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Neighborhood spotlight: Area volunteer supports ACS

Angela Nardini began volunteering at the American Cancer Society’s telethon in 1985, the year after cancer took her maternal grandmother.

She did so to honor her Nana’s memory, she said.

“She was my buddy,” the Lansford woman said last week, remembering how as a little girl she used to sing for her on the porch.

The memories and that great loss still bring tears to her eyes.

Nardini now shares her gift of song with others every year at the telethon, helping to raise money for a cure.

But she is so much more than her singing voice, said Joe Krushinsky, telethon chair.

As a volunteer, Nardini spends countless hours behind the scenes helping the society’s many fundraisers, he said.

Some people have one fundraiser or project that they like to run or volunteer to help out, and then you have people who are generalists and do whatever needs to be done throughout the year.

“Angela is one of these generalists,” Krushinsky said.

For the past three months, for instance, Nardini has worked the society’s charity basket raffle, soliciting prizes and making sure that every basket is packaged and wrapped neatly with a bow.

That’s not a couple - that’s hundreds of items and untold hours, Krushinsky said, and that isn’t the only project she shares her skills and creativity to make successful.

The variety of events and sheer number of volunteer hours she contributes is why she is being honored with the Volunteer Extreme Award at this year’s Cancer Fighters’ Dinner on Sunday night, he said.

The society honors its volunteers, fundraisers and survivors whose efforts strengthened the ACS or inspired others to join the fight against cancer at the dinner.

Other volunteer honorees include Amber Peirce, Donna Mullen, Jeana DePuy and Dr. Amy DePuy, Pat McGeehan, Nativity BVM High School and Koch’s TV & Appliance, Krushinsky said.

For Nardini, she wasn’t seeking out an honor or award, she said.

She even declined the award three times. She said she also was told, “No,” three times by Krushinsky.

“Anything that you love to do, that is the reward and award,” Nardini said. “I love what I’m doing.”

Her volunteer work with the Cancer Society has led to numerous other opportunities and ways to help the community, she said.

“I’m one volunteer,” Nardini said. “There are hundreds of volunteers that have pushed for awareness and generated awareness.”

She believes that she shares her award with all volunteers.

“I’m humbled and touched that Joe thought of me,” Nardini said. “When you love what you’re doing, it’s from the heart.”

She tries to help as much as she can and it does come from the heart.

“I love what I’m doing, and I love my Nana,” she said.

Angela Nardini helps prepare for the American Cancer Society's charity auction/basket raffle in the Tamaqua High School gymnasium. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS