Sammie deGrood was a cherished friend, mother, sister and wife who was active in community service, the literary council, her family, the church, as well as a Church Ladies Investment Club. Her friends were a large part of her essence, as she traveled with some, and Happy Hour’d with others. She was a gracious and dedicated woman, who was grateful for her 5 children, who were her supporters when her husband, Bill, passed away in 1997 of colon cancer.
After battling non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for a mere 6 months, Sammie passed away in March 2000. Later that year, Sammie’s Circle saw it’s debut in May fueled by love and friendship. Based in Los Angeles, it was formed by a group of Sammie’s circle of friends, whom she knew for years. The tea/luncheon was held in a backyard on a beautiful Spring day, filled with flowers, sunshine and mounds of love. Sammie was honored that day, and in remembrance, a donation of $5,000 was collected and gifted to the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Norris Center is one of the leading research centers “investigating the complex origins and progression of cancer, developing prevention strategies and searching for cures.”
Every year since that day in 2000, Sammie’s Circle has grown, evolved, improved and has spread the circle of friendship every Spring. Our last event – the 11th year in a row – had nearly 200 attendees, great raffle and auction prizes, and grossed a large donation to the Norris Center. Due to the substantial amount of donations from Sammie’s Circle events over the years, a plaque in our name adorns the hallways of Norris, as a thank you for our dedication.
Our mission is to continue this expansion with more donations to cancer research, which in turn, will help find a cure for our treasured ones. We have experienced the disease within our own planning committee, as well as among our own families. It has touched us all profoundly. It’s time to create a change, and we plan to do it…
…with the ripple effect.