BETH C. WRIGHT AND HER LEGACY
The Center's namesake, Beth Charczynski Wright, was born and grew up on Beals Island, Maine. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Maine at Machias, she taught public school and then joined her husband Wayne in their family business. Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24. Following surgery and undergoing chemotherapy, Beth became determined to help others living with cancer and started a support group at the Down East Community Hospital in Machias. Shortly after the birth of their second son, Beth and Wayne learned her cancer had spread to her liver and bones. Beth faced cancer with strength and faith, and created the Choose Life Foundation at 28, shortly before her death in August 2000.
The Choose Life Foundation provided cancer patients with educational, inspirational services, alternate treatment information, and financial assistance. In May of 2001, five hundred people walked in the First Annual Beth C. Wright Walk for Life and raised $50,000 for the Choose Life Foundation.
In 2003, The Choose Life Foundation began making plans for a cancer resource center in Ellsworth. The Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center grew from their vision of providing education and support for cancer patients and their families by offering free programs in a warm and welcoming environment. In January 2004, the Choose Life Foundation made a $50,000 grant to help establish the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center.
Michael Reisman, Executive Director
Michael has been the Executive Director of the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center since its inception in 2004. Previously he was the first Program Director for Island Connections (1997-2004), which provides free transportation for older citizens and people with disabilities. He began his service to the nonprofit world as the Program Director at the Mount Desert Island YMCA from 1979 to 1986 and as Executive Director from 1986 to 1994.
Donna Fricke, PhD, President
Donna is a career educator, professor emerita from Maine Maritime Academy where she taught in the Arts and Science Department and administered the graduate program in Maritime Management and International Business. Donna has served on several state government task forces and was one of five directors of the Maine Port Authority. She has been a humanist scholar at the Maine Humanities Council since 1985. Donna is a cancer survivor.
William R. Horner, MD, Vice-President
Bill is a retired general surgeon, a partner in Northeast Surgery in Bangor, and past medical director of EMMC Breast and Osteoporosis Center. He practiced in Bangor for twenty years and was President of the Maine Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. His medical degree is from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
Nancy B. Owen, Treasurer
Nancy has worked at the Machias Savings Bank in Ellsworth for over nine years and has been in banking for more than twenty two. She has been on the Board for five years. Nancy lost her husband to melanoma cancer in January 2008. She credits the Beth C. Wright Resource Center for its support in time of family crisis and for its continuing help.
Tiffany Eaton, Secretary
Tiffany Eaton has worked at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital since 1999. She completed her degree in 2003 and is working currently as an oncology nurse. Tiffany is currently studying for her Oncology Nurse certification and plans to become a Nurse Practitioner in Oncology. Tiffany lives in Deer Isle with her two sons and her fiancée.
Benjamin Carr, PhD
Ben taught at the college level and then served as a high school principal for twenty one years at Narraguagus High School in Harrington and Noble High School in Berwick. He is active in the Union Congregational Church in Hancock and has trained with Hospice of Hancock County to be a bereavement support group leader. Ben was caregiver for his wife, Marilyn, who died of ovarian cancer. Ben is a prostate cancer survivor.
Molly Collins, MD
Molly is a general surgeon with a special interest in breast disease. She received her medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed her medical training at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. She began medical practice in Ellsworth and Blue Hill over fifteen years ago and serves on the staff of Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. She is one of the founders of the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center.
Charlie H. Dayhoff
Charlie is co-owner of Simone’s Restaurant in Ellsworth, along with his wife, Samm. He earned a masters degree in health care administration from Cornell University, and has 25 years of health care management experience, most recently retiring as the CEO of the Harrington Family Health Center in Washington County. Charlie is a prostate cancer survivor and previously lost his Dad, brother and grandfather to cancer.
Domenic is Vice President Regional Retail Manager for Camden National Bank. In 2008 he received the CEO Leadership Award for outstanding performance. He is a member of Rotary and also serves on the Board of Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.
Nancye is a biomedical marketing consultant with extensive industry experience in the research and diagnostic markets with leading edge technologies for cell identification and analysis in immunology, oncology, and genetics. Previously she worked in academic research immunology at Harvard Medical School, Rockefeller University, and the Swiss Cancer Research Institute. She received her degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Myrna Coffin is a retired English teacher. Myrna lives in Hancock with her husband, Stephen, a retired English teacher, also. Myrna is a member of the selectboard in Hancock. She is the chairperson for the Thorsen Scholarship and serves on many other scholarship committees.
Meredith has been a part of the Ellsworth community for over thirty years. While raising a family and establishing several businesses, she and her husband Cooper have always felt the importance of giving back to that community. After losing a sister to cancer, Meredith's energies have most recently been devoted to Hospice of Hancock County, Faith in Action, and the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center.
Patricia C. Jordan
Pat is a former teacher and served for many years as Assistant Director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. After three cancer experiences, Pat has been actively involved with the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Tim McCall, RPh
Tim is the Director of Pharmacy at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. He and his wife Mary moved to Ellsworth from Pennsylvania in May of 2011. He has been a Pharmacist for 27 years after graduating from Ohio Northern University. He is an active member of Faith Community Fellowship Church in Trenton. Tim has a passion for serving others. One way he does this is through short term medical missions. He has been to Uganda, Guatemala, and Kurdistan on numerous occasions. Tim’s father, Kendrick passed away in 1996 from hepatobiliary cancer.
Rhonda D. Jordan
Rhonda has lived in Hancock County her entire life. She and her husband Patrick are the parents of three teenage children. Along with her husband they run several local businesses. Rhonda and her family are very active in the Ellsworth community; she served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA. Cancer has touched Rhonda's life in many ways. She is a cancer survivor along with her mother and father-in-law. Rhonda lost her paternal grandmother to ovarian cancer as well.
Ellen moved to this area from Southbury CT a year and a half ago In Connecticut she taught elementary school for 15 years and is presently substitute teaching. Ellen is also a volunteer at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.