On a beautiful, sun-kissed day in Beaumont Texas, 40 Optimus Steel employees and their family members participated in the Julie Richardson Procter Color Rush. With employees from many different roles within the mill, we truly had the entire Optimus Steel team represented at the Julie Richardson Procter Gift of Life Color Rush.
According to information obtained via website, The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program was established in Beaumont, Texas, in 1994 by Regina Rogers as a tribute to her mother, Julie, a breast cancer survivor, who had a double mastectomy in 1988 and who died following complications from a stroke and heart attack in 1998. Originally dedicated to providing free mammograms for medically underserved women, in the past twelve years, the organization’s services have multiplied and the agency has grown into one of the largest cancer screening initiatives of its type in the state of Texas.
In 2000, the “Gift of Life” broadened its breast cancer mission to include prostate cancer, offering free screenings and educational presentations for men.
Providing free mammograms and prostate cancer screenings along with educational outreach, the agency of “Gift of Life” has consistently integrated complementary programming into its organizational framework. Striving to investigated new avenues in cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection have remained at the forefront of their mission. Over the years, the following activities have been added to create the current slate of services:
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month Kick-off;
- Heightened Awareness Campaigns during Prostate and Breast Cancer Awareness Months;
- Survivors’ Celebration honoring breast and prostate cancer survivors;
- Annual Health Forum, a complimentary continuing education conference for Southeast and East Texas medical professionals that focuses on cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment;
- Collaboration with BASF and TOTAL Miracle Match for Life to increase knowledge about the importance of donating blood and bone marrow and detecting cancer in its early stages, especially within African American communities;
- School-based and community-wide smoking cessation and prevention initiatives;
- Prostate Cancer Support Group;
- Testicular Cancer Outreach; and
- Acquisition of a minivan to transport clients (who lack access to a vehicle) to and from the program’s cancer screening tests and exams.
Today, the “Gift of Life” is the only organization of its type in Southeast Texas which approaches the fight against cancer in such a holistic manner, including increasing awareness about the importance of early detection; providing free cancer screenings and access to follow-up health care for medically underserved persons; educating our medical community on the latest innovations in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment; and providing both formal and informal support for cancer patients and survivors.
Optimus Steel is committed to being active participants in our community. We were happy to take advantage of an opportunity to give back for a worthy cause.