The Education Committee of the Awareness Garden Board, is a group of Healthcare professionals from Centra and Lynchburg Hematology Oncology, cancer survivors and community volunteers. If you are interested in facilitating cancer awareness and understanding early detection, diagnosis and treatment, then the Awareness Garden Education Committee is interested in helping you plan an educational program in your community. Please contact Kathie Spiegel for more information.
In addition to our community education programs, the Scholarship Committee of the Awareness Garden Board awards scholarships annually each spring to deserving individuals. Their task is challenging as there are many worthy candidates. but the reward is great as the winners share their stories and interest in cancer. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please contact Betsy Jones for more information.
The Awareness Garden Education Committee… who we are and what we do
A few years ago we summarized the efforts of members of the Education Committee in bringing programs about cancer
prevention, detection and treatment to community citizens and groups. We’ve placed articles in the Awareness Garden newsletter on clinical trials, quitting smoking, and genetic testing for cancer risk analysis.We are nurses, nursing professors, cancer survivors and community volunteers, trying to enhance the understanding and well-being of friends and neighbors in central Virginia.

Some of us are Centra registered nurses, providing unique services to newly diagnosed patients experiencing breast or lung cancer. Some are registered nurses providing chemotherapy treatments at Lynchburg Hematology Oncology.Local physicians, radiologists, medical and radiation oncology specialists,oncology nurse practitioners, social workers, therapists and patients have spoken at these programs. We’ve collaborated with Centra Health, the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We’ve hosted various programs for businesses, garden clubs, organizations and churches in Altavista, Appomattox, Bedford, Forest and Lynchburg. We’re eager to offer more programs and welcome the opportunities.

Connie Gunter-Miller shared information about the Awareness Garden with shoppers at the Farm Basket as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Our topics have included:

  • Improving the Chemotherapy Experience: Understanding, Preparing, Coping and Care
  • Life After Breast Cancer: The New You, New Conditions, New Solutions
  • Radiation Oncology 2006: Technology, Expertise and Compassionate Care
  • Nutrition: Healthy Choices programand dinner for residents of the YWCA in Lynchburg
  • Smoking education, a variety of American Cancer Society brochures and other publications are regularly placed in the kiosk at the Awareness Garden for public use

We’re planning more community education efforts and encourage you to contact us if you are interested in a program or informational materials and resources for a community event.

Kathie Spiegel, RN, MS, AOCN


The 2020 scholarship application period is now open! Click here to download the 2020 application package. The deadline for applications to be received is 5:00 pm on Friday, March 6, 2020.

In 2004, the Awareness Garden Scholarship Program was established to help students whose lives have been impacted by cancer or who plan to work in a cancer related field to pursue their educational goals. Since that time, over $98,450 has been awarded to deserving individuals who lives have been affected by cancer. Applicants are evaluated on community activities, letters of recommendation, and personal essays in which they reveal how their lives and goals have been affected by cancer. The Awareness Garden Scholarship Committee members then conduct personal interviews with finalists. Their task is challenging as there are many worthy candidates.

On May 19, 2019 the Awareness Garden Foundation awarded our 2019 scholarships to five very deserving students.

Sara Greene, E. C. Glass High School
Isaiah Harrison, E. C. Glass High School
Avery McClenny, Appomattox County High School
Sydney Nolley, Rustburg High School
Meredith Smith, Liberty Christian Academy

Read the complete 2019 Scholarship Announcement here.


We would love to have you volunteer! There are many opportunities to prune or plant in the Awareness Garden as well as helping with special events and educational outreach! Please visit us on our Contact Us page and send an email or call to let us know in what area you think you may be able to help! Thank you!