Hundreds of San Quentin residents contributed $5 each, while other prisoners produced art to raise more than $8,000 for a local woman’s center. The fundraiser was a part of the 11th Annual San Quentin CARES: Walk for a Cure (SQ CARES) that occurred on Oct. 11 and 12.
“I am hugely honored and grateful that you’ve chosen Oakland Woman’s Resource Center,” said chairperson, Penni Hudis at the check presentation in San Quentin’s Protestant Chapel. “It’s a special place and has been around 33 years to serve all port of breast cancer, people are touched. It’s a vehicle that allows you to contribute. I came for the walk and once I met you I found so much care immediately from you.”
Rousse said that he’s open for any kind of art, visual or written, “People are enthusiastic and want to hear from you.”
The last art show raised more than $1,000, and all of the money goes to the Oakland Woman’s Resource Center, said SQ CARES volunteer Samantha Feld.
“I was overwhelmed by the stories and hard work of the men to support the broader community,” Feld said. “My commitment deepened in 2015 when I lost my mom to breast cancer. This has been a special way for me to honor her and connect with others to share loss and grief.”
The original idea for a walk and fundraiser in- side San Quentin occurred in 2009 after a prisoner watched the Avon Walk Against Breast Cancer on television.
“I brought it to Laura Bowman, who was Community Partnership Manager at that time. We wrote a letter to the warden who approved it—to date we raised about $70,000,” said Stephen Pascasio,
Kim Bailey, there from the beginning, said then Chief Medical Officer, Elena Tootell, was “full on board with the idea of raising money and having a two-day walk inside San Quentin.”
Feld and San Quentin resident Edmond Richardson hosted the check presentation ceremony.
The presentation began with a rap performance by James Metters, Michael Kirkpatrick, Derry “Bro- tha-D” Brown, and Raiveon “Ray-Ray” Wooden.
“We can beat it this year – victory’s here – SQ’s got the plan,” were lines that brought the audience to their feet with applause. “We are on a mission to defeat this disease – to all the loved ones who’ve passed away, we celebrate you on this day.”
Volunteer Kim Bailey’s mother and sister passed away from cancer within a few months of each other.
Bailey told the audience about bringing her mother to one of the SQ CARES walks, but she was only able to sit in a chair. Several men sat with her to talk, Bailey said.
“All she talked about was that experience for the rest of her life,” Bailey said, which motivated her to get involved with SQ CARES.
The event ended with an invitation for those in the audience to come to the stage to share their personal experiences with cancer.
SQ Inside Committee Members: Stephen Pascasio, Tien Pham, Carlos Meza, John Levin, Alvin Timbol, Jim Kitlas, Son Nguyen, Edmond Richardson, Ronell Draper, Rafael Bankston, Terry Hall, Hieu Thai and Christopher Khalifah.
SQ Outside Committee Members: Shannon Gordhamer, Kim Bailey, Chris Bailey, Samantha Feld.