Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) is an Irish Catholic non-profit group within the greater Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) organization. The local Division 25, founded almost 20 years ago, is a close partner of Fox Chase Cancer Center, and hosts an annual volleyball tournament, Volley for Life, to raise money for cancer prevention efforts.
When asked why LAOH Division 25 chooses to support the Mobile Screening Unit (MSU) at Fox Chase Cancer Center, representative Tricia McCool responded, “Because there’s a need, and that’s what our division is all about. Helping where there is need.”
The MSU provides cancer screenings to individuals in neighborhoods throughout the Greater Philadelphia region and South Jersey, with a focus on communities surrounding the Center. These programs are available to everyone in these communities, but a special effort is made to reach medically underserved populations disproportionately affected by cancer. While the unit offers screenings for breast, skin, and head and neck cancers, mammograms for breast cancer prevention are the most frequently offered and utilized.
Tricia continued, “We’ve funded other things over the years. But when Fox Chase told us about this, we wanted to help.”
In addition to giving back, it has been important to Division 25 to honor the memory of their beloved friend and member, JoAnne McGill Duffy, since her passing in May of 2002. JoAnne was treated at Fox Chase for breast cancer in the late 90’s and was later diagnosed with leukemia in 2001. Although she eventually succumbed to her cancer, JoAnne’s fellow members from the division appreciated the compassionate and innovative care she received at Fox Chase. They decided to honor her journey at the Center by philanthropically supporting efforts that would help future patients. With that, the Volley for Life Tournament began in 2002, on the anniversary of JoAnne’s passing.
“JoAnne and I actually played volleyball against each other at the Lawncrest Rec Center,” Tricia recalled of her inspiration to host a volleyball tournament. “It’s incredible how much support this event has from the community. It really makes it all feel like family helping one another,” Tricia shared. She made special note of the backing they receive from the larger LAOH and AOH organizations.
Since its inception the LAOH Division 25 has raised nearly two-hundred thousand dollars for worthy causes at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Their dedicated efforts make a significant impact on the Center’s ability to give every patient the opportunity to prevail over cancer.