Community Organizer Takes A Back Seat During Rodeo Kool April Nites 2009: April Rolled

Community organizer takes a back seat during rodeo Kool April Nites

There was a time, about when April and May rolled around, that Duane Tomei seemed to be everywhere.
An organizer for Kool April Nites and publicity chairman for the Asphalt Cowboys, Tomei was often hip-deep in community events through most of Redding’s spring. These days, however, he’s had to keep a lower profile. In February, Tomei, 70, was diagnosed with cancer after he discovered lumps in his back. On Tuesday, he’ll go in for the third of five chemotherapy treatments. “It’s been really hard,” said Barbara Harrison, Tomei’s fiancee. He missed a lot of the Kool April Nites events and remained home during Redding Rodeo Week. Still, the events have thrived, and while Tomei’s absence is noticed, many ascribe their continued success to Tomei’s ability to lead and organize in years past.
“Everybody loves Duane,” said Vicki Cook, president of Kool April Nites. “He’s so good at organizing and getting people to pull together.”

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