Sharon Blosser

Halifax County Cancer Association Executive Director Sharon Blosser shakes Uncle Sam’s hand at a lamp post in Halifax decorated in red, white and blue by the cancer association employees in 2018.

Oct. 29 will mark the end of a chapter for Sharon Blosser, executive director of the Halifax County Cancer Association. It will be her last day as the leader of the non-profit organization. Blosser started volunteering for the HCCA in fall 2010 and became the director shortly thereafter, in January 2011.

“I have enjoyed serving this county,” Blosser said. “I thank the people of the county, I thank the families of the patients, and I thank the association for supporting me.”

Blosser said she felt serving as director of the HCCA was “God’s calling” on her life. Now, she said she feels it is time for her to move on to the next chapter in her life’s journey and is ready for a change.

As the HCCA hires a new director, Blosser said she hopes the people of Halifax County will embrace the organization’s new leader as they embraced her and continue to support the non-profit organization that helps cancer patients get the medical care and medications they need.

“I continue to be overwhelmed and blessed by the outpouring of support from this county. The people are amazing in the way they support the cancer patients,” Blosser said. “I’ve never had to look at someone and say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you with money to go to the doctor because we don’t have the funds.’”

The HCCA director shared the community has done a “wide variety” of things to raise money for the association, from barbecue plates and stews to horse rides, aside from the association’s major annual fundraisers ­— the Walk for Hope and Womanless Beauty Pageant.

This year on the third Saturday of September, the HCCA held a socially distanced version of Walk for Hope, the “Drive for Hope,” raising more than $41,300 for the organization.

Blosser recalls a particularly creative fundraiser that two boys in the community did at Christmastime one year.

“They made snowmen out of socks and sold them. Two little boys raised over $700 for the Halifax County Cancer Association,” Blosser related.

Blosser said she did not know the magnitude and scope of the services that the HCCA provided to community members when she first volunteered, but she soon learned in her role as director, a job that was rewarding but often emotional.

“It’s very hard when you get a call from a family member telling you somebody has lost their battle with cancer,” Blosser shared.

The type of services the HCCA provides to cancer patients is somewhat unique, Blosser said, and she knows of only three other organizations in Virginia providing the same type of services. Blosser also noted the services the HCCA provides to the community have expanded since she first became the director.

When Blosser first started working at the HCCA, she said cancer patients could receive up to $100 per month for pain and nausea medications and cancer-related medications. Now, patients can receive up to $200 per month for medication assistance. The HCCA also provides cancer patients a $5 food voucher any time they travel outside of Halifax County for medical treatment.

“If somebody comes to us needing something, we do what we can to help them,” Blosser said.

The HCCA is advertising for a new executive director. The advertisement states the ideal candidate must have “a very neat appearance, a positive attitude, caring and compassionate, and great communication skills, excellent public speaking skills and must represent Halifax County Cancer Association in a positive way.”

The HCCA asks applicants interested in the executive director position to send a cover letter and resume to calvin38@comcast.net.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.