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Exercise support for cancer awareness

May 29, 2012

Residents make laps around the Bishop Union High School track to help raise funds and support for local cancer victims. The annual Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance Night of Lights event (returning this Saturday) also allows participants to honor friends and loved ones stricken by the disease. Photo by Darcy Ellis

Summer is fast approaching and Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance is gearing up for a busy season ahead.
First and foremost is the group’s Fifth Annual Night of Lights Walk. The community is invited to this social/charity event on Saturday, June 2 – to gather their friends, family and walking buddies and head over to “the Bishop Union High School track for a night of fundraising and good, healthy fun,” said ESBCA board member and public relations person Heather Marvin.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the luminary Survivor Walk will start at 6 p.m. with other walkers joining in until 9 p.m. Walkers are invited to bring picnic baskets and dine at the football field.
“Once the sun is down and we light the luminaries, it’s really pretty,” said Marvin.
Marvin’s passion for this cause is borne of personal experience. “As soon as the doctor cleared me from my second bout with cancer last April, I became active with ESBCA, starting out as a volunteer” and functioned a their public relations person. By September, Marvin had become a board member, as well.
“People perceive cancer as just affecting the patient and their family but when the patient has to stop working and then family members have to stop working to care for them, other people have to pick up the slack and it therefore becomes a community problem,” said Marvin.
The Night of Lights registration fee is $25 per person, and groups are most certainly encouraged, said Marvin, so bring co-workers, friends and family along to participate. Covering every possible base, employer funds-matching is also encouraged.
Last year’s walk raised $2,272.50, which was quickly distributed right back into the community.
Applications for ESBCA services are available at the new ESBCA Resource Center, located at 2957 Birch St, Ste. 17. (Northern Inyo Hospital donated the office space to the organization.) ESBCA applications are also available at the front desk of NIH, located at West Line Street and Pioneer Lane; at KIBS FM/KBOV AM, just south of Bishop before the golf course; and at the Night of Lights Walk on June 2.
ESBCA is a non-profit organization with a 501 C-3 status, therefor all donations are tax-deductible. Since its inception in 2000, ESBCA services have been available to individuals who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer, helping patients and families in both Inyo and Mono counties. The non-profit was founded by Pat Ramirez after she had participated in an Avon Walk and realized that the Eastern Sierra could greatly benefit from such an organization. ESBCA helps cancer patients by alleviating some of the financial burden that results from loss of income and increased medical expenses. Life is hard enough, but throw in a severe illness and the effects can be devastating, not only for the individual, but also for their family and the community as a whole.
To receive aid from ESBCA, be sure to submit a completed application and evidence of a doctor’s diagnosis. ESBCA’s volunteer staff will be more than willing to assist in the application process. However, since the resource center is manned solely by volunteers, call (760) 872-3811 before dropping by. Marvin noted that she has seen an increase in applications since she’s been on the board with 6-14 applications for aid coming in a month.
ESBCA can also be reached at For more information, visit Facebook at Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer-Alliance or visit The snail mail address is ESBCA, P.O. Box 1523, Bishop, CA 93515.
EScrip is a new fundraising development for ESBCA. The eScrip program provides a way for the community to support ESBCA with each use of a credit or debit card. To register, go to, find ESBCA using its identification number, 500030371, and register personal credit or debit cards. ESBCA has been an eScrip member since January and has just received its first check for 79 cents, proving that every penny counts. Applicatons for eScrip will also be available at the Night of Lights Walk on June 2.
ESBCA is also a recycling drop-off location for used computer ink and toner cartridges. Donors are asked to call ahead. ESBCA gets a portion of each cartridge it turns in. Marvin initiated the recycling program to get a small but steady monthly stream of donations.
ESBCA thanked the community for its continued support and looks forward to seeing everyone at the June 2 Survivor Walk to help those in the community who need help the most.
“This walk may not be as big as the October (Breast Cancer Month) walk but since June is Men’s Health Awareness Month and ESBCA doesn’t discriminate against any type of cancer, we want to focus on raising awareness for everyone,” said Marvin.

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