By Todd Cohen
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At its 10th annual weeklong series of fundraising events from September 24 to 29 at Ballantyne Country Club in Charlotte, BCC Rally expects to bring to $1 million or more the total it has raised since it was founded in 2004 to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Of that total, 25 percent has supported breast-cancer research through the national Komen organization, and 75 percent has remained in the 13 counties served by Komen Charlotte to fund local community health grants and education outreach programs.
Since BCC Rally was founded, those local dollars would have funded the equivalent of 3,750 free procedures, including mammograms, biopsies and other diagnostic procedures, says Sue Dockstader, president of BCC Rally.
And in a region that now includes 13 counties, those community and education programs are critical for women who otherwise might not know about or be able to afford breast-cancer screenings.
“There are still large numbers of women suffering from this disease,” says Dockstader, who also is owner of Yum Cha Treasures, which sells Chinese antiques and collectibles. “There’s still much more needed in diagnostic procedures and treatments.”
To help fight breast cancer, which will affect one in eight women in the U.S. during their lifetime, the all-volunteer BCC Rally was formed initially to host a small women’s golf tournament that raised $1,000.
This year, BCC Rally will feature five events, including a gala with a keynote speech by Trudi Lacy, a former basketball All American at N.C. State University and a former WNBA general manager, head coach and scout, as well as a visit by Judith Salerno, the new CEO of Komen for the Cure.
BCC Rally also will feature a family walk; women’s golf tournament and luncheon; men’s golf tournament; women’s tennis tournament and luncheon; and the Pink Bow Gala.
Presenting sponsor for this year’s BCC Rally is Snyder’s-Lance Inc., and event sponsors are Skatell’s Manufacturing Jewelers, Ballantyne Country Club, Charlotte Radiology, KPMG; and Aetna.
Last year, BCC Rally raised $215,000, including $57,000 through its Pink Bow Campaign that sold pink bows in 60 neighborhoods, 45 businesses and 16 schools, mainly in Charlotte but also reaching a total of 30 states and eight countries.
The idea is to sell “one pink bow at a time,” and for people who buy the bows to tie them on a mailbox, backpack or door at work, and then sell more bows to their neighbors, fellow students or co-workers, Dockstader says.
In August, Komen Charlotte announced Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill would receive a total of $3.6 million in 2013 from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer research.
Those funds represent just over 8.5 percent of the $42 million in research awards this year from Komen, which is the world’s largest non-governmental funder of breast cancer research.
Research those funds will support include a focus on environmental factors that may contribute to breast cancer, and on barriers that may affect breast cancer outcomes among African Americans, particularly in low-income and rural areas.
Earlier this year, Komen Charlotte awarded $1.2 million in grants to 21 nonprofits.
“The big push,” Dockstader says, “is for early detection.”