The San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) held its first anniversary banquet celebrating 3 years of existence in San Pedro. The SPCS was founded on June 15, 2010, and has since been working hard to create awareness, raise funds and assist cancer patients on the island. In the three years of existence, 18 cancer patients have been assisted. Unfortunately, four have lost the battle to the disease. As a group, the SPCS has also lent a hand to non-cancer patients who needed support from the community. Throughout all the fundraising efforts, SPCS has donated over $14,792.50.
Those accomplishments were highlighted in a small ceremony at Elvi’s Kitchen on Saturday, June 8th. Giving the welcome remarks was Alyssa Muñoz, who reiterated the importance of the SPCS’s contributions, and the need to continue educating and informing the general public of this disease. Guest speaker at the event was Melanie Paz. Melanie spoke of how cancer has touched her life twice. While one beloved family member lost his battle, she mentioned the triumph of her aunt who, for over 20 years, has long outlived the 3 months her doctors had given her. It is stories such as those that keep the society’s members motivated, and certainly gives them the drive to continue to help.
Part of the banquet included acknowledging those who have been big supporters along the way. President Miguel Perez and Secretary Lucy Muñoz handed out certificates of appreciation to businesses and individuals who have given generously towards the needs of patients – either in cash or in kind. By offering a place to stay, a method of transport, helping with paperwork, publicity or otherwise, the various people recognized have had a huge impact on the work of the SPCS. They are: Sagebrush Community Church, Castillo’s Hardware, Conch Creative, Elvi’s Kitchen, Ambergris Today, The San Pedro Sun, Kelly & Mukul Kanabar, San Pedro Lions Club, Victoria House, The Palms, Tropic Air and The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC).
Accepting the certificates were various representatives of the organizations, and upon accepting the SPTC certificate, Mayor Daniel Guerrero spoke briefly, congratulating the society members. He commended the work and dedication that have gone into making the society successful at rendering aid to cancer patients. On behalf of the SPTC, Mayor Guerrero then pledged a generous $1,000 to the organization. This was met with much applause, and the donations kept coming in after that announcement. Elvi’s Kitchen added to the evening when they announced that from July 1st 2013 through July 1st 2014, they would ask patrons to make a $1 contribution to the San Pedro Cancer Society. By the end of the night, $5,900 had been pledged/handed over. Along with $805 from the banquet ticket sales, it was a most successful evening that celebrated the good work that the society has undertaken, and highlights the generosity of spirit that pervades our society in general.
A scrumptious Maya buffet awaited after the ceremony, and over delicious food and drinks, everyone had the opportunity to mingle and celebrate. An impromptu live performance by songstress Natalie Arceo added to the magic of the night. Thank you to everyone who made the evening a success. Congratulations San Pedro Cancer Society, on your third anniversary; here is to many more years of success.