Outstanding New England volunteers named recipients of prestigious St. George National Award

St. George Medal


(August 15, 2013) - Recently, three outstanding New England Division volunteers, Jim Calhoun of Connecticut, Deborah Cornwall of Massachusetts, and Gregory Pizzuti of Rhode Island, were named recipients of the Society’s prestigious St. George National Award. 

The St. George National Award recognizes outstanding volunteers who have demonstrated ongoing leadership in community mission delivery and/or governance and have significantly contributed to furthering the Society’s strategic goals and mission-driven programs. These awardees have consistently represented the Society in a manner that advances the Society's mission and expands its community presence and have exhibited a continuing commitment to the Society through a willingness to serve.

Since conceived in 1949 by Dr. Charles S. Cameron, former Society medical and scientific director, the St. George National Award has been presented annually to Society volunteers across the country.  

All three winners will be recognized individually by the Society during special presentations at the New England Division Board of Directors meetings throughout the year.  In addition, each will be recognized locally with the honor.  Each winner will receive a biographical award booklet, a St. George lapel pin, bronze medal, and certificate.

Our New England volunteers were three of 27 volunteers recognized across the country.  All individuals were nominated by their Divisions, approved by the St. George National Award Task Force, and presented to the American Cancer Society Board of Directors. 

Stay tuned to upcoming eNews for spotlights on each of these dedicated volunteers. 

Pictured is the St. George Award medal. The symbol of St. George and the Dragon depicted on it was first conceived in 1949 by Dr. Charles S. Cameron, then medical and scientific director of the Society. The medal was designed by Tiffany and Company of New York. Since Byzantine times the dragon has symbolized evil or public calamity such as pestilence and famine. Various European countries have legends of a national hero or patron who slays a dragon, the most popular being St. George, the patron saint of England. The weapon used in the slaying of these dragons was the double-edged sword, similar to the Society Sword of Hope. An upright sword (reverse side of medal) has always been regarded as a sign of victory. In the case of the American Cancer Society’s symbol, it stands for victory over cancer. Our Sword of Hope was designed by George E. Durant of Baltimore for a poster which won first place in a contest in 1925. The handle of the sword is formed from a caduceus – two serpents which in classical mythology represent the healing of the sick and creativeness of the healthy.