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Lunch, Laugh and Learn
Effingham Health System dispenses information about fighting breast cancer
Best-selling author and syndicated newspaper columnist Ronda Rich tells one of her humorous stories during Lunch, Laugh and Learn on Thursday at Effingham College & Career Academy. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — If laughter is indeed the best medicine, Ronda Rich should have been a doctor.

Rich dispensed another heavy dose of her Southern humor at Thursday’s Lunch, Laugh and Learn — an annual event designed to promote breast cancer awareness. As always, the best-selling author and syndicated newspaper columnist drew chuckles and guffaws from the sold-out crowd at Effingham College & Career Academy.

“It’s four years in a row for Ms. Ronda Rich,” Effingham Health System CEO Fran Baker-Witt said. “Isn’t she fabulous?”

“It’s worth it for the pimento and cheese,” joked Rich, referring to the sandwiches prepared by Effingham College & Career Academy culinary arts students.

Rich poked fun at herself for appearing so frequently at an event that started in 2011.

“I was speaking with my husband and said, ‘Oh, those poor people. I know I feel so ordinary with them,’” Rich said. “Buy my husband, who is a cancer survivor, said, ‘After you’ve survived cancer, ‘ordinary’ is great. I love that.”

After telling a variety of comical “feel good” stories, Rich recounted a few tales of perseverance.  The first centered on a book of fiction she wrote, “The Town that Came A-Courtin.’”

New York book companies aren’t fans on successful non-fiction authors writing fictional books, Rich said. She said hers was turned down “fifty or sixty times.”

Rich rejected her agent’s suggestion to shelve the project.

“I said, ‘No, because we just haven’t found the ‘yes’ we are going to get, and if we stop now we will never get it,” Rich said. “Three weeks later, she called me up and said, ‘You aren’t going to believe this. I found some editors I had not sent that book to and now we have not one but two ‘yeses’ from major publishers.”

“The Town that Came A-Courtin’” went on to become a best-seller and was made into a television movie.

“If we had stopped the day she called me, we would have stopped at the last ‘no’ we got,” Rich said, “because the next two answers were ‘yes’ and ‘yes.’ It only takes one ‘yes’ to wipe out one thousands ‘nos.’

“Keep going.”

See the Oct. 31 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.