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Sagittarius celebrates 35 years with auction

October 08, 2007|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

Sagittarius Salon & Spa teamed up Sunday with Antietam Healthcare Foundation for a Wellness and Beauty Auction at the Hagerstown salon.

Proceeds from a silent auction will benefit an American Cancer Society project.

Sagittarius owner Marsha Knicley-Masood said the auction was one of a series of charity events that would commemorate the salon's 35th year of business.

"I wanted to celebrate by contributing to the community that made me grow these past 35 years," she said. "I have a special place in my heart for Hagerstown. I've lived here my whole life."

Knicley-Masood's mother lived 20 years with breast cancer. Following her mother's death, Knicely-Masood established the nonprofit organization Life is a Gift, providing wellness education and events for cancer patients and their families.

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Sunday's Wellness and Beauty Auction raised approximately $10,000 to support an American Cancer Society project new to Washington County, the Patient Resource Navigation Program.

Knicley-Masood's friend, Terry Randall of Hagerstown, became aware of the program through his role on the board of advisers at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore. Randall said the center's namesake, Stewart Greenebaum, was pleased with the American Cancer Society's first patient navigation program in Baltimore and approached Randall about establishing a second one in Washington County.

Randall said patient navigation program offerings include a staff person known as a "navigator" to provide individualized personal guidance for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

The navigators "help with coordinating doctor appointments, obtaining drugs, baby-sitting, transportation, anything to support the cancer patient," he said.

Knicley-Masood's husband, Ed Masood, a cancer survivor, served as master of ceremonies at the auction.

"When I was diagnosed, a program like this would have been helpful," Masood said. "When you are diagnosed, you don't know who to go to or where to turn. If people don't have strong family support or good resources, they are left on their own."

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