Summer affords chance for outdoor fundraisers

July 20, 2011

As an eight-year breast cancer survivor, I am happy to see that many people are keeping their special causes, such as breast cancer, close to their hearts, especially in the summer months, when things seem to ebb off due to the break in this time of the year.

It’s easier to get caught up in all the headaches that come with an overwhelming infusion of tourists. Sure, we should be used to it by now and actually grateful in this economy to welcome our neighbors and friends who return to these golden shores.

But frustration has a way of creeping back into the fold, letting traffic and gridlock sway our attention. Parking meters and parking spaces take aim at our planning agendas, sweeping aside all thoughts of getting back to the basics. And who can blame us for being impatient?

But sickness and disability really don’t care what the temperature is outside, nor do they care what time of year the calendar announces. Convenience means nothing to these denizens of ugliness.

And it’s not just illness either. The truth of the matter is that food pantries still go empty in July as well as the holiday months. It just appears that we need less in the summer months because we often are preoccupied with shedding that layer of winter blahs.

Fortunately for us, we have a very giving population. The summer in this area has also afforded us the opportunity to keep on giving. There are numerous fundraisers for these wonderful causes.

And we can still count on early detection reminders as a means of getting a jump start on some of these diseases. I know that my own breast cancer was found on a mammogram. I never fit the typical profile with any history or signs.

And yet there it was one day, sitting on that x-ray and not happy to be detected either. The month just happened to be July, the week of my birthday. I tell you, they will sneak up on you at any time.

And we are reminded this past week with the passing of one of the challengers of breast cancer, former first lady Betty Ford. She was one of the first prominent women to go public with her battle. The summer does afford the chance for folks to combine their outdoor events with fundraising.

Often a portion of the proceeds from a barbecue or an art auction is designated for a cause such as the Beebe Art Auction helping to build a new facility for future nursing students. Surely this is a valuable investment in our future in the health-care field.

KINfolk is another example of a summer endeavor, utilizing an art auction with buying computers for young children. They provide laptops and free internet access to more than 6,000 hospitalized and homebound children every year.

We even have local shops, like the group on Baltimore Avenue contributing part of their sales to the American Red Cross. And there are all kinds of balls, dances, dinners and golf tournaments that surface every summer to benefit the less fortunate.

Summer in the Delmarva Peninsula means the giving doesn’t go on vacation. The people here have big hearts and while they may enjoy their day at the beach, they also get joy out of giving to all kinds of fundraisers and charities, so someone else can have a day at the beach. It just might be a different painting of the beach.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.