News & Updates

May 10, 2024

Cancer Survivors Park Alliance to Host Epic Lip Sync Battle this August Featuring Upstate “Movers and Shakers”

 Inaugural Sync for Survivors event happening Aug. 17 at Greenville Theatre

Greenville, S.C. – Upstate business, community, and healthcare leaders will team up and take the stage in August at Sync for Survivors, a new event to benefit Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (“CSPA”). Sync for Survivors, scheduled for the evening of Sat., Aug. 17 at Greenville Theatre, will feature four- to six-person teams performing their favorite songs to a professionally choreographed lip sync routine to see which team can earn the most votes from the audience.

“Building on the success of signature events like Chop! Cancer and Rock the Lot, the CSPA team has created a unique experience that will put the fun in fundraising”, said Kay Roper, Executive Director of Cancer Survivors Park Alliance. “We invite anyone touched by cancer to get involved and experience the joy of an evening that will support the thousands of survivors, their families, and friends for whom this beloved park symbolizes hope and provides a place of peace.”

“Cancer Survivors Park exists and continues building on the legacy of life and healing because of the graciousness of the hundreds of generous charitable donors, dedicated volunteers, and passionate advocates in our community,” explained CSPA board member and cancer survivor Elizabeth Perkins, who is chairing Sync for Survivors. “Sync for Survivors is going to be filled with song, laughs, cheering, and community – a mirror of the kind of spirit every survivor deserves.”

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can land like a punch to the gut. Cancer Survivors Park, located in downtown Greenville, has been serving the Upstate community since its opening in 2018 as a destination for hope and healing for patients as well as their families and friends. The mission of Cancer Survivors Park Alliance is to engage, educate, empower, and enhance the lives of anyone touched by cancer. The Alliance and its organizational partners develop and manage a variety of on-site and online events and programs available to all. Funds raised through Sync for Survivors will be used to expand and enhance these opportunities.

More information about Sync for Survivors may be found on the event’s website, SyncforSurvivors.org, or by visiting cancersurvivorspark.org. To learn more about participating on a lip sync team, or serving as an event sponsor, contact Kay Roper at (864) 255-5010 or by email to kay@cancersurvivorspark.org.

About Cancer Survivors Park Alliance

Located in downtown Greenville, S.C., between Church and Cleveland Streets, Cancer Survivors Park opened in 2018 to provide a space for celebration, a space for learning, a space for healing, and a space for hope. A 501(c)(3) charitable organization originally formed in 1999 with a vision of changing the way we deal with cancer, the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance serves as the park’s stewards by providing educational programming within the Cancer Survivors Park in continual fulfillment of its mission to serve as a catalyst for collaborative activities that engage, education, empower and enhance the lives of anyone touched by cancer. Learn more, donate, or volunteer by visiting cancersurvivorspark.org.

Media Contacts

Kay Roper, 864-255-5010

kay@cancersurvivorspark.org

Laura Coleman Nickles, 864-255-5010

lc@cancersurvivorspark.org

April  2024

Joe Pazdan was a Greenville native and a founding member of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture. Pazdan lost his battle to glioblastoma (brain cancer) in April 2023. To celebrate Joe’s life, Pazdan’s Peloton was a stationary cycling event on April 27 that raised funds for the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (CSPA) to continue the vision to change the way we live with cancer. Click here to see Greenville Journal’s coverage of the event.

Pazdan's Peloton

April  2024

Embrace the seasons of change. ‘Turning Point’ is a towering 16 feet corten steel sculpture crafted by the talented Yuri Tsuzuki. It symbolizes resilience and transformation; Inspired by nature’s enduring cycles and renewal. Come by the Cancer Survivors Park to check out the newly installed sculpture!

Thank you to the Pelham Family for this gift.

Turning Point Sculpture Installed!

February 2024-Boardwalk Resurfacing Project Begins

The Cancer Survivors Park Boardwalk is being resurfaced! This means CSPA removed all the plaques that line the sides of the boardwalk before the boardwalk construction begins in March.

Click here to see the Greenville Journal’s coverage of the project.

2023 News

December 19th, 2023 – Beacon of Hope Lighting

Join us to see the latest addition to Greenville’s iconic skyline as we light up the Beacon of Hope spire structure at Cancer Survivors Park with its new lighting for the first time.

Where?  Cancer Survivors Park, 52 Cleveland Street, Greenville SC 29601

What is it?  The Beacon of Hope Celebration Pavilion and spire structure – part sculpture and part structure – serves as the focal point for the Cancer Survivors Park.  Artistically illuminated ribs of structural stainless-steel pipe sweep 50 feet into the air and provide a visible beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire area.

The permanent, professional lighting will illuminate the structure every evening going forward. It features color-changing technology, enabling the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance and City of Greenville Parks, Recreation and Tourism team to change the colors. You are invited to join us on Tuesday, December 19 at 5:30pm when the team turns on the NEW lights for the very first time.

