First Male Committee Chair Brings New Dimensions to 2014 Race for the Cure

This year, we are proud to announce Doug McKay as the first male Race chair for our 23rd annual Race for the Cure on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. This year’s Race theme is, “Race for Impact, Race for Breakthroughs, and Race for Futures”. Doug will be leading the efforts for our largest annual fundraising event to inspire action and hope for all those who have been touched by breast cancer.

Doug lost his wife to cancer at the age of 27. He has been through the challenges that a family has to overcome when faced with cancer and carries an understanding and passion for those who encounter similar situations in their lives.

Doug McKay at Race

As Race Committee Chair, Doug hopes to follow in the footsteps of individuals who have done an excellent job of laying the ground work. He will work alongside Komen OC staff in strategic planning, leading monthly race committee meetings, visiting Race Teams and speaking on behalf of the organization and its mission of ending breast cancer forever.

Doug has been volunteering with us for the past three years, and this year, he is revitalizing the traditional Race by adding new dimensions aimed at inspiring support from future generations – and also helping to raise critical funds for local breast health services, education and outreach. New to the 2014 race is a One-Mile Fun Run and Family Walk, and all children who register for the event will receive pink shoelaces.

Along with leading the 2014 Race for the Cure, Doug is also involved with multiple non-profits – from health, social services, education and art-based nonprofits – in his role as District Grant Chair at Macy’s, where he oversees Macy’s district and community grants all across Orange County.

Impact | Breakthroughs | Futures is this year’s theme for the Race for the Cure Orange County.  Doug and his team are working toward a goal of 20,000 registered participants, looking to exceed last year’s totals.  Awareness and involvement are key in achieving this goal.  Either as an individual or team, your participation makes a difference.

Haven’t registered yet? Do so today by visiting: www.komeoc.org/race. What inspires you to Race for the Cure? Share with us in the comments below!

Upcoming Events

July 24 – Team Captain Interactive Workshop at Noon and 6 p.m.

Team Captains and Co-Captains are invited to join us to learn more and ask questions about leading a Race for the Cure Team. To attend, RSVP to teams@komenoc.org.

August 10 – Survivor Celebration & Awards Luncheon

Celebrate breast cancer survivors and recognize our awards recipients for their outstanding commitment to the Komen promise of saving lives and ending breast cancer forever. Tickets are $35 per person / table of 8 is $280.

Susan G. Komen® California Announces Circle of Promise to Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths in African American Women

Susan G. Komen® Orange County is proud to be a part of a statewide initiative to raise awareness for  the breast healthcare disparities among African American women.The two-year intensive initiative, which launched last week, addressed access to care and lack of follow-up care as major contributing factors to the higher mortality rate in African American women. Nationwide, African American women are 41% more likely than Caucasian women to die from breast cancer. This alarming trend is likely the result of compounding social, cultural, financial and geographic barriers, and is simply unacceptable in light of the overall improvement in mortality rates since the 1990s.

NBC Los Angeles captures Dr. Robina Smith, a breast surgeon, speaking at St. Jude Medical Center

NBC Los Angeles captures Dr. Robina Smith, a breast surgeon, speaking about the Susan G. Komen California Circle of Promise initiative

On June 11, seven Affiliates of Susan G. Komen® California, including Komen Orange County gathered in Culver City for a press conference and launch event announcing the Susan G. Komen of California® Circle of Promise. During the news conference with medical, community and media leaders, we announced a collaboration on a best practice model to address breast cancer disparities at both the micro and macro levels, specifically focusing on African American women who are rarely or never screened, low-income, uninsured or recipients of Medi-Cal.

As we work together as a community to raise awareness for the breast health challenges African American women face, Susan G. Komen® wants all women to make a commitment to follow the four steps to Breast Self Awareness while also making a promise to be an ambassador to spread the word for others in your community to do the same. Protect yourself with these four easy steps:

  • Know Your Risk – Lean about your family health history and talk to your health care provider about your own personal risk.
  • Get Screened – Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you and if you are at a higher risk.
  • Know What’s Normal for Your Body – Know how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your doctor. Examine your breasts monthly.
  • Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices – The right health choices may reduce your overall risk of developing breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen® Orange County needs you to help spread the word. Invite your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and co-workers to learn more and join the Circle of Promise.

