Category Archives: Member Spotlight

Biographical information on members

BCPC’s Nita Zachow Receives Giving Your Best Award

Congratulations to Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) President and Executive Board member Nita Zachow on receiving the June, 2013 WJBF News Channel 6 “Giving Your Best” award.  WJBF selects one local winner each month from nominations submitted by the community.  Nita is featured in an article and video on the WJBF website. Winners are also honored at the Annual Giving Your Best Jefferson Awards Banquet.

Nita was nominated by her sister, BCPC Executive Board Member Celeste Spence in recognition for Nita’s tireless efforts to raise money for cancer research and to educate people about how healthy lifestyles can help in the fight against cancer.  Founding the BCPC was a key part of those efforts.

Congratulations Nita!

Nita Zachow (center) with BCPC members Sherry Brooks and Nicole Caldwell

“Giving Your Best” Winner Nita Zachow (center) with BCPC members Sherry Brooks and Nicole Caldwell.


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Cancer Bell Gets First Ring

Nila Ringing Cancer Bell

BCPC member Nila Florschutz rings the Cancer Bell signaling her last chemo therapy

Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) member Dr. Perica “Nila” Florschutz, retired MD, was the first patient to ring the new “Chemo Bell” at Georgia Health Sciences University’s outpatient Cancer Center. The bell was donated by the BCPC to honor all patients battling all types of cancers. It is similar to one in the inpatient cancer unit.   When a patient completes the last round of chemotherapy, he or she rings the bell and everyone celebrates.

Nila was treated for adenocarcinoma of the colon and had her last chemo in October.  With this behind her, she plans to “Live, Love and Laugh”.

Originally from Dubrovnik, Croatia,  Nila  has lived in the U.S. for 38 years.  She spent most of that  in  the Washington, D.C. area, Minnesota, and Florida, before following her two children and four grandchildren to Augusta, Georgia. Her son received a residency for the M.D./Ph.D. program in Orthopaedic Surgery at Augusta’s Medical College of Georgia (now GHSU) in 2007. Her daughter worked in research and moved to Augusta in 2009.

When asked why she joined the BCPC, Nila explained “I met [BCPC President] Nita Zachow, who introduced me to the organization. I have really enjoyed the socializing and friendships that have come from it. I find the goals of the BCPC amazing and am proud and happy to be a part of it.”

Welcome to the BCPC, Nila, and congratulations on completing your chemo!


Nila with her nurse Angela

Nila with her nurse Angela

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BCPC’s Karen Eckert Receives Giving Your Best Award

Karen Eckert accepting "Giving Your Best" award from WJBF News Channel 6's Jenna Lee Wright.

Karen Eckert, right, accepts “Giving Your Best” award from WJBF News Channel 6’s Jenna Lee Wright.

The Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC) congratulates BCPC Vice-President and Executive Board member Karen Eckert on receiving the November, 2012 WJBF News Channel 6 “Giving Your Best” award.  WJBF selects one local winner each month from nominations submitted by the community.  Karen is featured in an article and video on the WJBF website. Winners are also honored at the Annual Giving Your Best Jefferson Awards Banquet.

BCPC President Nita Zachow nominated Karen, citing Karen’s dedication and fundraising efforts, on top of numerous other commitments.

As a BCPC board member, Karen is Nita’s right hand, organizing meetings, serving as a liaison, and leading several fund-raising activities. Karen is the coordinator of a very successful (and huge) “Find the Cure” educational and fundraising program that takes place in local middle and high schools during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

One of Karen’s significant contributions was the 2011 production of a wellness video, Breast Cancer Prevention for Teens.  The goal of the video, and one of Karen’s personally, is to send middle and high school students the message that good nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent breast cancer and other diseases.   Karen wrote, directed, and produced the video which features TV anchor Jennie Montgomery and local physician Dr. Robert Pendergrast.   The video is now shown each October in over 20 schools to thousands of teens.

Karen volunteers weekly at the Georgia Health Sciences University Cancer Center where you will generally find her in The Image Boutique.  There, she assists ladies with purchasing bras, wigs, jewelry, hats, and scarves. Most importantly, she offers a ready smile and makes everyone feel good. Karen also helps in the Infusion area, offering patients a warm blanket, a drink or snack.

As a member of Aiken Master Gardener Association (AMGA), Karen volunteers for AMGA projects including “Meet A Master Gardener” and “Rent A Master Gardener”.  She also coordinates information and speakers for her community garden club, The Mount Vintage Plantation Transplants.

When asked about Karen’s nomination, Nita Zachow said “I nominated Karen for the “Giving Your Best” award because she is one of the most competent, dedicated, caring ladies I know. Karen is most deserving of this award and I am most pleased that she has been selected as the winner!”

Congratulations, Karen! The award is well-deserved.

BCPC members and friends with Karen

BCPC members and friends share Karen’s special moment

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Meet BCPC Member Linda Nidiffer

On Tuesdays at the GHSU Cancer Center, you can’t miss seeing Linda Nidiffer. She is wearing her one-of-a-kind apron, toting a huge basket full of home-baked goodies and another basket with a beautiful assortment of colored yarn for her current knitting projects.  Energy is flowing and a huge smile covers her face as she enters the Infusion Room to encourage and add a touch of humor for the cancer patients. Her close friend, Jean Morson helps by baking cookies and muffins. When Linda is not giving out goodies, she is talking and knitting with patients.

Linda Nidiffer in a favorite apron

BCPC volunteer Linda Nidiffer stands ready for “work” in the infusion center

New patients are in for a pleasant surprise and veteran patients readily motion for her to come see them. The nurses appreciate Linda for many reasons. She helps patients relax and feel happier by bringing them a warm blanket along with water, sodas and snacks.

