Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 22, 2023

Lookout ascent raises awareness for ACS event

Gala of Hope co-chair Greene takes unique path

As the co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s 2023 Gala of Hope, Scott Greene decided it was up to him to do something different to create awareness of the ACS and its mission to serve local cancer patients. So, he climbed a mountain.

Greene climbed Lookout Mountain, that is. Beginning at 5:30 a.m. on June 25 at the blue lamp post at the corner of Broad Street and St. Elmo Avenue, Greene and his social media chair, Kierstin Murphy of Scout Realtor Group, started a 4.5-mile hike to Pointe Park they dubbed the Step-Up & Look-Out Challenge.

As they ascended, they stopped at Camp Ross, Cravens House and other historical markers and noted their connections to the American Cancer Society. For example, Ruby Falls supplied hospital partners with smoking cessation grants to prevent lung cancer.

Here, Greene discusses the genesis of the Step-Up & Look-Out Challenge and the work the ACS is doing in Chattanooga.

What led you to take on the Step-Up & Look-Out Challenge?

”One of the issues I identified as a co-chair of the Gala of Hope was the lack of local awareness about the impact of the work the American Cancer Society is doing in Chattanooga. People tend to think we funnel the money we receive from donors into an umbrella of global care. I identified it as an opportunity to create more community awareness.”

What are a few of the ways the American Cancer Society is helping to battle cancer locally?

“Writing transportation grants, providing places for patients to stay when they come from out of town, and educating employers, for starters. These things help to contradict the notion that the money doesn’t stay local because it’s a national organization.”

Using local landmarks to make that connection was a unique approach to tackling this issue.

“Researching the landmarks was fun. My wife, Rhea, and I recently moved here from Cincinnati, so it was an education on all the things we could do and see on our way to the top of Lookout Mountain.”

Why did you agree to serve as the co-chair for this year’s Gala of Hope?

“My mom died from lung cancer eight years ago. I wanted to show my support for those who are currently in the midst of their battle with cancer, which sparked my idea to highlight the Civil War history on Lookout Mountain. When I reached the top of the mountain, I wanted to look out and remember those who lost their fight.”

You started your trek very early in the morning.

“We didn’t want to deal with a lot of traffic. The first leg was still busy until we took the turn and started walking up the mountain.”

Was Pointe Park open when you reached it?

“It was locked, so I jumped the fence. But it was worth the journey. The sun was beginning to rise and I reflected on my mom and the rest of my family.”

You wore special socks to support a separate effort to battle lung cancer. What inspired that?

“Dr. Rob Headrick, chief of thoracic surgery at CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Institute, started a program called #sockittolungcancer. You wear these red socks that have an image of a ribbon on them and take pictures of them wherever you are. It’s a national initiative Dr. Headrick started here in Chattanooga.”

Will you do the Step-up & Look-out Challenge again?

“We might do it again next year and make it a community event.”

Tell us about the 2023 Gala of Hope.

“It will be a black-tie masquerade event. We’re going to honor Dr. Hedrick and three other honorees who will tell their stories. However, we’re sold out.”

What should people keep in mind in the weeks leading up to the event?

“All donations will go toward lung cancer research, including local resources for patients in need. ACS has made great strides toward a cure but we have a long way to go. We hope people will consider making a donation at www.galaofhopechatt.org as we come together to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families here in our community.”