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Coalition continues important mission

While its location has changed many times during the last 20 years or so, the mission of the annual wreath ceremony conducted by the Women in Action Against Cancer Coalition has not:

Participants who gather for the recognition held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month do so to honor survivors and remember those who have lost the fight.

The tradition will be renewed this year at noon Thursday at Jim Wood Park in Steubenville’s West End.

Survivors will be recognized with a rose and cards prepared by students as part of the Pugliese West Elementary School Acts of Kindness Project; musical selections will be performed by Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham; and a proclamation from the commissioners and resolution from Steubenville City Council will be presented.

Unlike previous years, however, the program will not feature a breast cancer survivor.

Instead, it will include “A Husband’s Story” from Ralph Knight, who lost his wife, Kelli, to breast cancer a little more than a year ago.

But like every other event held during the past seven months, COVID-19 guidelines will be in place, including social distancing and the wearing of masks.

The coalition is a community-based, nonprofit organization that was founded in July 1994 in response to the high incidence and mortality rates of certain cancers in the Jefferson County area.

Members focus on increasing awareness, providing education and promoting early detection and prevention of cancer in the region with the group’s mission being to encourage and motivate individuals to take charge of their health.

Thursday’s event is among the ways the coalition works to meet that goal, and for that, members of our community should be grateful.

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