SPRING VALLEY — A dream come true for Patty Davis is seeing the Circle of Victory she started 25 years ago in Fairborn’s Rona Hills transform into an important annual event for cancer survivors, patients and their families.
Patty Davis was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 and it was two years later she decided to help others by creating a walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
“It started with 75 people and we raised about $1,500,” said Davis. “It was hard work, but we were not discouraged. We would eventually meet with Herman Menapace and the Greene Medical Foundation and then we teamed up to turn the walk into one that would help so many Greene County residents.”
Patty plans to attend the 25th anniversary walk Sunday, Oct. 7 at Dale and Marcie Haglers’ Apple Country Farm Market in Spring Valley.
“We’re so excited to have not only returning sponsors for this event but also new ones,” said Greene Memorial Hospital & Soin Medical Center Community Outreach Coordinator and COV organizer Donna Saraga. “Sponsors truly make an event like this happen because with their support every dollar, every donation, every walker registration goes directly back to local people who are not only battling cancer but also battling the financial burdens that come with it.”
Every dollar raised through this fundraiser goes to underwrite cancer treatment, and help patients with medication, wigs, prostheses, and other financial burdens that occur. Individuals, organizations, businesses, and churches representing a cross-section of Greene County have stepped up over the last 25 years.
“This year alone we have already provided almost $50,000 in financial assistance to friends in Greene County who are battling cancer. That is a lot of Hope,” added Saraga.
Patty Davis will never forget the woman carrying the flag during the opening ceremony at one of the walks, “I talked to the woman afterwards and found out she was a 30-year cancer survivor herself, she was told she wouldn’t live three months and it was 30 years later.”
As the event grew over the years volunteers moved the walk to Fairborn Community Park. Patty continued with the walk for 13 years and then passed the baton to Krista Rogers.
“It was a wonderful thing to watch it grow and to go gangbusters,” said Davis. “I cannot believe just how great it is. People really come out for the event.”
In her spare time Patty also volunteered for Reach to Recovery through the American Cancer Society. The program links cancer survivors with cancer patients to help provide a support system. In addition she volunteered for the Fish Food Pantry for 40 years. Patty’s late husband Phillip worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base while she raised her three children. She said she is blessed with seven grandsons and two great-grandchildren. She enjoys gardening.
“I have had a wonderful life,” she added. “When we started this event we never thought we would get this big.”
In addition to the walk there will be many things for participants to take part in that day. Health and local vendors will be attending this year. The walk will also feature this year’s COV Ambassador Cathi Sargent.
“Over the years I have often had returning walkers tell me that they come especially for the closing ceremony. We end the day with a very moving ceremony recognizing those who are currently battling cancer and their caregivers, celebrate with those who have conquered cancer and remembering those who fought bravely but lost their battle,” said Saraga. “We literally circle our friends with help and with hope and for 25 years Circle of Victory has been doing just that.”
Registration and vendors open at 12:30 p.m. at Apple Country Farm Market, 2323 US Route 42. Opening ceremonies will begin just before the walk start at 2 p.m. The closing ceremony will follow the walk focusing on those who have lost their fight and those have survived.
Registration is open day of for $30, or $25 online up to the Oct. 6 visit www.circleofvictory.kintera.org or call 937-352-2250 for more information.