Special to the St. Marys Journal Argus
Sadly, there are few of us who have not been touched by cancer, been a caregiver, family member or friend of someone who has.
On a quiet, shady street in Stratford, in an old brick home, Wellspring Stratford Cancer Support Centre is situated. Inside, in a comforting, supportive atmosphere, programs and services are offered at no cost to those men and women in our area living with cancer.
And here in St. Marys, thanks to the staff and parents of Holy Name of Mary School, a wonderful fundraiser, Golf Fore A Cure was started, seven years ago. With the awesome cooperation of St. Marys Golf and Country Club, downtown merchants and businesses, this has grown to be one of Wellspring’s major sources of revenue.
Three years ago, Wellspring took over the tournament. Wellspring Stratford receives no government funding and relies entirely on community support to run its programs. It is mostly run by volunteers so it is an ideal place for donation dollars.
What does Wellspring offer? First of all, tea and a listening ear — all volunteers are trained in Peer Support. Dropping in without a referral is a huge bonus. Members can sign up for a Reiki treatment — 45 minutes of private treatment by one of Wellspring’s three practitioners of Reiki, a non-invasive experience that leaves one feeling relaxed and comforted.
Another option is Gentle Yoga — one of our most popular programs, offered twice a week, combining movement, breathing, stretching and meditation practices. It is offered in several different formats to meet the specific needs of the population affected by cancer.
A sense of inner calm has been felt by those who have taken part in Gentle Yoga, had a Reiki treatment or Mind and Body Meditation.
Wellspring offers Caregiver Support, a wonderful Lending Library, and Nutrition Workshops for those who are in treatment or recovering. Wellspring Stratford is the site of Look Good Feel Better for this area, a program for those in treatment, offering makeup and hair/wig/headwear tips as well as free samples of creams and make-up. All programs are free and open to anyone in our area living with cancer. Caregivers and family members are welcome as well.
Golf Fore a Cure has become a celebration of the power of getting together to have fun and raise funds for a local cause. Non-golfers are welcome! There is a shotgun start at 5 p.m., complete with a snack and cart. Following the golfing, a delicious chicken and ribs dinner is offered, as well as an exciting silent auction with draws and door prizes.
The snowbanks are gone, the course is in good shape — what an opportunity to get out and have a fun evening for a great cause. To register online, visit www.wellspringstratford.ca. Or register by phone at 519-271-2232, weekdays from 1-4 p.m.
“If anyone wishes to support us at the dinner only, we would love to see you!” adds Wellspring volunteer Kathy Blake. Tax receipts are available for a portion of the cost.