It would be difficult to find someone who could say that cancer has not had an impact on their life in some way, which is why the work that the American Cancer Society does is so important. The ACS helps fight cancers of all kinds, on all fronts providing services, support and resources like cancer.org and the National Cancer Information Center, available anytime at 1-800- 227-2345.
The society, which was founded in New York City in 1913, began working in Kentucky since 1940 and opened an office locally in Bowling Green more than 25 years ago. The local office has five staff members and 50 local volunteers that serve on the Event Leadership Team, which helps engage the community, promote awareness and plan local events. These volunteers spend countless hours and work tirelessly on making a true impact in our community. There are also hundreds of local participants that take part in one or more of their local events in town.
ACS Senior Community Development Manager, Jill Isom, first became involved with the organization as a volunteer, while she living in Virginia. She started volunteering with the group after her father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000.
“I am blessed to now work for the organization that I volunteered for,” Jill said. “I have worked for American Cancer Society since January of 2012 and completely believe in the mission to help eliminate the burden of cancer for so many that have been affected. We are making a difference in so many lives each and every day. It truly takes a village to do what we do, and I count our volunteers among the very best.”
What are your biggest events each year?
Our largest event is the Relay For Life of Warren County, the largest in the state, that takes place the first Friday in June every year. If you have never been to a Relay I invite you to join us, it is truly life changing!!! Our feeder events are relatively new and they include Purses, Pouts and Pearls in March, Bark For Life in September and our Real Men Wear Pink and Pink in the Park 5K Run/Walk during the month of October.
How is your funding used each year?
Some of the ways we use our funds are to support research (more than $6 million in research grants are active in Kentucky); prevention and screening programs; support programs for those going through treatment; and advocacy at the public policy level.
How is the medical community in Bowling Green involved in the treatment and research for different kinds of cancers?
The hospitals in our community are involved with the Commission on Cancer, which helps to set cancer care standards of quality. The hospitals report de-identified data on cancers that are treated at their facilities, which helps to determine which treatment options work best. In addition, the hospitals work to refer cancer patients to open clinical trials, and establish prevention and screening initiatives to reduce cancer mortality.
Do you have any important community partnerships with other companies or organizations?
We partner with several companies in the Bowling Green Area. Some of those would include Graves Gilbert Clinic, Med Center Health, Greenview Hospital, Fruit of the Loom, Corvette Assembly Plant, Houchens Industries, Henkel, Berry Plastics, US Bank and the Bank of Edmonson County just to name a few.
Why do you think Bowling Green is such a supportive community that gets behind all kinds of non-profits?
Bowling Green and Warren County is a very giving community. They truly have a heart for non-profits and show their support on so many levels. It is wonderful to be a part of such a supportive community.
What is the easiest way for someone to get involved or support the American Cancer Society for the first time?
Call us! We’d love to tell you more about our events – they are fun, raise funds, and offer support to those who have been impacted by cancer. 270-782- 9036 or 1-800- 227-2345. You can also go to cancer.org/involved to find out even more about ways to become involved.