Sapphires and Saddles
Fundraising Events in September Support the
American Cancer Society
By Amy Morgan
Giving to others. Serving the community. Values that inspired Vicki Goebel to dedicate thousands of hours volunteering with the American Cancer Society (ACS), not dreaming how she would benefit from the organization when she fought the disease not once, but twice.
Vicki’s first brush with the disease was in 2006. A short course of in-patient radiation eradicated her thyroid cancer, and she remained cancer free until 2017 when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 ovarian cancer. In the years between, Vicki had become even more involved with the ACS. In 2015 she developed a special day of outdoor fun for pediatric cancer patients and families. Wrangler Day allows children to enjoy fishing, riding horseback, shooting arrows, rock climbing, and playing games. Last year more than 300 attended what’s now become an annual June event at Rancho la Mission. During the event children can contribute to artwork that a local artist incorporates into a piece that will draw much interest at the ACS’ flagship fundraiser, the Cattle Baron’s Gala, this year scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30.
It was at the Gala six years ago that Vicki was introduced to oncology surgeon Dr. Joe de la Garza. Little did she know that less than three weeks later she’d meet him again in his office – as his patient. Qualified in both oncology and gynecological surgery, Dr. de la Garza oversaw Vicki’s ovarian cancer treatment from start to finish. She’s cancer free now a second time and knows from personal experience how the funds raised by ACS benefit local patients. The organization arranges transportation to appointments, contracts with hotels to provide lodging, and pays for a 24/7 hotline to answer questions or find resources for patients and caregivers. The close-knit ACS community provided Vicki with a wig and emotional support when she needed it most. “You can’t do it alone,” she said, noting that the kids kept her going as she continued to plan Wrangler Day even during her own illness.
Vicki also credits the American Cancer Society for funding research for new therapies that are so important for effective treatment and cures. San Antonio’s ACS chapter endows two research physician positions in the medical center, confirmed Lauren Malchoff, American Cancer Society Senior Development Manager.
In addition to founding Wrangler Days, Vicki also has chaired San Antonio’s Relay for Life three times. Last year she was named the ACS 2022 Volunteer of the Year, just one of milestones recognized on the program at the Cattle Baron’s Gala. This year will mark the 45th year of the ACS’ largest fundraiser, which nets a third of the organization’s budget, Lauren said. In the works are the organization’s plans to build Hope Lodge to provide housing for families and cancer patients undergoing treatment.
Held again at the Estancia Del Norte Hotel located across from Northstar Mall, this year’s Sapphires and Saddles Gala features entertainment by country artists Pauline Reese and Cory Morrow. HEB has committed as presenting sponsor, and San Antonio’s major health care systems and members of the medical community also contribute. KENS 5’s Bill Taylor will MC the live auction that includes a doodle puppy and the Wrangler Day art piece. Raffle items include a chance to win a diamond bracelet, a Harley Davidson motorcycle or a Rolex watch. Raffle tickets are already on sale; eager purchasers can contact Lauren at Lauren.firstname.lastname@example.org. Tables of ten start for a sponsorship of $5500. Packages of two tickets and a room for the night at the hotel are also available for a $1500 donation.
Wondering what to wear to the gala? Get a preview at the ACS Ranch Chic Fashion Show Wednesday, Sept. 13, where 65 cancer survivors of all ages will model the latest western wear sponsored by Cavender’s and Ariat boots. Vicki will join other survivors showing off gala-worthy fashions at the Shrine Auditorium in Stone Oak, which can accommodate the 700 attendees they expect. The VIP entrance opens at 5 p.m., with general admission at 6 p.m. Participants will enjoy music by local country artist Nick Zamora while noshing on charcuterie created by the Board Company and desserts by Tiff’s Treats. A 10-seat row can be purchased for $1200, or individual tickets are $150/each.
Whether the Ranch Chic fashion show or the Sapphires and Saddles Gala, slide on your best pair of boots and support your local American Cancer Society events.