Dear Cancer Support Community Friend,
 
I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the last days of spring. I also hope you will join me in welcoming Suzanne Drace back to CSCVVSB. Suzanne will serve as Interim Director during the executive transition period and will aid the Board of Directors in the executive search process. Suzanne previously served as CSCVVSB President for 12 years and retired in 2014. She would love to see familiar faces and meet new people, so please drop by the community at 530 Hampshire Road in Westlake Village to say hello! 
 
Last month CSCVVSB celebrated its Seasons of Hope Gala. On Saturday we will continue to celebrate hope and usher in the summer season at the Cancer Survivors Day Picnic. And we are beginning a new season of hope by expanding our support programs in the San Fernando Valley.    
   
The seasons may change, but CSCVVSB has always been a special place where people of all ages create hope together in the face of adversity. I'm so thankful you're part of this community. 

Sincerely,
Andrea Roschke, CPA 
Chair, CSCVVSB Board of Directors 
 
  JUNE 2 IS CANCER SURVIVORS DAY - You're Invited!
As part of our community, you're invited to our annual National Cancer Survivors Day Picnic on Saturday, June 2, 1:00-4:00pm at CSCVVSB, 530 Hampshire Road, Westlake Village. RSVP to 805.379.4777.  
 
Join us at this FREE event for live music, Kiwanis Club BBQ, National Charity League desserts, and fun activities for all ages.
 
Don't miss the Wings of Hope Butterfly Release at 3pm. This is a time to remember and honor our loved ones and the hope symbolized by the flight of a beautiful butterfly. Want to honor a loved one by sponsoring a live or paper butterfly? Learn how you can participate here.  
DEAR CANCER, IT'S ME - Meet Our Essay Contest Finalists
"Dear Cancer: although you took so much, you still inspired me to help others and fight back against you. You gave me strength and leadership skills I never knew I had...I cannot wait for the day where the cure has been found to end your evil reign."
 
These words from Rio Mesa High School student Jacob Rodriguez are just some of the many unforgettable messages delivered to cancer through CSCVVSB's Dear Cancer, It's Me Essay Contest. Celebrating these astounding young people at our annual Awards Luncheon is one of the highlights of the year.  
 
Our community gathered on May 20 to honor the finalists who bravely shared how cancer affected their lives. The program featured Master of Ceremonies David Studebaker, Keynote Speaker Dr. Kevin Axelrad, essay contest founder Karen Eckhardt, and a cello performance from Westlake High School student and lymphoma survivor Esther Kim.  
 
Finalists in the Family and Friends Category are: Valentina Maria (Louisville High School), Daniel McGreevy (Santa Susana High School), and Jacob Rodriguez (Rio Mesa High School); Finalists in the Personal Category are Caitlin Meaney (Moorpark High School), Tanya Ramirez (Pacifica High School), and Lacey Stahura (Agoura High School).  
 
Ready to be inspired?   Read the finalist essays here.  

On behalf of everyone involved with this event, we want to thank our sponsors: Premier America Credit Union, Union Bank, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Westlake Village Garden Club, Adidas, Alex Neumann Photography, Quicksilver Printing & Graphics, Alexandra Resnik Design, and our generous individual donors.    
SEASONS OF HOPE GALA - Meet the Honorees and See Photos
We want to thank everyone involved in the CSCVVSB Seasons of Hope Gala, held April 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.  
 
Our committee members, volunteers, honorees, sponsors, performers, and attendees all played an important role in making this night a successful fundraiser. Your support helps make CSCVVSB a key provider of cancer support in our community.  
 
Master of Ceremonies Cristina Ferrare guided the evening, while the honorees and speakers inspired us all to keep celebrating hope, life, philanthropy, and excellence. Thanks to the Durell Coleman Band for the lively music!      
 
Celebration of Hope honoree Gillian Harwood said that her CSCVVSB group "has been a tremendous help in better coming to terms with my situation, for we never know what the future may hold."  
 
Celebration of Life honoree Art Connolly is a Speaker's Bureau member and said, "the positive feedback we get from our community outreach efforts is a continuing reward for being associated with CSCVVSB."
 
Celebration of Philanthropy honoree Harriet Wasserman has served on the CSCVVSB Board of Directors for 11 years and hosts an annual luncheon in memory of her daughter Nancy, raising enough to fund a support group for an entire year.
 
Celebration of Excellence honoree Dr. Kyle Himsl, MD is a Board Certified Urologist in private practice since 1991 and is partnering with the USC Keck School of Medicine's Institute of Urology to bring world-class tertiary level urologic care to the Thousand Oaks area.   
 
