A Community of Hope

 

By Gary, CanCare Volunteer

After running my first marathon, a good friend, our Maid of Honor, and CanCare volunteer, suggested running and raising money for Team CanCare.   In 1996, I sought out CanCare at the fall charity fair in Memorial Park and joined the team! The more I learned about the mission of CanCare and how Team CanCare fit into the picture, the more enthusiastic I became about the whole organization.

Those on the team looked forward to Pat and Bill’s card table ministry, as Pat referred to it, in Memorial Park after training on Saturday morning.  Pat usually had some oranges or bananas to munch on while we chatted for a few minutes.  Within a short time, I convinced the leadership of the small congregation where I worshiped to become a congregational partner.  The more I learned the more involved I got and the more time I spent with Pat and Bill.  Bill actually interviewed every member of team CanCare and wrote a profile for the newsletters.

I eventually joined the Board of Directors and we were encouraged to take the 20 plus hour in person volunteer training led by Pat.

Even though I wasn’t a cancer survivor at that point, I wanted to be more involved. I became a congregational liaison and served on the Operations Committee and Team CanCare, with Pat and Bill and later Fred Korge.  The 2003 season was dedicated to Bill Hogan’s memory.

We spent innumerable hours recruiting runners for Team CanCare at races and passing out information about CanCare’s mission and services.  I would estimate that hundreds, of people signed up for Team CanCare or received support of CanCare because of Pat’s efforts and those of her planning team including Nan McCreary and many others.  The Houston Marathon leadership approached Pat about putting together race packets for the 5k, half marathon and marathon.  Pat led the group to a successful multi-year engagement with the Marathon Committee putting together those packets a weekend or two before the Houston Marathon.  We used a hotel setting to compile the packets for a couple of years at a hotel on I-10 and then moved to Pat’s church, Christ the Servant Savior Lutheran church for the remaining years until a couple of years ago when the Marathon Committee went paperless.

Every year Pat hosted one or more planning sessions with the Team CanCare committee.  We’d talk about how we would promote Team CanCare, where and when we might have meet and greets for the Team and rewards for raising money, etc.  Everything was orchestrated by Pat with much help from Nan.

Pat and I always check in occasionally and at the last Survivor’s Day luncheon I was pleased to be seated with Pat and her longtime friends.  What a glorious gift for CanCare to have this wonderful woman in the volunteer leadership ranks of CanCare.

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