For ticket information, call Peggy Plont at 238-2000, ext. 230.

How to Get Involved: To donate or volunteer, call 238-2000 or visit cancersupportstl.org.

ON THE BOARD: Mitchell Baris, Chair (Senior VP, Enterprise Bank & Trust)

In his three-plus years on the board of CSC, Mitchell Baris has borne witness to those who have been personally impacted by cancer, and the ways in which the agency has made a difference in their lives. “It’s one of the few organizations in town that provides free psychosocial services to people whose lives are affected by cancer, from patients to caregivers to people with family members who have been diagnosed,” says Baris, senior VP at Enterprise Bank & Trust.

Since taking over as board chair at the beginning of 2012, Baris has focused on increasing the reach of CSC, while ensuring its financial viability. With a $1 million budget, the organization is small in scale, but continues to grow, expanding into other areas like cancer supplies and a children’s support program. Using his financial background with 18 years in banking, and his experience on the boards of other local nonprofits, Baris hopes to endow the agency for the future, while spreading the word about how CSC fills a great need in St. Louis. “Whether someone has been diagnosed with cancer or a loved one is facing the disease, no one should have to go through the process alone. There’s a community here for them.”

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