An open letter to Ashland & Community


Dear Ashland,

A good friend was recently diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. She’s always been the type of person to put others in front of herself and in so doing has totally put her own health on the back burner. Recently there have been stress factors beyond her control that have adversely affected her life, job and health. Her name is Mel Canete, she’s 44 years old and is the mother of 3 upstanding young people raised right here in town.

Mel came to Ashland in 1992 as a single mother. She was one of the victims of Hurricane Iniki that hit Hawaii and forced many local residents to flee their homes. Mel has devoted her working life to Ashland in so many, many ways. Her calm steadfast demeanor has soothed many of us, as she consistently and continuously provided great customer service in a number of Ashland companies.

Did you ever order a Big Mac at the Ashland McDonalds?
Did you ever make a Wendy’s Run?
Did you ever place a Classified Ad at the Daily Tidings between 1998-2004?
Did you ever make a copy, or buy a pen at Lithia Stationers or The Main Source?

 If you say yes to any of these things above….the chances are pretty good that Mel took your order, answered your phone call or rang up your purchase. She’s one of the unsung heroes of Ashland, the person behind the counter, the person on the other end of the telephone or headset, the person with the unflappable pleasant mood in the face of our insistence for “extra ketchup & pickle on the side plz.”  She’s the one dedicated to customer service and to making sure we get what we ask for if it’s at all possible.

Please Ashland, I’m asking for her help now! Mel is one of us who lost her job when The Main Source and Lithia Stationers closed their doors forever. She also wasn’t paid her entire wage while she WAS working, but was too stubborn to quit. She insisted as did most of us as employees of these businesses, that “We weren’t working for the owners, we were working for Ashland!”  She is still looking for employment and she doesn’t have any medical coverage. Because she is struggling for her life at OHSU hospital in Portland with no way to earn money, and no insurance to cover the mushrooming expenses; she could lose her apartment that she shares with her son who’s a student at RCC.

Please consider a donation to Mel and her family to help her maintain financial stability during this most challenging time of her life. She’s given so much to Ashland, please let’s support her now!

Donations can be made to Bank Of America, for the Melody  Canete Medical Fund. If you’d like to help further or have questions, please e-mail me at:

Thank you VERY much,

Jody E. Lydick

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