You might ask, “What is Martha’s Song”? And you may wonder why there are events to raise money and awareness to support it. You may even be curious about what happens to the money raised.
In 2005, a group of women who had worked to raise funds for national cancer research decided to shift their focus to do something locally for the “right now” cancer fight. They wanted to show care and concern to Robertson County residents in a meaningful way.
This core group of volunteers included Penny Callis, Retha Marlin, Rita French, Sue Dressler, Marilyn Worsham, and Freda Herndon. They began brainstorming, and then developed and implemented a concept that soon launched as Martha’s Song.
The program envisioned seemed to name itself to honor Martha Parker, a volunteer who devoted herself to helping others with cancer. “Martha’s Song” was chosen to reflect the song of Martha’s life. She provided cancer patients with support and connected them with available information and resources. She was an advocate and friend as patients maneuvered through treatment. Martha’s life illustrated what the group hoped to accomplish, providing hope, support, and compassion to those facing cancer.
The first fundraiser, a fashion show and luncheon, occurred in the fall of 2005, with Martha in attendance to see the program bearing her name become a reality. Before she passed away in 2006, Martha was humbled and honored to know local residents would receive financial support to offset the expenses of cancer treatment through the funds raised.
Today, the program operates under the auspices of the NorthCrest Foundation and all donated gifts are tax-deductible. Since its beginning, Martha’s Song has provided almost $150,000 to hundreds of Robertson County cancer patients. Monies are donated to help the cancer patient pay for needs that might not be covered by insurance. Many wigs have been purchased, as well as breast prostheses, lymphedema sleeves, and other needed items.
The process to apply for assistance is simple. An application is available on the NorthCrest Foundation website and in brochures throughout the community. The funds are made available through a bi-annual fundraiser and donations from businesses and individuals.
The next fundraiser for this local program will be April 21 at The Center, 401 North Main St. Springfield, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This “Woman’s Day” event will feature booths with all sorts of goodies to purchase or to enjoy: food, clothing, décor and bath & body items, cooking, gardening, art projects and even fitness! Diana Pelham will also be providing some entertainment after lunch.
Catering 24 (Kenya Dossett) and Exclusive 28 (Chef Chan) are the featured caterers and will be serving a special menu just for our Women’s Day guests. Even a Martha’s Song t-shirt will make its debut with the iconic bluebird that was Martha Parker’s favorite.
Tickets to enter, which are a donation to the Martha’s Song, will be $10. They can be purchased at the door or at The Gallery, Holman’s Jewelers, White’s Jewelers -- all on Memorial Blvd. and at the Chamber on 5th Ave. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
Please join us. You might help a family member or a neighbor, and you will enjoy a few hours shopping, painting, gardening, cooking or listening to music.
-Submitted by Marilyn Worsham, Martha’s Song Board Member