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American Cancer Society Recognizes Volunteers for Helping Create a World with Less Cancer and More Birthdays

New York, NY (April 11, 2011) - In celebration of National Volunteer Week , the American Cancer Society recognizes and celebrates the efforts of its more than three million volunteers nationwide who are making a difference for people facing cancer.

Annually in New York and New Jersey, more than 263,000 volunteers give their time and talent to fight back against the disease through the local programs of American Cancer Society's Eastern Division.

“Volunteers are the foundation of the American Cancer Society,” said Jeanne Walsh, Executive Vice President of the American Cancer Society. “Volunteers have been crucially important in enabling the American Cancer Society to help save lives. As we recognize this special week, I want to thank each of our volunteers for dedicating their time and energy to our special events and cancer-fighting mission. Volunteers impact the community in ways that could not be done without their personal commitment to creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”

Many volunteers in New York and New Jersey contribute to helping people stay well, get well, find cures and fight back against cancer through a variety of roles, efforts and American Cancer Society programs, including:

Relay For Life – More than three million Americans (including 500,000 cancer survivors) participate nationally in the Society’s signature overnight community event. Volunteer teams celebrate the lives of those touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer – As the Society’s premier event to raise funds and awareness to fight breast cancer, nearly 500,000 people across the country participate in this inspiring, non-competitive walk. This event unites communities to honor and celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate women about the importance of early detection and prevention and raise money to fund lifesaving research, find cures, and support programs to further the progress to create a world with less breast cancer.

Patient programs and services – Dedicated Society volunteers provide direct assistance and service to people stay well and get well in a variety of ways. They drive patients to and from treatment, help women with the treatment related-side effects by teaching them skills to help their appearance, provide one-on-one support as survivors to newly diagnosed patients and much more. Also, volunteers for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge help provide a free, home-away-from-home environment, for people who have to travel to New York, Rochester or Buffalo for cancer treatments.

• Legislative advocacy – The Society’s advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, has a grassroots volunteer network of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who successfully work to fight back against cancer and send strong messages to lawmakers about issues that matter to people touched by cancer. Just last month hundreds of volunteers in New York State mobilized to prevent a total elimination of the State's Tobacco Control Program.

Much of the online efforts of the American Cancer Society will be dedicated to recognizing volunteers this week. Visitors to morebirthdays.com can upload their photo and personal story to an inspirational wall that features the faces and stories of current and former American Cancer Society volunteers, and pledge to volunteer in 2011. Additionally the Society will celebrate and thank volunteers on it's website, Cancer.org as well as social media to thank volunteers and highlight volunteer opportunities.

The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network sponsor the annual National Volunteer Week, which began in 1974 with an executive order by President Richard Nixon.

The American Cancer Society listens, shares, heals, and nurtures a spirit of hope and a culture of caring through volunteerism. To learn more about how you can saves lives while fulfilling your own through volunteering, visit our Web site, www.cancer.org/volunteer.

Additional Resources:
Watch: Video Interview with volunteer driver Bob Williams
Read: Melissa Butera talks about being a volunteer for ACS CAN
Read: Ann Ogden Gaffney teaches cooking at the New York City Hope Lodge
American Cancer Society Volunteer Index

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.