By Lt. J.J. Hernandez
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison
A cancer-fighting group and a youth baseball program recently benefited from fundraising efforts at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP). Warden David Holbrook led officials who made the presentation of $2,777.44 on behalf of the Toastmaster’s Group.
The Blythe Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) and youth Blythe Baseball Club were on-hand to accept the donations of $1,388.72 each at Todd Park’s Alexander Field. Making the presentation were Warden, David Holbrook, Canteen Manager II Erin Barnes and Community Resource Manager Kenny Kalian.
“CVSP, as well as Ironwood State Prison, have always had a good working relationship and been good partners with the local community,” Warden Holbrook said. “The inmates themselves see a great opportunity to give back to the local community.”
This year, the BCRC’s “Steps for the Cure” event was postponed due to COVID-19. The event is the organization’s largest fundraiser. The funds go directly toward supporting cancer patients and their families with travel and lodging expenses.
With Blythe being at least 100 miles from any major city with cancer treatment facilities, many victims rely on this assistance. Along with the community, CVSP and Ironwood are major contributors toward the community effort, donating tens of thousands of dollars every year.
“From the administration to every single employee, we have individuals that have been born, raised and continue to live here in the Blythe community,” Warden Holbrook said. “The children are our next generation of leaders. The more we can help in the positive influence of those children, with activities like sports, and other events which promote good health and positive self-esteem, the better.”
The CVSP team also participates along with Ironwood and all other first responder organizations of the valley in the annual “Civil Servants for Santa” holiday event.
The event provides a free shopping spree for underprivileged children from the community.
CVSP employees have also provided Easter basket giveaways to select children in the past years, with CVSP Alcoholics Anonymous group donating thousands of dollars to the Harmony Kitchen, a non-profit meal center, and Blythe Police Activities League as well.