October is marked and recognized by the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, Eleuthera Branch as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and although limited by the pandemic, the local support organization planned many creative activities and events to commemorate loved ones who have passed due to this disease, to celebrate the survivors on the island and beyond, as well as to raise funds for the continued support of those suffering and afflicted with cancer in Eleuthera.
From Pink Fridays to Pink Mondays, raising funds and imparting vital health information through online presentations, engaging with pre-schools and communities, a mammogram trip, all culminating on a cool, early morning beach-walk, to round out the month of bringing a deeper awareness to the Eleuthera public about the scourge of cancer and the pressing needs of those battling with breast cancer, as well as other forms of the disease.
Despite the challenges many face during this time, the Eleuthera Cancer Society was still in the hearts and minds of generous donors. Agape House Nursery and Preschool, presented the Society with $269, precious funds raised from teachers, staff and students during the month. The Little Scholars Preschool in The Bluff, also raised another $100.35, which they presented to the Cancer Society.
The ‘Wrap A Penny’ (W.A.P.) initiative, spearheaded by the National Neighbourhood Watch Council (NNWC) in Spanish Wells, also presented Mrs. Sherrin Cooper, president of the Cancer Society, Eleuthera Branch, on Thursday, October 28th, 2021 with a donation of $773.05.
The NNWC Spanish Wells wanted a creative way to get the entire community involved, while raising funds to assist those with fighting cancer within the community of Eleuthera. The ‘Wrap A Penny’ (W.A.P.) initiative was born, due to the now obsolete penny, and people got excited, said Officer Brancaccio, who heads the NNWC there. “They went into their homes, cars, purses, closets and grabbed all of their pennies and dropped them off to one of the six (6) drop off locations on the island, namely, Nu-2-U Convenience Store, Food Fair, Bahamas Wellness, Once Upon A Bow Toy Store, Island Mart and Islander.”
The cheque was presented to Mrs. Cooper by Woman Corporal 3341 Nadia Brancaccio, NNWC Liaison Officer, Spanish Wells. Present also were Mr. Robert Roberts, Chief Councilor and NNWC member; Mr. Herbert Albury, Vice President NNWC; Ms. Raisa Hamilton, NNWC member; Sgt. 2253 Brown, Cpl. 3531 Brancaccio and WPC 3873 Munroe.
After the presentation Mrs. Cooper expressed her heartfelt gratitude, firstly on behalf of the Cancer Society and then on behalf of the women who would benefit from the donation. She said that every little helps. She went on to share that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more women have come forward asking for assistance. With the difficult times, expenses have doubled due to the fact that now on top of travelling into the capital to complete the necessary tests, the cost of PCR Tests and Travel Visas, have been added to the list of travel expenses. The NNWC, Spanish Wells, said they were elated that they could offer some assistance to the Cancer Society, Eleuthera especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
On Saturday morning, October 31st, bright and early, the Cancer Society culminated their month of awareness and fundraising activities with their Annual – ‘Walk For the Cure’ – but this time, they took it to the beach – French Leave beach to be exact. It had been a stormy, rainy night on Friday, however, the clouds parted, and as the sun rose on Saturday, the weather held beautifully for several hours – just enough to have a perfect walk, said Jacqueline Gibson, former president and Cancer Society board member.
She shared, “God smiled on us. The weather held for us to have the walk! … We still had close to 40 people on the beach for an amazing walk. We commenced with prayers by Pastor Kevin Pinder, followed by a short ocean breeze stretching session. Partners on the morning were, I’m Every Woman, Rotary and Bahamas Wellness who offered free health snacks and a fruit packet to participants. The Aliv team was also there in full support! Links Incorporated from California also walked in support. Member of Parliament, the Hon. Clay Sweeting also attended and walked with the group. In honor of family members with cancer, he made a donation. Also donating in honor of family members, were Pastor Martin and his father Luther Kemp. It was an awesome morning….thankfully with perfect weather conditions! God is Good.”
The Cancer Society Wellness Center in Palmetto Point is opened Monday thru Friday from 9am to 3pm to receive donations and offer assistance to persons in the Eleuthera Community.