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A Message of Hope
Written By: Tish Michel
*Click images below to view larger versions.
A Message of Hope
Tish, her mom Harriet & Judith enjoyed hearing Ken, Randy & Jimmy (of Randy Lee Ashcraft & the Salt Water Cowboys) who have donated their music every year for the Message of Hope cruise, this was the 6th.
A Message of Hope
What a beautiful sunset aboard the Judith M for the Message of Hope benefit.
A Message of Hope
Charlotte, Karon, Gay, Sharon, Sondra; back, Ruth, Irene, Debbie (President of the Eastern Shore chapter of Message of Hope), Terry & Martha - job well done!
A Message of Hope
Terry, Joyce, Tommy, Randy & Mary had a blast aboard the Judith M for the Message of Hope benefit.

    I have been very touched by several past Just Sayin’ columns written by Old School’s lead singer Linda Sears. She has written articles concerning our graduating seniors in hopes that they will stay safe and enjoy their time in our fair city. Linda ended last week’s column stating that she overheard a young man and his friends at Johnny’s Pizza saying they had a coupon from the brochure Linda mentioned in her prior week’s column. Linda then anonymously paid for the group’s pizza and left before they were aware of her kind act.  Way to go Linda! If you read my Santana column last week, you may recall my talking about the woman from New Jersey who brought fans (to fight the heat) with her to pass out to strangers at the Jazz Fest Santana show. Random act of kindness – just love it – just sayin’.  Many of us who write for Coconut Times volunteer our services because we love this paper and the wonderful music community that makes Ocean City such a wonderful place in which to reside.
    I have so often felt myself and heard others say that they feel they’ve gotten back ever so much more than they gave as a result of volunteering, doing random acts of kindness or donating to a good cause.  In addition to volunteering at the New Orleans Jazz Fest for nine years, I’ve volunteered at every level with CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) for over twenty years and am once again on the national board of directors serving as treasurer at the national level and for CHADD of Greater Baltimore. I’ve made wonderful friends from all over the country and internationally over the years through these connections and hope to have made the world just a bit better along the way.
    My 95-year-young Mother and I are breast cancer survivors. I read about the Message of Hope Cancer Fund cruise in the CT calendar of events and gave a call to the number listed to get more info.  Debbie Manoly promptly called back while I was reading CT at the-oh-so peaceful fish pond oasis by City Hall and thinking of my last conversation with the late Cathy Mathias at that beautiful spot. Cathy and Jim Mathias and many others in OC were so kind to me in ‘05 when I was going through diagnosis and treatment.
    I had a most delightful conversation with Debbie Manoly and her enthusiasm for Message of Hope Cancer Fund was absolutely infectious. My dear friends Randy Lee Ashcraft, Jimmy Rowbottom and Ken Roughton are once again volunteering their time and talent to provide music for the cruise. Just spoke with Randy and he thinks this is the fourth year he’s provided music for this event. Debbie said that the Message of Hope Cancer Fund board members and various restaurants in OC were volunteering hors d’oeurs for the cruise. Debbie gave me lots of wonderful examples of how her chapter has helped families financially as they contend with cancer. I went to the web site and found the following about this 501c3 non-profit: “Message of Hope Cancer Fund, Inc. provides direct financial assistance to families who face the monetary burdens associated with cancer. We provide support with co-pays, prescription drugs, rent/mortgage, groceries, and gas to and from treatment. We work directly with social workers and nurse navigators who refer patients to us.”
    This all volunteer organization operates in MD, VA and DC and has raised over $750,000 in under six years. Mom and I had a wonderful time on the cruise, meeting Debbie and making new friends at a fun event for a wonderful cause. My message of hope in writing this article is to encourage YOU to GET INVOLVED and support what’s important to you as we all strive to make our community just a bit better, one person at a time.
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