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November 17, 2002

The Healing Journeys' Cancer as a Turning Point conference held this past weekend, Sept. 14-15, in Chabot's Performing Arts Center was a stunning success. About 1,000 people from all over the country enjoyed morning coffee, muffins and fruit and then filled the theater for morning and afternoon sessions. During lunch they spilled out from the cafeteria with their healthy box lunches and sat in every sunny spot and lounged on the grass in front of the PAC.

Humorous monologues and musical numbers were interspersed with personal stories of moving beyond survival to "living for life itself". A psychologist, a psychologist/preacher and a physician specializing in nutrition research provided very specific information of great interest to attendees.

Our Chabot Bookstore Staff: Kathleen Kaser, Sharron Daniels, Wayne Nakano, Debbie Kuita, Susan Oregon, Aziza Bell-Sparrow, Steve Stevenson, Irwin Sosa, Sandy Kelley, Magda Aly and Ying Zhou had several tables full of books by all the presenters as well as many other titles and handled long lines throughout both days.

Vendors sold music CDs and a booth provided nearly instant audiotapes of each speaker. Thanks to former Staff Development Coordinator and long-time library supporter Carol Clough for her gift of the complete set of the Conference audiotapes to Chabot Library. Thanks to Barbara Olson for ordering most of the titles on the booklist provided by Healing Journeys and to Diana Immisch for producing a booklist of these purchases which is available at the Reference Desks at both Chabot and Las Positas Libraries.

Raffle tickets were handled by the delightful, brightly clothed, splendidly sequined "Sugar Plump Fairies" whose outfits were the envy of many.

So many people contributed in ways large and small to ensure the success of this event. Each and every contribution was essential. The highlight of the weekend was the participation of nearly 50 students who volunteered in every capacity. ASCC Vice President Pamela Lu's sparkling presence from the first moment til the last bag of supplies was removed from the Green Room Sunday evening was the core of this wonderful group of students.

Special thanks to those who worked both days of the Conference. Tasks ranged from cutting up a shopping cart full of melons to bathroom mopping. Catherine Powell was ready after the morning break on Saturday to redesign the entire break table operation for Sunday. Diana Immisch got out the library's mop and bucket (no library service program is complete without this equipment!) and she and Jeanine Paz took care of the inevitable issues that arise when nearly 1,000 people take a morning break all at the same time. Thanks go to our M&O staff for their cheerful valor in the heat of battle, so to speak: Liz Deleon and Juan Guerrero. Cleanup after the event was accomplished by Royce Wood, Don Benson and Jim Lyons.

Ginger Ripplinger and student Mark Curcio videotaped the entire Conference. Ginger was often racing up and down the aisles of the PAC with a heavy camera. The Conference planners made a point of remarking on Ginger's calm, kind and professional manner.

Kudos to Gene Hale whose patience and professionalism were praised at every turn. He and Bob McAllister and the rest of the crew define what "above and beyond the call of duty" really means.

The Security Officers on duty were constantly on hand and eager to help. Will (Richard Williams), Paul Cooley and Robyne DeRoco-Villon get our warm thanks.

Several businesses in our area generously donated goods and even loaned products to us: Trader Joe's (Castro Valley), Starbucks, Regan's Nursery (Fremont). Thanks to Kay and Andy Yoon of Fresh & Natural for delivering an ample supply of coffee and hot water each morning.

As we well know, the bedrock on which Chabot's reputation rests is our commitment to our students, our community, and to each other. The success of this conference depended on the smooth teamwork, considerable talents, professional skills and boundless enthusiasm of our entire Chabot community: students, staff, faculty and administrators.

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