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Cancer Patients Needed Rides… So Amador STARS Was Born

Amador STARS’ honorary board member, Phyllis Swensen coordinated volunteer van drivers from her kitchen table at her home in Jackson, under the name Amador County Cancer Transportation Program. A station wagon was parked in front of her house, and four volunteers would drive patients to their radiation treatments in Sacramento, Stockton, and Lodi.

The program was originally managed through The American Cancer Society, but they wanted our ride schedules to be coordinated through their Atlanta office. This just didn’t work for Amador’s rural community where Joe might need to be picked up under the oak tree on a dirt road near Highway 88. Thus, Amador STARS was born.

Amador Community Foundation was the fiscal sponsor for Amador STARS for five years while they got their legs under them, and could file for their own nonprofit status in 2009. Now, Amador STARS has their own 501(c)3 nonprofit status, and has raised over $1,000,000 for cancer patient support and donated to research through Campout for Cancer, Bunco for Breast Cancer, and other donations. STARS currently has six “cancer vans” that have safely transported hundreds of local residents to thousands of out-of-town radiation treatments.

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Amador STARS Volunteer and patient

“It was a great service for Amador STARS to be able to rely on Amador Community Foundation for their nonprofit fiscal sponsorship. It allowed us to build our organization and focus on helping patients until we were large enough to file our own nonprofit status.”

–Nina Machado
Board Member