Trees Planted in Honor of Be a Part of the Cure Walk Top Fundraisers

By Marty Trieschmann

“On April 30 of this year, the Be A Part of the Cure Walk brought together more than 1,000 people from different communities who walked to honor those diagnosed with cancer,” said Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Director Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D. This year’s walk raised $242,000 to support cancer research and patient care.

Top individual fundraiser, Betsy Lavender, raised $11,550 through her team, Betsy Loves UAMS. Lavender is a colorectal cancer survivor thanks to treatment at UAMS.

“Betsy, you made it happen. You didn’t let us down,” said Be A Part of the Cure Walk Chairperson Elizabeth Birrer during the dedication of the first tree.

Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Director Michael Birrer and Elizabeth Birrer, Chair of the Be A Part of the Cure Walk, plant a dogwood tree in the Healing Garden in honor of the Walk's Top Fundraising Team, Dillard's Stepping on Cancer. A second tree was dedicated in honor of the top fundraising team, Dillard’s Stepping on Cancer, which raised $11,874 to benefit the Cancer Institute. Team captain, Daryl Bailey, attended the tree planting with team members and Dillard’s employees, Kelley Weaver and Melissa Riddle.

“These beautiful dogwood trees with ribbons tied by survivors, friends and family members are yours to dedicate. You are generous by having them planted here in the Healing Garden for others to enjoy. They represent an enduring sign of your kindness and goodness and will serve as a reminder of hope for all cancer patients and their families,” said Elizabeth Birrer.

The trees were donated by Cantrell Gardens and the Good Earth Garden Center and were planted in the Cancer Institute’s Healing Garden.

Other attendees included Walk committee member Rebecca Tackett, Betsy Loves UAMS team member Stephanie Wilcox and Cancer Institute employees Sandy Henry, Susan Jones, Daniel Frazier and Judy Cheek.