POINT PLEASANT — Two spokespeople from the American Cancer Society spoke at the first Mason County Chamber of Commerce luncheon for 2013 at the Chef House in Point Pleasant, including topics such as ways business owners can help prevent cancers and plans to revamp Mason County’s Relay for Life.
Speaking first was Kevin Tephabock, state vice president for West Virginia, who discussed several ways the chamber members and other business owners can do their part in helping prevent some types of cancers and spreading awareness about the American Cancer Society. Tephabock stated that secondhand smoke is the number one killer in the workplace and business owners can help prevent tobacco related cancers by implementing smoking and tobacco bans in their business, in addition to spreading the word and encouraging others to get screened.
“Preventing cancer really starts with one person,” Tephabock said.
Tephabock explained if one person gets screened, they could inspire someone else to get screened, or if one person makes a decision to stop using tobacco products, another person might too. Tephabock also included some survival statistics for several cancers, most of them in the 90 to 100 percent range if caught at an early stage, reinforcing the idea of having regular cancer screenings.
Following Tephabock, Community Manager Tambra Cheman also spoke to the chamber members on other services the American Cancer Society offers and some plans to revamp the Mason County Relay for Life. Cheman said many people think the American Cancer Society simply helps people quit smoking. While the society does offer that service, Cheman discussed several other programs offered, highlighting the society’s toll-free number which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to offer support for not only cancer patients, but caregivers, family members, and anyone else affected by this disease. The number is 1-800-227-2345.
When discussing Mason County’s Relay for Life, Cheman said this year’s relay will take place in September as opposed to the middle of the summer, in order to provide a cooler atmosphere for the participants. Cheman also said the relay would be held at the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park.
According to Cheman, the 2012 Mason County Relay for Life raised around $43,000 and the goal for 2013 will be $48,000. Cheman also said there were also plans to have a deejay, as well as other live music at the the 2013 relay.
Also at the luncheon, Chamber President Eddie Lanham recognized the newest members of the chamber, including The Lowe Hotel, the Event Center, and Rev. Nancy Hahn.
The next Chamber of Commerce Luncheon will be at noon on Feb. 26, at the Event Center.
For more on the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org.