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    ‘Where I was meant to be;’ Lander’s Carol Smith recognized by American Cancer Society for ongoing volunteerism

    (Lander, WY) – Lander resident Carol Smith was recognized last week by the American Cancer Society (ACS) for her ongoing volunteer work at a celebration surrounded by family, friends and food, where she received both the Patient Support Volunteer Award for Excellence, and the Road To Recovery Outstanding Volunteer Award.


    The celebration took place on April 26 at Mamaw’s Kitchen, and began with Bill Junge, the Associate Director for Community Implementation for the ACS, stressing how special these awards truly are.

    Junge stated that the Road to Recovery award is regional and covers 17 states in our area, which is an accomplishment in itself, but the Patient Support Volunteer Award for Excellence is national, and only one volunteer in the entire country receives it each year.

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    “From an ACS standpoint this has put Lander, WY on the map,” Junge said to cheers from the crowd.

    Smith began volunteering with the ACS in 2008, and later brought the ACS Road to Recovery program to Fremont County, which Junge said “is what it is today because of Carol.”

    Smith’s husband Ron then spoke to the crowd, and went on to share his pride, admiration and love for Carol and all of her volunteer work.

    Ron shared how Lander is a community that thrives “on the principle of volunteerism,” and thanked Carol and those in the crowd for all of their continuous efforts.

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    “This evening we are here to honor one of the best examples of that selfless principle of volunteerism,” Ron continued, and noted that the celebration and awards made it “apparent” how much of an impact Carol has made.

    “Many years ago, upon first meeting Carol, one of the very first attributes I noticed about her, besides her enthusiasm, boundless energy and comedic personality, was her generosity and compassion and her inspiring willingness to help others,” Ron went on to say. “I greatly admire her long-term diligence and commitment to selflessly aiding others.”

    Ron shared more stories and points of pride before the woman of the hour was soon brought up to speak herself, and in true Carol fashion, she immediately made a joke or two before thanking her support system and those in attendance.

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    After a few jokes and thank-yous, Carol recognized an important person in her life who was unable to attend because of cancer, and one of the driving factors behind her mission to aid those afflicted with the disease.

    “I’m missing my mom tonight,” Carol shared with the teary-eyed crowd. “Hopefully she’s watching. She was my biggest champion and I can only imagine how proud she would be of me tonight.”

    Carol went on to say that she was “humbled and honored” to receive the awards from the ACS, which she didn’t realize the significance of when she was first told about them.

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    “Volunteering for ACS was where I was meant to be” Carol commented after sharing the personal toll cancer has taken on her and her family. “I’ve never looked back.”

    “Let me be clear. This was the farthest thing from a single person’s effort,” Carol later concluded before dedicating the awards to her fellow volunteers. “I am not alone in this fight.”

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