The Star-Herald

American Cancer Society honors County resident

PRESQUE ISLE and TOPSHAM, Maine — The American Cancer Society recently presented a Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award to Jordyn Madore, a Presque Isle resident. 

The award is the most honored accolade by the society in New England. It recognizes Madore’s remarkable accomplishments in support of the society’s mission to celebrate lives, to save lives and to lead the fight for a world without cancer.

  Inspired by many friends and family members who have been touched by a cancer diagnosis, Madore has been involved with Relay For Life of Aroostook and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) since 2017 and has been leading the Relay For Life event as its chairwoman for three years. 

  In recent years, facing decreasing participation in the Relay For Life event and a shift in energy for her local community, Madore led an effort to reimagine what the event could be, considering what would be most effective and enjoyable for volunteers, participants, community sponsors and supporters. Instead of a one-day, overnight event in June, Madore steered efforts to structure the Relay For Life movement in Aroostook County to exist year-round, with fundraising spread throughout 12 months. 

Madore led the charge in creating a “Relay 360: experience, which began in the planning phase in 2019 and launched for the 2021 season. Activities are designed to consistently remind the community what the American Cancer Society is and how they can get involved with its lifesaving mission. 

Teams or members of the event leadership team each head up a fundraiser, including a sled run which raised more than $10,000 in March 2021, a cash calendar and chocolate festival that raised nearly $7,000 in March 2021, an Easter egg challenge, a virtual 5k, a bicycle ride, a “You’ve been flushed” campaign, and letters from Santa Claus. 

A live community celebration in October is planned to honor cancer survivors and caregivers and recognize teams and participants with “shout outs.” 

Staff said not only is the new approach engaging their community successfully, but participants feel refreshed and proud of their event.

  “Within a short time of working with Jordyn, I have been truly impressed with her courage, positive attitude, ability to go with the flow and her innovative spirit to take something established 35 years ago and evolve it into a fresh, new experience,” said Chelsea Paradore, associate director for development with the American Cancer Society. 

“Jordyn has a demanding day job and yet still finds the time to dedicate herself in her downtime to this event fully. She is inspirational to not only her volunteers but other Relay For Life events in the area,” Paradore said “I think Jordyn is onto something exciting with our event’s new year-round format, and I can’t wait to continue fighting cancer together.”

The Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award is named in honor of the late Sandra C. Labaree, a longtime American Cancer Society volunteer from Maine. Despite her death from breast cancer in 2000, Labaree’s spirit and values live on through this award. 

Each year, the local area board selects the most inspired and passionate individuals to receive this prestigious honor whose service best exemplifies the Cancer Society’s organizational values of mission, stewardship, diversity, data-driven and respect.

  For more information on how to become a volunteer for the American Cancer Society or about the Society’s programs and services, please visit www.Cancer.org or call 800-227-2345.

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