Beth Hardesty volunteers for a cause dear to her heart: She helps the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network get the word out about empowering cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and their loved ones.
Much of her work, as the organization’s advocacy volunteer covering 19 Indiana counties, involves keeping close watch on how issues in state and national legislatures would affect cancer patients. She also helps mobilize support for laws that could help cancer patients.
Most recently, the nonpartisan Cancer Action Network was supportive of portions of the national health care legislation that ensures people with pre-existing health conditions are not denied health coverage.
“I am very passionate about this,” said Hardesty, a Columbus resident whose mother, Nancy Alexander, died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma four months after her diagnosis.
“I think it’s important to reach out to people about what CAN has to offer and to bring more awareness,” she said.
Hardesty is helping organize the Southeast Indiana Road Rally on July 21, which she hopes will become an annual signature event for the Cancer Action Network.
She explains that although the network is a sister organization of the American Cancer Society, which hosts Relay for Life each June, Cancer Action Network has a separate role and funding sources.
The rally will include cars, trucks, motorcycles and vehicles of all types, and Hardesty hopes owners will decorate them in some way, be it a simple ribbon magnet or something much more elaborate.
Judges will award prizes for Best in Show, Spirit Award and Most Outrageous. Decorations can be removed before leaving.
The route will wind 80 miles through three counties, mostly through scenic, rural areas and include such places as the Story Inn in Brown County and Appleworks farm market and orchard in Johnson County.
“They don’t have to stop at these places, but it makes for a fun trip if they would like to,” Hardesty said.
To help keep the children occupied, Hardesty also has developed a scavenger hunt for participants to spot certain landmarks and locations to take photos and score points for chances to win a prize.
Hardesty said the day is not a race, but meant to be a fun, family-friendly outing with the goal of raising awareness and funds for the Cancer Action Network.
If you go
WHAT: Southeast Indiana Road Rally with motorcycles and vehicles of all types. Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles.
WHEN: Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., rally at 11 a.m. July 21. Food will be sold at registration, and a drivers meeting and speaker is planned for 10:45 a.m.
WHERE: Starts at Moose lodge at Eighth and Washington streets in downtown Columbus and winds 80 miles through Bartholomew, Brown and Johnson counties
WHY: To raise funds for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
FEE: $30 per vehicle
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: To assist with registration from 9 to 11 a.m. at the event
NOTABLE: Participants are asked to not take pets
INFORMATION: Beth Hardesty at 342-0446 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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