On an early Sunday morning, a few weeks ago as I was going around and around a dark high school track. I had some time to reflect. I was participating, along with the rest of Team Smoke Enders, in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, in the city of Campbell. If you’ve never participated in a Relay, it is truly an amazing event, bringing together survivors, caregivers and others who want to end cancer.
And that is a mission all of us in tobacco control can get behind. In fact, Team Smoke Enders, led by Bob Lorilla with the Santa Clara Public Health Department, is a team comprised of public health staff and tobacco control coalition members. While walking around the track I was thinking about how great an opportunity this was for tobacco control coalition to support an important member of our coalition – the American Cancer Society. And the same goes for the American Lung Association (which hosts Lung Force events around the state) and the American Heart Association (which has a Heart Walk). These organizations do so much to support the policy work of our local coalitions and representing us at the state capitol, so it’s nice to support them back. And as many of you who have been a part of our strategy chart sessions know, giving back to the organizations who are a part of your coalition is extremely important.
In addition, an event like this is a great team building opportunity. If your tobacco control coalition is like the Santa Clara coalition, we spend a lot of our time with our colleagues in meetings and sitting together in city council chambers. Participating in events like this is a great way to get together outside of work and do something good for our community.
Does your tobacco control coalition participate in these events? If so, share below! If not, here’s a great opportunity for you!