WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Carol Bennett-Schnorr began laboring at her kitchen table in White Plains 15 years ago, inspired to create a cancer support organization for her sister Barbara Bennett-Rones and other Westchester residents living with cancer. Breast cancer claimed her sisters life shortly after Gildas Club Westchester opened in March 2001. An annual volunteer award was named in her honor, which Bennett-Schnorr said she was thrilled to accept this spring.
I probably will be crying all night because I did it for my sister. I did it for lots of other reasons, but my sister was obviously the impetus. To have an award with her name on it that says I did work to help is just wonderful, said Bennett-Schnorr. I cant have her, so Ill take that award.
Bennett-Schnorr said she got involved with Gildas Club Westchester to support her friend Susie Wang, who co-founded the nonprofit, and help build a place of support for her and her family. In the beginning, Bennett-Schnorr said she got excited with every $5 donation she documented in her data entry role. Once the Gildas Club Westchester first opened its doors, she helped administer dozens of free programs designed to provide emotional support for men, women and children living with cancer, as well as their family and close friends. She served on the clubs first board, led the board as its president and worked as the president of Gildas World Wide Affiliate Council. She currently sits on the programs committee, task force and does strategic planning for the White Plains-based organization.
I cant see myself without Gildas Club in my life. When I walk through that door, every single time, I just feel like Ive done something for my sister and for everyone else with cancer, she said.
Bennett-Schnorr said she's enthusiastic about Gilda's Club's growing involvement in schools, including training guidance counselors, nurses and other professionals while offering one-on-one help when the need arises. She said her next big project will likely involve fundraising for a new computer system program.
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