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Community Spotlight - Tara Hammer

Article Date: 
19 August, 2011 (All day)

 

Tara Hammer is an outstanding member of our community, dedicated to serving others.  She is the kind of person everyone wants in their organization because she is willing and able to make extraordinary things happen, give credit to others, and bring happiness to whatever task is at hand.  

Tara loves the fair and volunteers to help wherever she is needed.  She has helped in many capacities, even serving as horse 4-H president for several years.  Her son’s interest in riding motorcycles led her to her most recent duty of heading up the Mini Moto.  She enjoys the opportunity to support her son and the community by ensuring the event sticks around. 

One year she decided she would participate in the ATV Rodeo.  She soon realized this was not a good idea.  She quickly crashed and flew over the handle bars. She had a bruise for six months and embarrassment for a lifetime.

If helping at the fair and taking charge of the Mini Moto didn’t guarantee her a full summer, Relay for Life would.  She took on another huge task.  This year she served as the Chair for Relay for Life.  This challenging position oversees the entire event, and with her leadership $47,633.35 was raised to help fight cancer.  She was very pleased with how the event went.  “Everybody did their part,” Hammer said of the Morgan Relay for Life Committee.

She decided to get involved with Relay for Life several years ago when her sister’s best friend Marie was diagnosed with cancer.  This prompted her to want to make a difference.  She didn’t know what to do to help so she decided she could start a relay team to offer support.  Since then they have raised thousands of dollars to help in the cause, and to honor Marie.  This year their team, Marie’s Messengers of Hope raised $8362.74.  It is difficult to keep this kind of stamina up year after year.  

The hard work that goes into supporting a cause like this becomes even more rewarding as she watches her uncle responding well to his cancer medication.  It is through research that new medications are introduced, and new options become available.  

Tara has had other friends and family affected by cancer, and has seen it close to home.  Recently she found out first hand that anyone can get cancer- even the chair for Relay for Life.  Less than a month ago she visited the dermatologists office to take care of a spot on her face.  They routinely checked it for cancer and when the results were back her doctor asked her to come back in.  The tests showed that she had beginning stages of melanoma.  Luckily they were able to catch it early and take care of it.  During the last few weeks of preparation for the event to prevent and treat cancer, she was undergoing the whole process including surgery to rid her body of the disease.

It was through this experience she could relate more to what other people go through when they are diagnosed.  She felt very lucky that her cancer was easier to treat than many others, but feels she now better understands some of the emotional aspects of being diagnosed.  

It might seem as though Tara could kick up her heals and relax now she has finished with these events, but her busy time is just getting started.  She is getting ready to be introduced to a new class of second graders.  This is her ninth year teaching, and she loves it.  She gets to be part of the childhood excitement.  She loves watching kids learn.  She encourages parents to read, and share that love of reading with their kids.

Tara takes on big challenges in the community, but the ones most important to her are in her own home.  Her goal in life is to give her kids opportunities in life, and to be a good example.  With sentiments that reflect parents attitudes everywhere, she just wants her kids to be happy.