Sitting in a quiet coffee shop in Lee County, Kalyn Frederick, community development manager for the Lee County sector of the American Cancer Society, buzzes with anticipation as she shares her passion for working with the American Cancer Society and how the Lee County Witches Ride has a positive influence on individuals impacted by cancer in Lee County.
The Lee County Witches Ride is a community and family event held to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The event, to be held on Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m., is in conjunction with the Family Fall Festival at the Opelika Sportsplex.
Over the month of October, volunteer witches have worked diligently to raise money to help fight cancer and support the services provided to those affected by cancer in Lee County.
Volunteer witches will attend the event dressed in their “witchiest witch” attire, spend time talking with the community, handing out candy and ending the night with a bicycle ride around the Opelika Sportsplex. Volunteers with the best costume and highest amount of funds raised will receive a prize.
Frederick has been the community development manager for the Lee County sector of the American Cancer Society for approximately two months. She emphasizes how rewarding and important the work that the American Cancer Society does is.
“Getting to work with people doing something that makes a difference is incredible," Frederick said. "I graduated with a degree in social work from Auburn University and I always wanted to do those kinds of things. Honestly, this is my full-time career now and I am happy to stay."
In Lee County, some people may not know what the community offers for those undergoing cancer treatment, Frederick said.
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“The goal is to raise more awareness within the community that there is a presence of the American Cancer Society in this community and we do things locally," Frederick said. "In August, we gave a $5,000 grant to the cancer center here so that their patients can receive free rides and treatment."
For many patients, getting transportation to and from their treatment is one of the largest barriers they face on their journey with cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, each year an estimated 125,000 cancer patients in the United States rely on transportation services to keep their treatment appointments.
Some physicians will refuse to provide treatment to patients that do not have a reliable way of transportation. Lee County has only one volunteer willing to provide transportation to these patients.
Frederick emphasizes that the Lee County Witches Ride is not only an opportunity to raise funding that goes toward research and programs that greatly benefit those impacted by cancer, but also to imbed a sense of community and compassion within Lee County.
“One-hundred dollars can give someone a ride to treatment and $25 can provide them with a packet that allows them to better keep up with their treatment plan and appointments," Frederick said. "The biggest thing is that everyone has been affected by it and that is why people should care."
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