Ms. Meissner created a relay team, called Joie de Vivre (joy of life), in honor of her husband, a survivor of colon cancer. During the event, team members, including Betty and Ernst Meissner, take turns walking a course at Burgess Park from 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, to 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 11.
The Meissners are familiar faces on the civic scene, active in the Menlo Park community since they met as neighbors in the downtown area in 1970. They both belong to the Chamber of Commerce, and have been awarded for their volunteer efforts.
Mr. Meissner, a former president of the chamber, earned the Golden Acorn Award in 1994. Seventeen years later, in 2011, the couple received the award as a pair.
"We have a positive attitude," Mr. Meissner said. "We don't just criticize. Some people have negative attitudes and just complain. We like to make a positive contribution."
His wife, now a retired teacher, has been energetic with helping Friends of the Menlo Park Library, the Library Foundation, and the Project Read adult literacy program. She helps out at the local firefighters pancake breakfast and updates fliers in the downtown kiosks.
A retired architect, Mr. Meissner has led beautification projects in downtown Menlo Park, such as planting flowers and stringing lights through the trees.
"He's kind of the nature and trees guy, and I'm more the people person," Ms. Meissner said. "I'm the connecter."
The couple's community involvement continued with their participation in the Relay for Life. According to the team's web page, 17 members have joined, raising more than $1,000 for the event.
It's not about the numbers or the fundraising, Ms. Meissner said, but about the commitment to show support for the cause.
Relay for Life
• Visit tinyurl.com/Relay-810 for more information on the Menlo Park Relay for Life.
• Visit tinyurl.com/Team-810 for more information about Betty Meissner's team.