The Cancer Resource Centre’s garden was packed full of people and beautiful, hand-crafted planter boxes during the Inspirations from the Garden fundraiser on July 20. Friends of the Cancer Resource Centre, the fundraising group affiliated with the Cancer Resource Centre, helped to make this biennial event possible. Proceeds benefit the Centre which is a program of the Community Cancer Research Foundation. The resource center offers free support, education and mind/body programs to help patients with cancer and their loved ones cope with a diagnosis.
Attendees enjoyed educational presentations including “Why We Should Care About Pollinators?,” “Dynamic Container Gardens,” and “Bird Feeding 101”. Sixty gardeners, artists and creative crafters came together to make 56 stunning planter boxes which were sold at the fundraiser. Each box’s design reflected the unique artistic expression of its creator.
“There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into the boxes,” said Anthony Andello, director of the Cancer Resource Centre. “There’s a lot of feeling, thoughtfulness, energy and time put into everyone.”
Some of the boxes were named in honor of family members, their designs serving as a way for loved ones to share their stories.
“This was created in memory of my father, Ron Haywood, who died on July 30, 2016,” said Kristin McKone, designer of the box “Beautifully Broken,” which was decorated with pieces of glass found along the beaches of Lake Michigan. “My dad and I shared many loves, and the beach was one of them. Just like my dad, the beach is where I go to find my way, my calm, and my peace. It is my sanctuary.”
Visitors were able to bid on the planters in a silent auction, with 100 percent of all proceeds directly supporting the Cancer Resource Centre. All support groups, educational programs and services are available at no cost to cancer patients, survivors, their caregivers and family members.
“We made a pledge to offer everything free of charge to all, regardless of where they live or where they’re getting their treatment,” said Dr. M. Nabil Shabeeb, MD, Advisory Board Chairman for the Cancer Resource Centre. “I think what’s dear to me is that we’re the only center of its kind in Northern Indiana. There’s nothing else like it, and its services aren’t limited to cancer patients under the care of the hospitals in the Community Healthcare System.”
Inspirations from the Garden, while an important fundraiser, also plays a big role in spreading the word about the Cancer Resource Centre.
“The event offers the community an opportunity to tour the beautiful healing water garden of the Cancer Resource Centre, as well as participate in workshops and view a variety of nature-inspired artwork,” said Tina Campbell, Coordinator of Marketing and Special Events for the Centre and Community Healthcare System. “It’s amazing to see the growth of this event. It started as just a simple garden walk years ago and has blossomed into a collaborative community garden full of inspiration and creative ideas.”
To learn more about the Cancer Resource Centre, visit www.myccrf.com/about-us/cancer-resource-centre. For more on the Community Healthcare System, visit COMHS.org.