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I Love My Community: Janelle Wilkinson

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Janelle Wilkinson, a Lodi resident and senior corporate relations manager for American Cancer Society, discusses with HERLIFE Magazine her dedication to family and community.

HLM: How long have you lived here? What do you love most?
JW: I was born and raised in Stockton and from a family that has lived in San Joaquin County for six generations. My family has deep roots in the community, and I like to think that I do too. I love that we are located so close to so many amazing spots such as Lake Tahoe, the Monterey Bay and San Francisco, to mention a few.

HLM: How is your heart inspired to serve the community?
JW: I grew up watching my mother volunteer in the community and that trait has been passed down to me. I enjoy giving back to the community by volunteering as a member of Junior League, volunteering with other nonprofits and at corporate events in the community. My heart continues to be inspired by the amazing volunteers, caregivers and cancer survivors I work with daily at the American Cancer Society. These amazing advocates give their time and support to further our mission to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat and survive cancer. I continue to be inspired day after day by our generous community.

HLM: What sparks joy for you?
JW: My daughters Jacklyn, 23, and Molly, 21, are the continuous sparks in my life. It is a true joy being their mother and watching them grow up all too fast. Jacklyn and Molly are best friends, and I couldn’t be more proud of the women they have grown to be. My girls remind me that good times are always ahead, and we have lots of memories to make along the way.

HLM: How do you spend time outside work?
JW: I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I love to decorate for the holidays, cook family recipes and walk Bochy, our golden retriever. I truly enjoy planning parties and bringing friends and family together. A trip to the beach is always fun too!

HLM: Top three bucket list goals?
JW: Watch my daughters get married, become a grandmother someday and help find a cure for cancer.

HLM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
JW: Other than my daughters I am proud to say I have worked for the American Cancer Society for ten years. I have had several different roles during my ten years at the society and are thrilled to be the staff partner for the Moonlight Gala held each August in San Joaquin County. I am extremely proud of our community that generously supports the Moonlight Gala and the amazing volunteers who are the driving force of the success of the event. We just wrapped up our 36th annual event and raised over $250,000 in our amazing community. The Moonlight Gala is success because of our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers.

HLM: Can you describe a key event that had an impact on your life?
JW: In 2014, my mother and best friend Jill Wolters unexpectedly passed away. I learned quickly that life is much too short, and we need to be grateful for each day we have together. I hope my daughters keep my mother’s legacy going and continue with her traditions that I have enjoyed teaching them.

HLM: Do you have a favorite quote?
JW: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream,” by C.S. Lewis. This quote inspires me to continue to set goals and to keep dreaming. We never know what tomorrow holds.

HLM: What are you currently reading?
JW: I enjoy all of Colleen Hoover’s books and currently am reading Heart Bones. I am also reading and exploring recipes in the American Cancer Society’s Healthy Eating Cookbook.

HLM: Favorite food or dessert?
JW: My daughter Jacklyn’s homemade chocolate chip cookies and Pietro’s white and dark chocolate panna cotta dessert that is served only on specials occasions. This would mean friends and family are together celebrating something or someone special, which makes it extra special!