Breast Cancer Awareness Month and government conference

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, you will see a lot of pink in our area.

Both Cape Girardeau and Jackson are participating in the Pink Up campaign benefiting the Dig for Life program originally started by coach Cindy Gannon and the women's volleyball team from Southeast Missouri State University. With the help of Saint Francis Medical Center the program has grown tremendously.

Saint Francis Medical Center's Womancare has been offering breast health and osteoporosis screening to our region for 27 years. They want to make everyone aware of the importance of early detection in saving lives and provide education about breast cancer to encourage women to get mammograms.

One important fact is that approximately one in eight women will have invasive breast cancer during her lifetime -- and one in 36 will die from the disease. As terrible as this statistic is, the good news is that the number of deaths is going down.

The Saint Francis Foundation and Dig for Life have provided almost 2,000 mammography screenings to women in need from our area, We can feel gratified that the program is having the desired effect.

Even though all that pink is going to clash with our usual Jackson red and Cape Girardeau orange, we want everyone to get behind this effort and support the program by attending an event, buying a pink ribbon to display, or just making a donation.

If you want additional information, go to their website at or contact the Saint Francis Foundation at 331-5124.

Another good opportunity for education -- as least for those of us in municipal government -- is the annual Missouri Municipal League conference.

This conference was held at Osage Beach from Sept. 17 to 19. Mayor Harry Rediger and members of his staff and board, Mayor Debbie Gahan and members of her staff and board, and members of my staff and board and I attended this event, as we have for years.

The conference provides keynote speakers on topics of interest to everyone in municipal government. There are also workshops on a variety of topics, so those of us in attendance can choose those of particular interest to our cities.

We also have opportunities to network with officials from Cape Girardeau, Perryville and other cities at the conference sessions and events.

Longtime city clerks Gayle Conrad of Cape Girardeau, Mary Lowry of Jackson and Tracy Prost of Perryville are regular attendees as they also have their Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers Association business meeting and training sessions in conjunction with the Missouri Municipal League conference.

As the city clerks keep up with all the records of their respective city governments and make sure we all follow correct procedures, they are extremely valuable members of the staff.

It is very important that they be in attendance to keep up with any changes in municipal procedures. All three of our cities are fortunate to have ladies with such professionalism, integrity, efficiency and true dedication to their cities.

Barbara Lohr is the mayor of Jackson.

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