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Rotary Club of Atascadero donates to The Cancer Support Community 

Rotary Club of Atascadero, Cancer Support Community, Christie Kelly, Thom Schulz, Meagan Friberg, John and Monica Hollenbeck

Rotary Club of Atascadero President John Hollenbeck presents a check in the amount of $6,000 to Christie Kelly, executive director of The Cancer Support Community-California Central Coast. Pictured from left are: Monica Hollenbeck, cancer survivor, Christie Kelly, John Hollenbeck, and Thom Schulz, CSC Founder, Board Chair and cancer survivor. Photo by Meagan Friberg

Contribution of $6,000 will help local organization continue to provide services to those affected by cancer and their loved ones free of charge

– Members of the Rotary Club of Atascadero presented a check in the amount of $6,000 to Christie Kelly, executive director of The Cancer Support Community-California Central Coast at its June 10 meeting.

Rotary Club President John Hollenbeck spoke about his family’s personal journey with cancer and said it was his board of directors that approved the increased amount of $6,000 from the standard $2,000 charitable donation to the local organization.

Rotary Club of Atascadero, Cancer Support Community, Christie Kelly, Meagan Friberg

Christie Kelly, executive director of The Cancer Support Community-California Central Coast, thanks the Rotary Club of Atascadero members for their donation and gives some insight into the organization’s services. Photo by Meagan Friberg

“We didn’t know about The Cancer Support Community until after my wife, Monica, was diagnosed,” said Hollenbeck. Now, as the couple celebrates her cancer survivorship, Hollenbeck said, “we are thankful that it does exist. As I reflect on the learning curve that we went through during Monica’s journey, it is great to be able to support an organization that supports all of us locally who have been touched by cancer.”

Accepting the check on behalf of CSC, Kelly said, “We thank you and we are honored to be stewards of the money that you donated to The Cancer Support Community. The social aspect of a cancer diagnosis can be a really difficult, challenging time for a person, some feel isolated or depressed. What we try to do is compliment services and, along with your medical team, support patients on the psychological, spiritual, and emotional side.”

Since 2008, all services provided at and by CSC are free of charge, with the non-profit consistently raising funds through fundraisers and donations from community members.

“That’s the kind of community we live in and organizations like yours allow us to provide the services that we do to those who need our support,” said Kelly, adding that well over half of the people seen at the Paso Robles office are from Atascadero.

Founder and CSC Board Chair Thom Schulz, a prostate cancer survivor, said entering the CSC office, located at 614 13th St. in Paso Robles “feels like walking into a warm, friendly home.”

Rotary Club of Atascadero, Cancer Support Community, Thom Schulz, Meagan Friberg

Founder and Board Chair Thom Schulz, a prostate cancer survivor, talks with the Rotary Club of Atascadero about the services offered free of charge by The Cancer Support Community. Photo by Meagan Friberg

“What’s nice about our center is that it’s not a hospital, it’s not a doctor office – it’s a place where people can relax and feel comfortable,” said Schulz, addressing the Rotary crowd. “I would encourage everyone here that has been diagnosed with cancer or who has a friend or family member that could use our services to please call. We are there for anyone who needs comfort and help and we can help them or set up a referral for anything they need, free of charge.”

More about the Rotary Club of Atascadero

The Rotary Club of Atascadero is part of a worldwide organization of business and professional men and women united to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Lunch meetings are held on Wednesdays at noon at the Pavilion on the Lake, located at 9315 Pismo Ave. in Atascadero. For more information, see www.atascaderorotary.org.

More about The Cancer Support Community

The Cancer Support Community – California Central Coast provides ongoing education, navigation, counseling and support to the community at large including at-risk populations. Part of an international program, the local office is based in Paso Robles and helps to provide educational opportunities for the medical community with cancer specific programs, forums and awareness campaigns throughout San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties. All services are provided free of charge.

The CSC mission is to help those affected by cancer and their loved ones enhance their health and well-being by providing a professional program of emotional support, education in order to learn vital skills that will enable them regain control, reduce isolation and restore hope regardless of the stage of disease. Most importantly, The Cancer Support Community – California Central Coast provides a home-like setting for people fighting cancer to connect with and learn from each other. For more information, see www.twcccc.org, call (805) 238-4411, or stop by 614 13th Street in Paso Robles.

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About the author: Reporter Meagan Friberg

Meagan Friberg is a reporter for the Paso Robles Daily News and A-Town Daily News.

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