On Sept. 26, the Masons of Hays sponsored a cancer screening clinic. The weather was very cooperative and a fine group of people came to take advantage of the free cancer screening.

Two of the University of Kansas oncology medical staff, a nurse who collected blood for the prostate screening and the coordinator, came for the clinic. A fine group of people that we estimated to be in the neighborhood of 150 came. Not all of them were able to take advantage of this service because they would not wait long enough since they had appointments such as working. For this, we are sorry.

These good folks came by way of a KU jet plane. They did not get to stay long or eat dinner with us after the clinic because they needed to get back to where they could safely keep the blood taken for analysis. All of these medical people were friendly and cooperative in trying to see as many people as possible. The organizer of this group from KU described our turnout as "fantastic." They had another clinic in Salina where only about 25 people showed up.

For those of you who had blood taken, I visited with a lady in charge of the group from KU this week and she said the results of the tests had just been returned to her and they now need only to put the results in letters and mailed to those who were tested.

The day was well-organized and well-supported by the community of Hays. The staff of the Ellis County Cancer Council helped with publicity by contacting the churches of Ellis County. Paula Flesher of the Cancer Council office spent the morning at the clinic making sure that each person attending was given the medical form to fill out before being tested. Hays Med's Dreiling/Schmidt Cancer Institute helped in telling people about the clinic and also furnished some materials to be available to those who came.

Harry Watts was good to let people know of the clinic by way of his regular radio program on KAYS. The members of the Masonic Lodge and the Eastern Star spread the word, not only in Hays, but also in surrounding towns. The Eastern Star ladies made wonderful cookies to be served with hot coffee. Churches were good to make their congregations aware of the clinic. In other words, the community should be proud of their cooperation and backing for this clinic. We thank you all.

The clinic was at the First United Methodist Church. It was chosen because of the fine facilities for such a large group, for the closeness of the parking lot and for the enthusiastic support of the Rev. Jerre Nolte to have such a service to be available to our community. We all felt that if this clinic could help even one person learn of possible problems early, it would be well worth having. Brooke Grunerman, the coordinator from KU, told us upon leaving, that they would be happy to come back again.

A bit of history might be of interest to those of you have read this article. The Masons of Kansas volunteered to raise millions of dollars to make the KU oncology center one of the best cancer research centers in the nation. And we did it.

It is our hope to support another clinic such as this one sometime in the near future. The staff from KU has already volunteered to come. Again, thanks to all who supported this project.

Arris Johnson, Hays, is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.