Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition honors Shining Stars

Dennis Hallock of Dover started a fundraiser at Central Middle School eight years ago that has grown to raise a cumulative total of over $24,000 for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. He is wearing a T-shirt designed by Dover High School students for the campaign. (Special to the Delaware State News/Dee Marvin Emeigh)

DOVER — Dennis Hallock just wanted to help.

When one of the senior secretaries at Dover’s Central Middle School was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, Mr. Hallock, the school’s Parent Teacher Organization president, decided to organize a fundraiser to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

“We raised a few hundred dollars,” he recalled.

Over the years, more of the schools in the Capital School District got involved until every school and educational office in the district went “pink.”

“They did walks, and hat days, pink pizza days, sold glow bracelets, and Dover High School even created its own T-shirts. It’s been amazing,” he said

Because of Mr. Hallock’s commitment to and encouragement of volunteerism, the “few hundred dollars” has accumulated to a grand total of $24,000 in donations over the last eight years, a feat that Lois Wilkinson, Education and Survivorship Program manager of the DBCC, finds incredible.

“These were $1 to $5 donations,” she explained.

On Friday, June 2 at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Mr. Hallock became the recipient of the DBCC’s Spotlight on Philanthropy Award at their Shining Light Awards ceremony.

“I’ve always felt that giving back is important,” Mr. Hallock said.

Among the criteria the reviewers look for are a proven record of exceptional philanthropic generosity, leadership skills in volunteer fundraising, and encouraging philanthropy in others. All these and more made Mr. Hallock the ideal choice.

“I’ve worked hand in hand with Dennis to give him whatever support he needs for events and I can’t thank him enough,” Ms. Wilkinson adds.

The Shining Light Awards began in 2014 as a way for the DBCC to honor individuals and organizations who have made a difference in the local battle against breast cancer. Nominations are open to the public for those most deserving of recognition. Applications are then reviewed by a selection committee comprised of survivors, health care professionals and volunteers.

Among the achievements required for the Spotlight on Healthcare Delivery and Research Award are a proven record of exceptional contribution to improved health care outcomes, exceptional innovative skills in health care delivery to meet the needs of breast cancer patients, and demonstrated leadership skills.

This award was received by Dr. Mahendra Parikh, who founded Mid-Delaware Imaging of Dover in 1990.

His son, Dr. Anush Parikh, who joined the practice in 2008, explains that his father chose radiology because it encompasses all fields of medicine.

“Imaging is utilized from head to toe and a radiologist plays a vital role in the patient’s care and in the overall clinical team. We are often the first to provide the diagnosis,” he said.

Privately owned, MDI was the first facility in Kent County to offer digital imaging in 2009, and became the first to offer 3-D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) in 2015.

In their ongoing efforts to stay ahead of the curve, they are also the only facility offering double read mammograms, where two separate radiologists review the images. Recent studies have shown this procedure to be more effective at detecting cancers than single reads.

“Our practice being given the Shining Lights Award gives us all a sense of pride for being recognized for the work we do on a daily basis. We perform breast imaging to help the patients of our community and it’s a true honor to be recognized by a group that we truly respect, the DBCC,” noted Dr. Anush Parikh.

Of the five awards presented by the DBCC, two recipients currently reside in Kent County and a third, Deloris Donnelly, lived here for many years before recently moving to Florida.

“Deloris started the Nurture with Nature Program, for which she is receiving the Spotlight on Survivorship award,” Ms. Wilkinson said.

“I am excited that we have so many Kent County winners this year.”

Dee Marvin Emeigh is a freelance writer living in the Milford area.

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