Why? The Beacon of Hope is a visual reminder of encouragement to all that there is hope along life’s journey.  Aligned with the American Cancer Society’s “color calendar” of cancer awareness months, this professional lighting installation will change colors on a monthly basis and quickly establish Cancer Survivor’s Park as one of the more prolific focal destinations for education, celebration and remembrance.  It will surely attract many to seek it’s meaning and beauty.

How did this come to fruition?  Julie and David Cline Foundation gave seed money to the Cancer Survivors Park back in 1998. David and Julie knew this would be a special park of hope and healing for all and wanted to help make it happen. Their generous additional private gift of $500,000 for the Beacon of Hope spire in 2013 was the catalyst to the spark of the park! Thousands of donors, many valuable partnerships and 24+ years later, the vision of CSP and the Beacon of Hope is a reality with the lights turning on as the crowning touch to increase awareness of all cancers and provide encouragement for all survivors and their journeys.

The 3,800 square foot, open air gathering space below the structure accommodates a unique space that provides a spectacular vantage point for viewing the surrounding gardens.

The journey to get to this point was not easy. Only a handful of companies in the U.S. have the capacity to build the size pipes the Beacon of Hope required. CSP designer Ben Rook of Design Strategies created the Beacon of Hope to inspire. Builders and executers  of the structure, The Heirloom Companies , worked with Design Strategies to make this happen when the structure was built and installed in 2018.

With the help of a required $134,000+ repair, paid for by donations to the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance and the Julie and David Cline Foundation – the lighting project could be completed. The Beacon of Hope project was done by Southern Painting and Productions Unlimited, the lighting and structure restoration is complete and the vision of this unique space to light the skies with hope will begin with the holiday season!

Kay Roper, Executive Director of the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance, will be available for commentary.

December 5th, 2023 – Inaugural Founders Award: Diane Gluck

At an exclusive event mid November, Diane Gluck, one of the primary founders of Cancer Survivors Park, was awarded the inaugural CSPA Founders Award.

The CSPA Founders Award has been established to celebrate and recognize an individual or organization that has reached the highest standard of service to the Cancer Survivors Park and the survivors it is designed to support.

Gluck has been a monumental force behind developing and activating the Master Plan that established Cancer Survivors Park. Her vision, dedication, and perseverance have been critical in creating what has become one of Greenville’s signature venues for hope and reflection.

“The vision for what all of Greenville and its visitors see today at Cancer Survivors Park began with Diane Gluck,” said Tom Bates, president of the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance. “Diane didn’t quit when it seemed like it would be impossible just to find a location for this park, let alone fund the project during tough economic times. Her perseverance was a vital part of where we are today.”

Cancer Survivors Park space has been open to the public in downtown Greenville since June 2018. But the journey to create this unique environment began in 1999 when Gluck’s daughter proposed the concept for her senior project at Christ Church Episcopal School. In addition to her research and design, she brought together key stakeholders in the cancer community — patients, survivors, caregivers, and health care providers — and, with their buy-in and support, launched a non-profit that has worked diligently since then to turn that idea into the reality you see today.

It’s difficult now to recall what was once a neglected and unwelcoming area in the heart of downtown Greenville with overgrown kudzu, the Reedy River, a parking lot, and sewer lines. Although a challenging property, it provided the perfect opportunity to unite various dedicated partners and the community to create a healing space unique to Greenville.

“Cancer Survivors Park Alliance is that group overseeing the care and activation of the Park today” said Kay Roper, executive director of the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance. “This is more than just a stunning facility and park area. It is the result of many unique partners working together to bring a special destination to the Upstate for education, for reflection, for gathering, and for celebration. The monthly survivorship programming here at the Park has unique options that continue to grow.”

2021 News

April 22, 2021: It will be rocking June 4 weekend in Greenville, SC. To celebrate all those impacted by cancer, Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (“CSPA”) will be hosting a series of events during the weekend designed to honor, remember and celebrate survivorship for National Cancer Survivors Day.

Headlining the weekend is a triumphant return to live music. “ROCK THE LOT,” will be a two-night drive-in concert experience centrally located at the Greenville Downtown Airport.  Each night is a separate ticketed event.

Kicking it off on Friday, June 4 will be Yacht Rock Revue, America’s ultimate tribute to the soft rock jams everyone loves from the 70’s and 80’s.

Houndmouth, an American alternative blues band hailing from Indiana that successfully blends alternative country, indie and folk rock for a unique sound, will pick it up on Saturday, June 5.

CSPA announces our Centerpiece Sculpture – The Welcome Statue

GREENVILLE, S.C. – January 22, 2021Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (CSPA) formally introduced its latest park element, The Welcome Statue, to the Upstate community with a private unveiling with Bill and Jan McCrary on behalf of the William V. McCrary Family. The family’s generous gift represents a significant milestone for Cancer Survivors Park, which made this statue and other parts of the park possible.

The Welcome Statue celebrates the welcoming spirt of Esta McCrary. For those who had the good fortune of knowing her, Esta would instantly put anyone at ease. She passed in 2016 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. To honor her spirt and provide inspiration for all survivors at all stages of the journey, the McCrary family and CSPA commissioned the statue. Being a primary destination for hope and healing, the visionaries behind the design of the park knew the statue should welcome visitors with that same spirit.

