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Annual Keeping the Faith Breast Cancer Survivors' Luncheon

We Are One Big Support Group


Again at the Siena Hotel Spa Casino, we had a wonderful time.  The Reno Dance Company performed excepts from their Movin' to Motown show. We had a blast.  Due to a generous donation from one of Babe's Naval Academy buddies and his wife, each survivor got a pink ribbon fashion watch!!!

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Two days before our 7th Annual Celebration, the Siena Hotel Spa Casino closed!!!!! The Atlantis Casino called me to tell me! The Siena had forwarded our file to them and they were prepared.  They didn't even market our luncheon meal, but made it special for us!!! Table Captains were on the case and everyone was personally notified of the new location.  University of Nevada Reno student volunteers, Sisters On  A Move (S.O.A.M.) put together our guest gifts before I could get back to the hotel with their pizza!! The Reno Dance Company entertained us with a Broadway musical and Senator Reid's office gave us a proclamation that we didn't even request.  He saw the report on Channel 4 News that we had to switch hotels suddenly.  One of our survivor's sister had recently been diagnosed and she and her family flew in from Tennessee.  A highlight for Babe & I was that our oldest daughter, Jennifer, suprised us!  Oh yes, we had a blast!!

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The coolest thing happened when we celebrated at John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino.  A lady walked by the ballroom and saw the staff setting up.  She called her staff at the nursery she owned and. . . well you see the room. She didn't even wait until I arrived to meet me.  She just told our banquet host, Liz, to tell us to have great time and she'd meet me later as she had things to do.  The party was on jam!! My nephew's band drove all the way in from New Mexico (he's the drummer).  My oldest nephew flew in from his army base in Hawaii and played the keyboard.  Each survivor was escorted in by a handsome college student from the service organization, The Men of Distinction.  Here was the highlight.  I had all the survivors meet back stage prior to the start of the celebration.  Everyone was asking, "what are we doing back here, where's Elaine?"  Then I showed up and told them that they would be introduced individually and have a chance to "strut their stuff" across the stage to the beat of the band. Of course you know that's how we open every celebration now!!!

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After the band at the 8th Annual Celebration, Esther Clay, a survivor, approached me and talked about how ZUMBA classes really helped her following treatment.  She said, "you should have my ZUMBA instructor come and give a talk about the benefits of their exercise/dance program".  I said, "no, you should bring your instructor and the whole class to the next luncheon to demo."  We both screamed and hugged. Well, you see the pictures, we had a blast!!!  We also had a Survivors Only Fashion Show sponsored by the Legends Outlet Mall in Sparks, NV.  They supplied all the clothes!!!  This was an extra exciting year for us because Macy's became one of our corporate partners.  Not only did they give us a donation towards the survivor's meals, our sponsors received a special gift from them and each guest got a $10 gift card.  Nobody saw that coming so people were shouting up a storm!!!  See all the men???? At previous luncheons Babe complained there were no fishing poles and saws on the gift give-away table, just smell-goods, jewelry and gift certificates to salons.  So this year, men were so excited about their gifts, they posed for pictures. 

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This was the first year we had a themed celebration!!! We were "Stuck in the 70's".  Dr. John Sorenson, who is also a Wellness Advocate with doTERRA Essential Oils, drove all the way in from Utah and Erin Pignetti, Director of Client Support Services of C.A.R.E  Channel, served as hosts so I could have a break and eat lunch with MY PARENTS, who came to the luncheon (see them introduced on the full video).   Again, my nephews brought the "Funk" with their band. 

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Click to watch the full video:

Photos:  Alma McDaniel Photography & Morgan Gottier Photography. Video:   Carl Tymann-Videomations

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