Planning and executing the second largest Race for the Cure in the country is no small job. We are extremely grateful for the 1,000+ volunteers who help us create an event that is memorable and special to all who attend, and one of those volunteers is April VanDervort, who we’re proud to celebrate as the June Volunteer of the Month. April served as the logistics chair for this year’s Race and as Becca Thomas, director of events and marketing puts it, “April was absolutely instrumental to the success of the Race. She’s reliable, dependable and an incredibly hard-working volunteer… April sets the bar high for other volunteers and is a key member of the Komen Columbus family.”
Thank you, April for your passion and dedication to Komen Columbus and our mission! Read below, in April’s own words, to see what keeps her involved year after year.
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
Eleven years ago my Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and our lives changed forever. While my Mother was in treatment I began running as a form of mental healing for what our family was facing. Five months later I flew to Tennessee, where my Mother lives, to run in honor of my Mother in the Komen Nashville Race for the Cure. When I crossed the finish line I was overwhelmed with emotion as my Mother waited for me. The following spring I ran in the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure. For seven years I continued to run in Komen Columbus Race for the Cure until four years ago when I was asked to volunteer on the Race Committee. My Mother’s battle and my running brought me to Komen Columbus and I am inspired each day to continue volunteering to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
My favorite part of volunteering with Komen Columbus is knowing that my efforts are helping to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer and the lives of others. Having my family involved in volunteering at the event is also a wonderful part of the experience for me. This year my 15 year old son Josh was on the planning committee for the race along with a close family friend.
What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
The most memorable moment I have experienced with Komen Columbus was at this year’s 2012 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure. I had the opportunity to briefly stand at the finish line in the Survivor Chute area. The joyful looks on the faces of the survivors crossing the line and the expressions on the faces of their family members waiting for them provided me more than a few tears, lasting memories and a continued drive to make a difference.
What is your favorite part about being the logistics chair? The most challenging part?
My favorite part of being logistics chair is the variety of ways that I am involved with the race which provide me with great opportunity to meet people. In this role, I get to meet with the wonderful folks at the Komen Columbus office and so many terrific volunteers. These folks and their commitment to this cause inspire me each day. I enjoy a fast paced, busy environment and the logistics chair role provides me with that challenge. It is a wonderfully busy role that provide great variety and the chance to touch many different parts of the race.
When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
When I am not volunteering for Komen Columbus, I enjoy spending time with family, running, biking, volunteering with a few other organizations, working at Nationwide, and assisting my son Josh with his athletic training and cancer fund-raising efforts.