Posted on June 03 2019
National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual, treasured Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide, and around the world, on the first Sunday in June. This year, the celebration takes place on Sunday, June 2, 2019 by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation.
The non-profit, National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation, provides free guidance, education, and networking to hundreds of hospitals, support groups, and other cancer-related organizations that hose National Cancer Survivors Day events in their communities. The Foundation works hard to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors by raising awareness of the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship.
National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those cancer fighters who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for all families, and an outreach to the community as a whole. On National Cancer Survivors Day, thousands gather across the globe to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after cancer, or a cancer diagnosis is possible, and can be fruitful, rewarding, and inspiring.
Who is a cancer survivor? The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer - from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity for your community to demonstrate that it has an active, productive cancer survivor population and to bring awareness to the challenges they face during and after treatment.
This is a day for everyone to celebrate. Whether you're a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional, you are all invited to partake in this celebratory event. This day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer - including more than 15.5 million cancer survivors - to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way.
It is also a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors' quality of life.
Anybody can host a National Cancer Survivors Day event. The official National Cancer Survivors Day theme is A Celebration of Life, but you can personalize your event however you would like. To promote a unified image, the official event colors are blue, red, and white.
Do you want to get involved? See below for 7 simple steps to organizing a National Cancer Survivors Day event in your community!
7 Steps to Organizing a National Cancer Survivors Day Event
1. Register Your Event
There is no cost or obligation to register, but you must register your event each year in order to use the copyrighted National Cancer Survivors Day name and logo. Official National Cancer Survivors Day events should take place on the first Sunday in June, if able. Otherwise, all official National Cancer Survivors Day events must be held during the month of May or June.
2. Get Sponsors
National Cancer Survivors Day is a day set aside to honor cancer survivors, but everyone in the community can be involved. Consider enlisting support from:
- Healthcare organizations, including hospitals & treatment centers
- Pharmaceutical companies & representatives
- Local businesses
- Cancer support groups, including your local American Cancer Society
- Churches & synagogues
- Local TV & radio stations, newspapers, & magazines
From co-sponsoring your event through financial support to donating goods, services, or event space, local businesses and organizations can contribute in many different ways. Encourage your community, especially local media outlets, to help spread the word about National Cancer Survivors Day and cancer survivorship issues. Social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, are a great way to spread the word, and volunteering is always welcomed.
3. Choose a Location
While many NCSD events are held at hospitals and cancer centers, you can be creative with your location. Seek out local parks and sports venues, or consider holding a block party. Other prime locations include: hotel ballrooms, conference centers, churches or synagogues, art studios, waterfronts, and local schools, universities, and community centers.
Remember, when choosing a location, take into consideration your crowd size, the weather elements, travel and parking, and if any permits or insurance would be required.
4. Choose a Theme
Planning your event around a central theme is the best way to create interest and add excitement about your celebration. After all, surviving cancer is something to truly celebrate! An event theme also helps tie everything together. Remember, your event's theme can be anything that you want it to be!
5. Iron Out the Details
Whether you're hosting a fun, themed celebration, an educational health fair, or a run/walk to get everyone's blood pumping, the success of your event depends on how well you handle the details. Making the necessary preparations will ensure that your event goes off without a hitch!
Think about the decorations, the food, and keeping your guests entertained through various activities. The décor will set the tone for your event from the moment guests walk in the door. For instance, if your event has a theme, the decorations should reflect that theme.
For food ideas, you don't need to break the bank by serving a gourmet meal. Simple hors d'oeuvres, a buffet style brunch, BBQ, picnic, potluck or desserts will suffice. But, if your event is centered around lunch or dinner time, consider asking local restaurants or grocers if they would be willing to donate food, beverages, or supplies to your event. Recruit volunteers to help you with setup and food preparation, serving, and cleanup. Ask a professional nutritionist or dietician to create a menu that includes healthy, cancer fighting foods. Consider contacting local food truck vendors to see if they would be willing to provide food for your guests at a discount.
As for entertainment, it's important to keep your guests having a good time. Some ideas include:
- Setting up an arts & crafts table where guests can create memories of the event.
- Play games in order to increase guest participation and promote team building.
- If able, consider DJs, bands, and other forms of entertainers to really wow your crowd.
- Have a keynote address from a guest speaker. The address can be humorous, inspirational or informative, and have the guest share their story, treatment advances, advice on how to cope, or discuss complementary therapies.
- Spotlight the survivors, as they can share messages of hope by telling first person stories, reading journal entries, reciting poems, or simply speaking about their journey of surviving cancer.
- Have something for kids, if your event is not age restricted. Story telling, face painting, games, and bounce houses are all popular ideas.
- Honor survivors by taking a moment during your event to pause and acknowledge the cancer survivors in attendance, as well as the dedicated healthcare professionals, caregivers, and volunteers as well.
6. Order Official NCSD Merchandise
Every good party needs souvenirs! When guests leave your event, give them something to remember it, such as official NCSD merchandise. From practical items like stadium cups and hand fans, to commemorative buttons and keepsakes, the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation offers a variety of items that guests will love and keep.
7. Spread the Word
Start spreading the word about your event several weeks in advance. It's also crucial to create a social media campaign for it as well! Create your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Utilize these platforms to get guests excited about your event. Social media also allows you to post event details, announcements, photos, press releases, reminders, contests, and other information about your event on a regular basis, as this builds excitement and increases exposure. Get as many people as you can to help spread the word. In addition, make use your organization's website, blogs, and newsletters to share information about the event.
In addition to social media exposure, you will want to reach out to local media outlets, such as radio programs and newspapers, and request publicity for your National Cancer Survivors Day event. Create a media kit to present all of the necessary information about your event, as well as a pitch to local media outlets explaining why they should publicize your event.
Lastly, engage your local community. Cover your town with fliers, ask volunteers to distribute them to community support organizations and businesses. Hang them on bulletin boards, ask your local hospital, cancer treatment center, public library or local health fair to consider a display case or bulletin board. Send your media kit or email information to local bloggers, your city or county government, chamber of commerce, etc.
We hope you will join us in celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day. Someday, we all hope to see cancer as nothing more than a zodiac sign.