The Golden Girls of Athens, a group of women who graduated from Athens High Industrial School in 1964 that started as a social group to improve the community through volunteer work and financial help, recently donated $15,000 to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center’s Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support to benefit the free cancer services the center provides for the community.
“The Loran Smith Center and its patients are extremely grateful for the generous donation from the Golden Girls of Athens,” said Joel Siebentritt, manager of cancer support services for Piedmont Athens Regional’s Loran Smith Center. “The group’s support over the years has helped our organization continue to provide our services at no cost to our patients in the 17-county region that we serve.”
The recent $15,000 comes from the Golden Girls’ annual Fifty Shades of Pink Affair event, an annual event held during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October that includes a gala dinner, live entertainment, cancer survivor stories, and special guest speakers.
The event typically sees more than 400 attendees, and since its start in 2013, it has raised more than $65,000. Proceeds directly benefit the Loran Smith Center and its free support services, as well as others in the community.
Local cancer survivor Laura Ward and her personal experience at the Loran Smith Center inspired the Golden Girls of Athens group to create to this annual event.
“Laura’s cancer experience was the initial reason we started to get this organized,” said Bessie Freeman, a close friend to Ward and leader of the The Golden Girls of Athens group. Ward and Freeman are both active members.
“Our mission as a group is to inspire and empower individuals affected by cancer and this special annual event brings together cancer survivors, caregivers, family members, friends, businesses, and healthcare professionals for a rewarding and inspiring evening,” Freeman said.
For more information about the free services offered at the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support, visit piedmont.org/loransmithcenter.
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