Albany Med Honors Dancing in the Woods Founder for 30 Years of Service
ALBANY, N.Y., July 1, 2014 – Nancy Carey Cassidy, founder of Dancing in the Woods, an annual winter gala to benefit the region’s only pediatric cancer program, was honored today during a ceremony at Albany Medical Center.
Albany Med President and CEO James J. Barba officially dedicated a green cut-leaf Japanese maple tree in the Massry Healing Garden in Carey Cassidy’s name, honoring her for “her vision, leadership and lasting legacy of commitment to the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders”. The dedication highlighted a reception to celebrate the success of the 30th annual gala, which raised more than $500,000. Since its creation in 1983, Dancing in the Woods has raised more than $7 million and is the Capital Region’s oldest and most successful fund-raising event.
“Dancing in the Woods was indeed built by Nancy Carey Cassidy and her friends for the community,” Barba told guests at the reception. “Her dedication, which we commemorate with a tree, comes with many, many sincere thanks to a dear friend of Albany Medical Center.”
“We actually netted $25,000 the first year. We were thrilled!” Carey Cassidy said. “Honestly, I thought after five to 10 years, it would be replaced by something else, and we’d ride off into the sunset, just happy we were able to get a childhood cancer program started.”
Instead, Dancing in the Woods has helped turn what was at first a two-day-a-week pediatric cancer clinic, able to diagnose patients but unable to treat them, into the Melodies Center, with five full-time pediatric oncologist/hematologists and a full complement of nurses, social workers and support staff.
“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is devastating for a family,” Carey Cassidy said. “Then to find out you had to relocate far away for treatment – that’s awful. Our goal with Dancing in the Woods was to raise enough funding so those families could receive world-class treatment right here in Albany, And now they can.”
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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