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Cancer Society honors committed volunteer

November 05, 2000

Cancer Society honors committed volunteer



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


Nine years ago cancer survivor Tressa Nicewarner began volunteering for the American Cancer Society, doing anything from organizing events to taking part in activities.

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She was honored Sunday by the organization at its 12th Annual Grand Sunday Brunch at Ramada Inn in Hagerstown. The event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

"It took me by surprise," Nicewarner said.

She received a gift certificate to a day spa and a watch.

Carol Melby, income development manager for the local unit of the American Cancer Society, said it was too early to tell how many people attended, but the organization was expecting about 800 people.

The organization is also expecting to raise about $20,000. Last year the event brought in $24,800, said Jim Shifler, chairman of the local unit.

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"If we do as well as we did last year, we'll be happy," he said.

Nicewarner got interested in community service after winning her battle with Hodgkin's disease in 1990. She was inspired to help others in a similar situation after she realized that not everybody with cancer receives support from loved ones.

"I had so much help from my family and friends, and then I saw people in the waiting rooms that didn't have so much help," she said.

Nicewarner founded Kid's Against Cancer in 1993, a bike event for youths. In its first year, 10 children participated. By 1999, the number had grown to more than 100 and is receiving corporate sponsorship from Toys R Us, according to the American Cancer Society.

She has been on the board of the American Cancer Society's Washington County unit since 1995 and served as president since 1998. She has also volunteered for programs including Making Strides and Daffodil Days, local awareness events and regional workshops.

"She just keeps on giving," Melby said. "She's had a long-term commitment to the American Cancer Society."

"She's a very dedicated volunteer," Shifler said. "Some people have cancer and never do anything about it. She gets involved."

Nicewarner is also active in other community activities outside of the American Cancer Society, including serving on the Bester Elementary PTA and working with cheerleaders in the Washington County Youth Football league.

She works as a health assistant at Springfield Middle School in Williamsport. She lives in Hagerstown with her husband, Scott, and daughter Caitlin, 12, and son Jordan, 7.

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