The sculpture extends her arm in a graceful welcome to all who visit the park to experience hope, healing, faith and education. CSPA founder Diane Gluck explains, “When you have cancer, you can have all the love in the world directed your way, but strangely you can still feel lonelier than ever. The Welcome Statue is a tangible reminder that you are never alone throughout the cancer journey. There are so many people who understand and are there to help — you just need to reach out and take the first step.”

“Our family is truly amazed by Cancer Survivors Park, and we’ve had a front-row seat to see it continue to evolve,” said Bill McCrary. “It’s our hope that this unique gift to the Upstate will welcome all to the park for many years to come with the same welcoming spirit that we were fortunate to have with Esta and continue in our family today.”

“Inspiration is powerful medicine, and visitors to Cancer Survivors Park have experiences with our park elements that make inspiration possible,” said Kay Roper, executive director of the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance. “Due to the generosity and kindness of donors like the McCrary family, the talent and creativity of artists like the Pates and the ongoing support of City of Greenville, we’re able to enhance the experiences of our facility which can have a lasting impact for those learning to live with cancer, or any life-altering illness or loss.”

The statue was created by the father and son team of Charlie Pate and Charles Pate Jr.  “We wanted to create something truly unique that would honor Esta’s spirit and heart.” says Charles. “We created a woman who represents everyone who has battled cancer, offering her outstretched hand in a welcoming gesture that lets the viewer know the intent of the statue – that they are not alone on their journey.”

Though the bronze sculpture weighs more than five hundred pounds, the image is light and uplifting with blowing hair and fabric and weightless dancing on tip-toes. The butterfly pattern on her dress represents a coming to life and floating on the breeze connecting with the history of the butterfly as a symbol for resurrection, transformation and overcoming hardships. This sculpture represents community, offers hope, and celebrates life.

Many additional supporters came together to make this possible. Bruce Royal donated the engineering plan for the base, Kyle Gillespie installed the cut granite, Arbor Engineering is responsible for the landscape base plan around the statue and the City of Greenville will handle maintenance of the element going forward.

“The Welcome Statue conveys a serenity and love that words can’t do,” said Greenville City Mayor Knox White. “The City is grateful to Bill and Jan McCrary and his family for this gift in honor of Esta.  So many will learn of her courage and love through this memorial.”

“It is always a privilege when generous souls commission art, especially those pieces that are created with special meaning and purpose,” said Charles Pate. “The Welcome Statue features both and it truly celebrates life. This will always be a loving memorial to Esta’s life and spirit.”

Cancer Survivors Park has been open to the public in downtown Greenville since 2018. It features a unique blend of gathering spaces and natural walkways along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, all dedicated to celebration, learning, healing and hope. Additional elements are planned for unveiling this year. Visitors to the park are encouraged to take pictures with The Welcome Statue and other park elements and tag Cancer Survivors Park on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn).

Cancer Survivors Park Introduces Hero 

GREENVILLE, S.C. – February 2, 2021Cancer Survivors Park Alliance (CSPA) formally introduced its latest park element, Hero, to the Upstate community.

Hero portrays a wise and curious rabbit precariously perched on a narrow stone wall in the Children’s Garden section of the park. The intention of the artist, Lois Ann Malphrus at Dusty Bronze Fine Art, was to depict both courage and faith in the face of adversity, much like a child’s cancer journey. Malphrus, a native of Greenville, was also the generous donor of the Hero element, inclusive of the granite base.

The cast bronze sculpture features Hero’s ears, one facing forward and the other facing back, reflecting the emotional conflict of his predicament. His front feet are clinging to the edge, and one rear foot has slipped off the wall, acknowledging the fear and uncertainty he faces. Yet his powerful hind limbs remind park visitors that he has the ability to make the jump.

Clement’s Kindness Fund for the Children gave a lead gift to name the Children’s Garden at Cancer Survivors Park in 2017 to honor Dr. William F. Schmidt III, retired medical director of Bi-Lo Charities Children’s Cancer Center.

Cancer patient and Upstate native seven-year-old Braxton Horton, an ambassador for Clement’s Kindness, recently won an online naming contest with the name “Hero” because he says, “I am a hero and all the other kids who’ve been fighting cancer are heroes too!”   When he was five Braxton was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma and he has completed active therapy. Additional “heroes” on a cancer journey include the clinical care teams, caretakers, children, family, friends, blood donors and others who support these patients along the way.

“We hope the children will rub his ‘lucky’ back foot for hope,” says Sandra Miller with Clement’s Kindness Fund for the Children, long-time partner of Cancer Survivors Park.

“CSPA is fortunate to have such talent and passion in our community, exemplified by people like Ann Malphrus and organizations like Clements Kindness Fund for the Children,” said Kay Roper, executive director of the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance. “It is a joy to share both Hero and the unique Children’s Garden Space with the Upstate in hopes it will encourage and comfort many.”

Hero is yet another example of how the community can have a role in enhancing the lives of those living with cancer.

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