Menlo Park: Taking steps to fight cancer this weekend

Meissners join Menlo Park's Relay for Life

Relay for Life

Click here for more information on the Menlo Park Relay for Life.

Click here for more information about Betty Meissner's team.

By Sam Borsos

Special to the Almanac

This weekend, Betty and Ernst Meissner are among those who will participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event at the Menlo Park Civic Center.

Ms. Meissner created a relay team, called Joie de Vivre (joy of life), in honor of her husband, a survivor of colon cancer. During the event, team members, including Betty and Ernst Meissner, take turns walking a course at Burgess Park from 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, to 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11.

The Meissners are familiar faces on the civic scene, active in the Menlo Park community since they met as neighbors in the downtown area in 1970. They both belong to the Chamber of Commerce, and have been awarded for their volunteer efforts.

Mr. Meissner, a former president of the chamber, received the Golden Acorn Award in 1994. Seventeen years later, in 2011, the couple received the award as a pair.

"We have a positive attitude," Mr. Meissner said. "We don't just criticize. Some people have negative attitudes and just complain. We like to make a positive contribution."

His wife, now a retired teacher, has been energetic with helping Friends of the Menlo Park Library, the Library Foundation, and the Project Read adult literacy program. She helps out at the local firefighters pancake breakfast and updates fliers in the downtown kiosks.

A retired architect, Mr. Meissner has led beautification projects in downtown Menlo Park, such as planting flowers and lighting the trees.

"He's kind of the nature and trees guy, and I'm more the people person," Ms. Meissner said. "I'm the connecter."

The couple's community involvement continued with their participation in the Relay for Life. According to their team's web page, 24 members have joined so far, raising more than $1,700.

Overall, the Menlo Park event has a total of 20 teams so far with 133 participants, who have raised more than $44,000.

It's not about the numbers or the fundraising, Ms. Meissner said, but about the commitment to show support for the cause.

Relay for Life

Click here for more information on the Menlo Park Relay for Life.

Click here for more information about Betty Meissner's team.


Like this comment
Posted by Ada Reid-Watson
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

What a nice story highlighting a local family doing great work. Mme Meissner was my French teacher for two years at JLS Middle School about a thousand years ago (ok, only 25 years). She was *full* of energy teaching 7th and 8th graders so I'm not surprised to see her participating in the Relay for Life.

Go Mme Go!

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