2015-05-01 / Community

Veterans invited to attend CCC event


STRIVE in South Portland held a groundbreaking last week to kick off its 16-week expansion project on Foden Road. Top, from left, Allanah Barraso, representing Camp STRIVE; Mary Roberge, representing Waves, Charlie Saffian, representing Tweens; Blake Waterhouse, representing After School; JJ Sarapas, representing Active; Nate Dibiase, representing Next STEP; and Haley Pass, representing STRIVE Night. Each represented a different program in the building. Left, Peter Brown, STRIVE associate director and South Portland Mayor Linda Cohen at the groundbreaking ceremony. The project will add 3,300 square feet of classroom and program space for programs. The space will allow for each program to have its own room, rather than share one space. It will also include health and safety improvements, such as an internal wheelchair ramp, full sprinkler system, hoods for each stove and air conditioning. (Jen Riddell courtesy photo) STRIVE in South Portland held a groundbreaking last week to kick off its 16-week expansion project on Foden Road. Top, from left, Allanah Barraso, representing Camp STRIVE; Mary Roberge, representing Waves, Charlie Saffian, representing Tweens; Blake Waterhouse, representing After School; JJ Sarapas, representing Active; Nate Dibiase, representing Next STEP; and Haley Pass, representing STRIVE Night. Each represented a different program in the building. Left, Peter Brown, STRIVE associate director and South Portland Mayor Linda Cohen at the groundbreaking ceremony. The project will add 3,300 square feet of classroom and program space for programs. The space will allow for each program to have its own room, rather than share one space. It will also include health and safety improvements, such as an internal wheelchair ramp, full sprinkler system, hoods for each stove and air conditioning. (Jen Riddell courtesy photo) In honor of Memorial Day, Maine veterans who have been touched by cancer are invited to a special event sponsored by the Cancer Community Center. The center, located at 778 Main St. (Route 1) in South Portland, will host a gathering from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Monday, May 18, for veterans who have had cancer, cared for a friend or family member with cancer or lost a loved one to the disease.

The event is being organized by Molly Stewart, who is mission services director at the center.

“Men and women in the military know that they risk their lives when they go into combat,” Stewart said. “What they have not anticipated is that they might be exposed to chemicals or toxins that could cause cancer many years later.”

Stewart said veterans are at a much higher risk for cancer than the civilian population.

“Connecting Veterans Touched by Cancer” is a new program for the center and arises out of a desire to support Maine’s veterans who are also dealing with cancer, either their own diagnosis or that of a loved one.

C.J. Hoppin is a U.S. Air Force retiree living on Peaks Island whose wife successfully dealt with a Stage IV melanoma cancer in the early 1990s. Through that experience they learned that talking with other people about the experience of dealing with cancer is very helpful.

“We hope that ‘Connecting Veterans Touched by Cancer’ will provide those opportunities,” Hoppin said.

For more information, visit www.CancerCommunityCenter.org or call toll free at 1-877-774-2200.

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