100th birthday

Volunteers often are the key to an organization running on all cylinders, and that’s true, too, for the American Cancer Society.

On Wednesday, the cancer society in Williamsport opened it doors to the public to show off its different services and to honor its volunteers.

It was all part of the organization’s 100-year anniversary celebration.

Volunteers and employees were on hand at the organization’s headquarters at 1948 E. Third St. to explain programs offered to area residents.

The Road to Recovery program provides cancer patients rides from their homes to treatment centers.

Laura Ferringer, program coordinator, said the program is heavily used.

“I would say there is a patient driven almost every day,” she said.

A total of 361 rides were provided in the last fiscal year, according to Liz Emerick, administrative assistant.

Look Good, Feel Better is a program established to help restore something to cancer patients they might have lost through treatment – self-confidence.

Under the program, beauty professionals volunteer their time to teach women how to cope with skin changes, hair loss and other physical changes.

Volunteers are matched with patients and offer support.

Patients who’ve suffered hair loss can be outfitted with wigs, turbans or scarves.

The Making Strides program helps raise money for the items.

Each year, the cancer society fights breast cancer with its Making Strides event. The 5K walk is a rallying cry to fight cancer and raises money through contributions.

This year’s event is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 12 at Indian Park in Montoursville.

Relay for Life is held at four venues throughout Lycoming County. The 24-hour events involve teams made up of family members or others who camp out at sites with at least one team member always walking.

Jan Ulmer, health initiatives director, said the next Relay for Life event is set for June 1 in Hughesville.

Emerick said 31 people took advantage last year of the society’s Hope Lodge service. The 30 Hope Lodges found in the U.S. offer free accommodations for cancer patients traveling to treatment centers.