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WHATELY — Cancer Connection will host a Harvest Picnic and book launch for Words to Live By: Poems and Images for Contemplation in a Time of Not Knowing at Quonquont Farm in Whately on Sunday, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event, which will include readings of a few selected poems from the book by local authors, is open to all. Reservations are required. Tickets cost $35 or $45 and can be purchased through EventBrite by clicking here.

Guests will enjoy a tasty twist on picnic fare catered by Rob Watson of Lone Wolf Catering. The menu features roasted orange-ginger glazed salmon with a Thai-basil drizzle, roasted chicken (and tofu) with a lemon-herb sauce, along with a variety of locally sourced vegetable salads, non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert.

Created to give thanks to Cancer Connection, Words to Live By is dedicated to the agency’s co-founders, Debra Orgera and Jackie Walker. The book was conceived in 2014 by John Bos, an op-ed columnist for the Greenfield Recorder, and created in collaboration with Pam Roberts, who has led the agency’s “Spirit of the Living Word” workshop since 2003; Keith Carver, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts; and James McDonald, a book designer.

The new, 130-page book features 50 poems and short prose pieces. Many of the book’s writers are well-established authors, including prize-winning writers Jane Yolen, Jane Lazarre, former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Dawna Markova, Wendell Berry, Pat Schneider, Jane Kenyon, Ellen Bass, John O’Donohue, and Lucille Clifton. Others were members of the “Spirit of the Written Word” writing workshop at Cancer Connection. Each writing is accompanied by a photograph from nature by Carver, an award-winning nature photographer.

The initial printing of Words to Live By has been made possible by financial support from local donors and may be purchased at the event or directly from Cancer Connection after the book launch. The price of the book is $20.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Board of Directors of  Cancer Connection announced that Chelsea Sunday Kline has been named executive director of the nonprofit. 

   “As we mark the 22nd anniversary of Cancer Connection and transition to in-person and virtual programs and services, we are pleased to introduce Chelsea Kline as our new executive director,” said Jennifer Ewers, board president, “With Chelsea’s demonstrated community involvement, leadership and enthusiasm, we are so lucky to move forward with her guidance.” 

 Kline’s hiring comes as Cancer Connection is poised to create and implement a new plan of strategic growth in programming, development, and outreach. Kline said she is eager to support the staff in safely reopening to provide in-person supports for participants and their caregivers, from massage, reiki, mindfulness, and more. 

 According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.9 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the US in 2022. Furthermore, an estimated 40 out of 100 men and 39 out of 100 women in the US will develop cancer during their lifetime, so the free services offered by the Cancer Connection are unfortunately very necessary. 

 “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Cancer Connection,” said Kline. “The organization is poised to really expand its vision and build on its solid reputation of the past 22 years of compassionate service. I look forward to being a part of the effort to bring the organization to the next level, making a positive difference for even more people living with Cancer and their caregivers.” 

 Kline joins Cancer Connection with a wide range of applicable professional skills and expertise. Kline is a graduate of both Smith College and Harvard Divinity School and has a background as an academic program director for a local university, an interim executive director of a small non-profit, and is currently a consultant and professional life, career, and transition coach. Moreover, she contributes a regular column to the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Living section entitled “In the Present,” featuring content about mindfulness, gratitude, and kindness. 

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