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Local Motorcycle Enthusiasts Supports Cancer Patients




Media Contact:


Joshua Cowan, St. Helena Hospital

Phone: 967-7515 Email:

Local Motorcycle Enthusiasts Supports Cancer Patients

December 4, 2012, Clearlake, CA. Even when the shift is over for staff at St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake, the caring never really ends. "We’re a small community, and we really get to know and care about those we serve at the hospital," says Emergency Department Director Claudia Helmes. From that sense of connection has come a new tradition; a motorcycle event. Started by a group of hospital staff who share an enthusiasm for riding, the event centers around an annual goal, with members donating their time and means to organize a fundraiser. This year’s second annual ride raised $1,000. The committee decided the funds this year would go toward the Food of Love program, a community service partnership benefitting patients of St. Helena Hospital’s Martin O’Neil Cancer Center (MOCC).

More than 50 individuals participated in the event on September 22-23, which included a 160 mile ride from Clearlake to Shelter Cove, where participants enjoyed food, games and campfire activities, followed by a worship service and pancake breakfast the next morning. Riders included staff and family members from St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake and Napa Valley. "This was a fantastic opportunity for us to enjoy fellowship, and raise money for a great cause to benefit people in our own community," Helmes says. "We started small last year and raised $385, and we vowed to double that this year. Next year our goal is to triple the amount, and we’re already planning a great event for anybody who has wheels and wants to join us."

Since its inception in 2010, Food of Love has prepared and served hundreds of meals, living its mission to enhance healing through providing nutritious, healthful organic meals for cancer patients. Each Tuesday, a team of teen volunteers from Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center meets with Chef Amy Cohen at A&A Kitchen, a commercial kitchen in St. Helena, to prepare the meals for pickup the next day. Designed especially to meet the nutritional needs of cancer patients, the meals are often customized for specific patients’ needs and preferences.

Laura Grinnell, Registered Dietitian at MOCC, explains, "Studies show that good nutrition is extremely important in treating cancer, yet eating well can be especially difficult during that time. Generous donations like this one allow us to provide the meals to patients without charge, and it truly makes a difference in how well treatment works and how well patients tolerate it. To our patients and their families, everyone who participates in Food of Love, whether donor or volunteer, is a hero."

The program is popular not only with cancer patients, but with its youth volunteers as well. "These kids just love this work," says Grinnell. "They are very faithful in showing up, and you can see them just walking on air that they can make this kind of difference in people’s lives."

"This program provides a connection to healing for everyone involved," Grinnell concludes. 

About St. Helena Hospital:

St. Helena Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,700 includes more than 21,000 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,000 volunteers. Founded on


Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 150 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit for more information