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September 2018 - Sylvia Chambless
Congratulations to our October Volunteer of the Month, Sylvia Chambless. Sylvia has been volunteering with Atlanta Track Club for twelve years and has become a familiar face at our race number pick-ups before events. She likes volunteering because it keeps her active and because of the long lasting friendships she has made. Sylvia is currently battling breast cancer, but she is determined to beat it as she has before. Despite her current diagnosis, she continues to volunteer with us at all of our events and plans to volunteer and participate in the 2019 AJC Peachtree Road Race.
Do you remember your first time volunteering with Atlanta Track Club?
My first volunteer assignement was at the old Atlanta Track Club location. We were assigned to bag volunteer T-shirts and goodies for the crew chiefs for the next event. I have been hooked on volunteering wth the Club ever since. That was twelve years ago.
What is your favorite Atlanta Track Club event? Why?
My favorite event is the Kilometer Kids Fun Run. This is my favorite because my grandchildren were participating in the run and I've enjoyed seeing them crossing the finish line to receive their awards. They are older now, but it's still a joy to watch the children run and have fun.
What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Atlanta Track Club? What brings you back?
My favorite thing about volunteering with the Club is being around people who are as passionate about volunteering as I am. Atlanta Track Club has the nicest staff and throughout my years of volunteerng, I have made many lasting friendships.
My favorite assignments are race number pick up and post-race T-shirts because I get to see the runners and walkers before the race, then after the race I get to congratulate the ones I remember and give them their T-shirt. I have also served with the food, gear check and water stations.
What organizations do you volunteer with beyond Atlanta Track Club?
I volunteer for four ministries at my chuch. I love my church and I love volunteering. Other organizations I have volunteered for include Atlanta Mission, Meals on Wheels, Hands on Atlanta and C.H.O.I.C.E.S. (Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully). I volunteer because I love to give my time and my heart.
What do you do for a living?
I have been retired from the U.S. Postal Service for over 10 years.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I am a very emotional and passionate person. I try to encourage someone whenever there is a need, and giving back is my way of staying active. I used to walk in different races around Atlanta, which I totally enjoyed, but the AJC Peachtree Road Race was my favorite to walk in. I loved doing that race but for the last three years I have only volunteered. I have resolved that I will return for the 2019 Peachtree.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I would like to share my journey of battling this evil disease for a second time. Like my first time, I will SURVIVE. I am stronger than cancer and cancer is not my life, it is a part of my life that I'm dealing with right now and this too shall pass. As long as I'm in the healing hands of my Lord, I'm not worried or stressed about this attack on my body again. I know it will be a long journey. I'm now bald from the chemo treatments, I also get sick for a few days after the treatments and I've been told my nails will turn dark. These are things I can deal with. As for my hair, it will grow back, but in the meantime, hats, wigs and scarves are my best friends. I will get the rest I need on those days I'm not feeling well and if and when my nails become dark, I'll visit the salon. I am going to live and thrive. I have family and friends who love and care for me too much not to. I can't give up. Blessings and the best of health to the survivors and good memories of those who have passed on. Just a word of wisdom: always show love and support to someone going through diagnosis and treatments of any type of cancer. Support is a very important part of surviving this disease that is not going to win.
Volunteer of the Month Update
Mizuno strives to be Atlanta's essential and reliable running brand, and in 2018 they're making a commitment to YOU, the essential and reliable volunteers who make our 30+ events and programs possible. Beginning in January, they'll provide the Volunteer of the Month with seasonal apparel and discounted footwear to make all those hours spent on your feet more comfortable. We can't wait for next year!
Previous Volunteers of the Month
"Volunteer of the Month" began in March of 2015 with the launch of our new website as a way to honor and recognize our amazing Atlanta Track Club volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Congratulations to our Volunteers of the Month and thank you for all that you do!