Auctioneer Randy Gordon helped CSCVVSB raise funds with incredible lots including a Hawaiian vacation, Hamilton play tickets, and Justin Timberlake VIP concert tickets. The centerpiece of the auction was a heartfelt speech by eight-year-old Genevieve Casterline about how the Kids Circle group has helped her and her family.  
 
IT'S MATCHING TIME! - How to Double Your Impact
Between now and June 30, your donation serves a double dose of hope to people in our community affected by cancer. 
 
A generous couple in our community believes so strongly in the mission of CSCVVSB that they are matching dollar-for-dollar all donations made between now and June 30, up to $35,000!
 
Think of all the support groups, social events, and educational workshops $35,000 could provide. That's a lot of hope. And when cancer turns your life upside down, hope is a huge factor.    
 
We hope you will be part of this exciting matching grant period. Online donation is easy, secure, and fast. To make a phone donation call 805.379.4777. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate by June 30 and double the impact of your gift. Thank you for being a part of our community!
A NEW SEASON OF HOPE - Additional Programs Launch June 6
Financial and language barriers should NEVER keep people from finding the support they need during their cancer battle. That's why we are so pleased to announce new bilingual services for people in the San Fernando Valley.  
 
English and Spanish-speaking people in and around Van Nuys can now find support, hope, and information at our multilingual group held at Los Olivos Church on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, 5:30-7pm. Registration is required - call 805.379.4777 to register or learn more.   
 
"People think once you survive cancer it's over," says Nellie Dipolo, who was first diagnosed 35 years ago and attends the group at Los Olivos Church. She sees the group as a place for people to get information from one another, learn which questions to ask their doctors, and share their feelings about their situation.  
   
We are also providing hope for children and teens grappling with the cancer diagnosis of a parent or grandparent through the bilingual Kids and Teens Circle opening June 6 in Canoga Park. Special thanks to the Rose Goldwater Community Center at the Westfield Mall in Canoga Park for giving use of their space for this program.  
 
"WE GET TO BE OURSELVES" - How Kids & Teens Circle Helps
At the Cancer Support Community we understand that cancer doesn't just strike the patient - it affects the entire family. That's why we have programming for every member of the family - even children. 
 
The Kids and Teens Circle is a safe, friendly space for people ages 5-16 to play, share, and learn from other children who know what it's like to have a  cancer diagnosis in the family.  
 
"The kids get to be with a group of peers who understand the experience of dealing with cancer in the family," says Joyce Boucher, LCSW, MFT, who started the group nearly 20 years ago and facilitates the Westlake Village group.  
 
Kids Circle has been so helpful to families that CSCVVSB offers it in three locations: Westlake Village, Oxnard, and Canoga Park (starting June 6).  
 
"Kids Circle is a lot of fun because we all laugh so much," says Kids Circle participant Skhye. "It is a time that we all get to be ourselves and just be free of anything that is going on." 
 
Although it looks like a group of kids hanging out, playing and giggling, there is an important aspect of healing and support going on at all times, under the caring supervision of licensed therapists trained to work with people affected by cancer.  
 
"My children learned to open up and talk about things with each other, with other participants, and with adults in our family in ways I didn't learn until much later in life," says CSCVVSB Speakers Bureau member Mark McAlister, whose children attended Kids Circle in Westlake Village.   
 
Oxnard Kids Circle facilitator Diane Martell, LMFT has more than three decades of experience counseling children. She remembers a participant who flourished when he joined Kids Circle in Oxnard after a family member was diagnosed with cancer.  
 
"He had been acting out and his grades were slipping," says Diane. "When he started coming to Kids Circle, he was able to open up about his fear of his family member dying when their hair began to fall out, and the jealousy he sometimes felt when they got so much attention." After his experience in Kids Circle, this young man was accepted into his school's gifted program and became a star athlete.  
 
The new Canoga Park Kids Circle will offer Spanish and English-language support to young people in the San Fernando Valley with a loved one with cancer.  We are thrilled to welcome Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Jackeelyn Mendoza to the CSCVVSB team as facilitator of this group.  
 
Learn how you can help support CSCVVSB's cancer support programs for patients and families. 
 
Oncology Massage with Lymphedema Risk Reduction & Lymph System Support 
Wednesday, May 30, 6:30-8pm 
Details here.    
 
The Healing Arts with Theresa Smythe
Thursday, May 31 and June 7, 12-2pm
   
Cancer Survivors Day Picnic & Butterfly Release
Saturday, June 2, 1-4pm
 
Kids & Teens Circle - Canoga Park Launch
Wednesday, June 6
Registration required; call 805.379.4777.   
 
Paint the Town Pink
Tuesday, October 2 
 
CSCVVSB Fundraising Gala
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Want to volunteer for this fun and fabulous evening? Call 805.379.4777 for information.  
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