Linda’s love for people is inborn. She once stayed several weeks with a friend who was recovering from breast cancer. After seeing the friend undergo surgery and chemo treatments, Linda felt a tug at her heart to volunteer at the Cancer Center.

Linda, a retired English teacher, currently writes a weekly article for the Edgefield Times. She is also an avid knitter, and hosts a “Stitch and Bitch” group at her home each month.  In addition to their own projects, this circle of friends have knitted hundreds of caps for kids, cancer patients, and numerous organizations.

Linda played golf for several years until a cranky back made it impossible to play on a regular basis. Visiting with grandchildren, taking trips, attending Augusta State basketball games, playing bridge, caring for her kitty and being a good wife makes her life complete. Linda’s quick wit makes her a favorite person in the community.

Linda and her husband, Tom, have two grown children and two grandchildren and live at beautiful Mt. Vintage.

Thank you, Linda for giving of yourself and putting others first!

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Vintage Victors for a Cure Tournament Committee Celebrates

Members of the “Vintage Victors for a Cure” tournament committee celebrated this year’s successful fundraiser with dinner at home of Nita and Dennis Zachow on Saturday, December 10th.

Members of 2011 Vintage Victors celebrate at Christmas

2011 Vintage Victors Tournament Committee

Husbands attended and everyone had a delicious meal and a great time. This year, the tournament raised over $17,000 for BCPC and breast cancer research at GHSU.

BCPC members celebrate at Christmas Party

BCPC members enjoy Christmas Party at Nita's

The Zachow’s also graciously hosted a Christmas party for all BCPC members on December 3rd, where more good food and great times were shared.

Thank you Nita and Dennis!

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Meet BCPC Member Mary Beth Smith

BCPC’s Newest Executive Board Member

Picture of Mary Beth Smith
BCPC Treasurer Mary Beth Smith

In October, BCPC Treasurer Mary Beth Smith was named to the BCPC’s Executive Board. That is just one more volunteer job on a long list for this hardworking lady. Mary Beth currently volunteers her time at the Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center and is the treasurer of three organizations (the Mount Vintage Plantation Ladies Golf Association, the Vintage Victors for a Cure Tournament Committee and the BCPC). She is also on the Mount Vintage Plantation homeowners Advisory Committee.

Mary Beth was born, raised and educated in Wheeling, West Virginia, as one of six children, four girls and two boys.  She married her wonderful husband, Chuck, in 1975 and moved to Cambridge, Ohio, about 50 miles from Wheeling. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Mary Beth is well qualified for the BCPC Executive Board. She worked for one company in Cambridge for 30 years before retiring in 2004. She was employed in a variety of capacities with that company and retired as their Shipping Superintendent and Human Resource Manager. In addition, she and Chuck owned a wholesale food distribution company for 25 years. They sold that business in December, 2010.

Mary Beth and Chuck discovered and fell in love with Mount Vintage Plantation five years ago. Mid 2007, they started construction of the house they now call home and moved in permanently in February, 2008. Since then, Mary Beth has become heavily involved with activities in and around Mount Vintage, particularly those financially related.  When not volunteering, she enjoys golf, canasta, crocheting and cross stitching.

“Mary Beth is the financial wizard on our Vintage Victors committee. She works all the fine details between our fundraising activities and the MCG Foundation. She can handle any task and see it through to flawless completion. We couldn’t be successful without Mary Beth.” Diane Benarick, Vintage Victors for a Cure Tournament Chair

When asked why she joined the BCPC, Mary Beth replied “I heard about the BCPC from Nita Zachow when the BCPC sponsored a luncheon at Mount Vintage a couple of years ago. At that time I was fairly new to the area and was quite impressed with the information they were delivering. Since all of my family, including myself, have been blessed to never have suffered with any type of cancer, I felt I could join the organization and contribute my time to help with cancer awareness and raise monies for cancer research.”

As BCPC treasurer since 2008, Mary Beth has been a great asset. We appreciate her taking on even more responsibility as a member of the Executive Committtee.

Thank you, Mary Beth, for your dedication and hard work.


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Meet BCPC Member Dr. Margaret Devore

Photo of Dr. DeVore

Dr. Margaret DeVore

Dr. Margaret DeVore, aka Mrs. Dannie Walker, is a founding member of the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition (BCPC). As a breast cancer survivor, she was persuaded by Nita Zachow of the need for a local coalition to raise funds for cancer research at MCG. She assisted in establishing the organization. As one of the first, and a major, financial contributors, she was instrumental in developing the non-profit partnership between the BCPC and the Medical College of Georgia Foundation.

Dr. DeVore received her BA from Winthrop College in 1951 and her MA from Medical College of South Carolina in 1955. She did her residency at Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and received Board Certification in 1968.  She was an outstanding anesthesiologist at MCG and a professor from 1962-1991. At her retirement ceremony, she was honored with two distinguished awards: Professor Emerita and The Associate Dean Emerita.

Dr. Devore is married with five children and ten grandchildren. Her hobbies include her grandchildren, flowers and reading. Her favorite books include the Bible and anything by authors Jan Karon, John Grisham, Zane Grey and Dick Francis. Her favorite places to visit are South Carolina, Texas, and Ireland.

At the age of 80, health issues keep Dr. DeVore away from large crowds.  However, she continues to support the BCPC as a member of its Executive Committee. She says she is “so proud as the organization has developed and grown under Nita’s guiding hand and soul.”

The BCPC is truly proud to have Dr. DeVore as part of The Breast Cancer Prevention Coaltion.

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