State Honors Breast Cancer Survivors

November 16, 2007

State Honors Breast Cancer

Sen. Beavers among the State Employees recognized at
the ceremony

NASHVILLE – Shades of pink lined the walls, floors, and chairs of the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville on November 15 as breast cancer survivors who work for the State of Tennessee were recognized at an emotional Breast Cancer Survivor Ceremony. Tears were shed, laughter shared, and words of encouragement spread as the survivors were commended for winning their battles against the disease.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development served as the host department for the event. Commissioner James G. Neeley welcomed everyone to the ceremony and introduced Melinda Williams, State Chairman of the event and breast cancer survivor. The Tennessee National Guard presented the colors and songs dedicated to the survivors were sung by highly acclaimed vocalist Moiro Konchellah. The event was marked by each survivor being individually recognized on the stage with a certificate and a pink rose.

First Lady of Tennessee Andrea Conte was the keynote speaker. At the end of her speech she requested that State Senator Mae Beavers (R – MountJuliet), a breast cancer survivor, approach the podium to make a special presentation. Senator Beavers presented a Senate Proclamation signed by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R – Blountville) to Melinda Williams for her dedication to the cause and for making the event a success. Williams is the State Chairman and founded the program four years ago to support breast cancer awareness and to honor her fellow employees who were breast cancer survivors. She is currently serving as Assistant Administrator within the Employment Security Division of the Department of Labor.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Senator Beavers was also recognized by Ramsey for her own courageous fight against breast cancer. The Lt. Governor presented Beavers with a certificate and noted that she won that battle while serving the people of Tennessee as a state senator.

“I am honored to be a part of this special day for breast cancer survivors. Cancer is a terrible disease, but it does not have the power to destroy one’s will to live. These women are pillars of strength as they exemplify the meaning of courage. The survivors battled the disease and won, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to stand with them and say we did it! Breast cancer touches many and I am proud to gather with my fellow colleagues and celebrate this occasion,” stated Beavers.

The State Employee Breast Cancer Survivor Ceremony began four years ago and continues to grow each year, demonstrating the increasing number of breast cancer survivors. The theme for the ceremony this year was “Giving Thanks”, a fitting theme as the ceremony came exactly one week before Thanksgiving.

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