Support for the Susan G. Komen® Circle of Promise California Initiative is made possible in part by a grant from the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC.

Mammography Event Wraps up Successful Knott’s Berry Farm Partnership

Peanuts characters deliver check to Komen Orange County (Photo courtesy of OCC School of Photography)

Peanuts characters deliver check to Komen Orange County (Photo courtesy of OCC School of Photography)

During a special event last week, as a thank you to Knott’s Berry Farm and in partnership with Alinea Medical Imaging and YWCA-NOC, Susan G. Komen Orange County was in Buena Park to help provide free mammograms to Knott’s employees.

The two-month partnership with Knott’s Berry Farm during February and March raised nearly $100,000 for Komen Orange County and we are grateful to everyone involved for their participation and support. Last Wednesday, Alinea’s mobile mammography unit rolled into Knott’s Berry Farm and volunteers from YWCA-NOC helped to coordinate the mammograms.  Dr. Reich was on hand to perform the screening for Knott’s employees and family members.

Everyone’s favorite theme park characters, Snoopy, Lucy and Sally, were also on hand to celebrate the partnership. The Peanuts gang helped present Komen Orange County with a check for $97,621.11 and greeted women as they awaited their mammograms.

Thank you to everyone at Knott’s, Alinea and YWCA-NOC for helping make this happen! Komen OC’s community outreach wouldn’t be possible without all the terrific partners and supporters that help make it happen!

 

Thank you to our valuable volunteers!

Happy National Volunteer Week to all of our dedicated Susan G. Komen Orange County volunteers!  Thank you for your constant support and for being a crucial part of our team. Your unwavering dedication and invaluable donation of your time is a key reason that Komen OC is the strong, longstanding organization that it is today.

Last year alone, we received more than 30,000 hours of in-kind support, and our Race for the Cure teams collectively raised more than $400,000 for local breast health initiatives and global research.

 

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Race for the Cure 2013

 

We still have exciting volunteer opportunities coming up this year, including opportunities to help with Pink Tie Ball on May 10 and preparing for the 2014 Race for the Cure. For more information on how to get involved with Komen OC, email volunteer@komenoc.org.

Why Komen?

Many professionals view board service as a rewarding way to share their skill sets and talents with nonprofits that serve a particular mission that they feel passionately about. This April, Susan G. Komen Orange County will welcome two new prominent leaders to its 2014-2015 board of directors, to help advance its local breast health initiatives. Dr. Robina Smith, breast cancer surgeon and oncology specialist at St. Jude Medical Center, and Joseph Stein, founder of Simply Innovate LLC will join Komen OC’s existing team of esteemed advocates and share how their dedication to Komen’s mission is rooted in their personal experiences with breast cancer.

Dr. Robina Smith

Dr. Robina Smith

Dr. Smith chose to pursue a fellowship to specialize solely in oncoplastic breast surgery – an innovative surgical technique that combines advanced cancer surgery with plastic surgery techniques. Her mission: to save the lives of women and men affected by breast cancer, and to help them overcome and face any challenges through their journey.

To be at the forefront of a movement that is changing the lives of women who are often voiceless, is priceless,” stated Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith is a passionate advocate for the Komen cause and hopes to advance initiatives that help African American women – like herself – receive the treatment and diagnosis they require.

Joseph Stein

Joseph Stein

At 13 years old, Stein lost his mother to breast cancer. Nearly 15 years ago, he also lost his sister to the disease. During a heart wrenching funeral, he witnessed his sister’s children having to handle the loss of their mother. He feels that no child should have to endure the loss of a parent, and hopes that through Komen’s initiatives, this will one day become a reality. Stein draws hope from the advances being made in breast cancer research funded largely in part by Komen’s efforts, and continues to draw inspiration from friends and family members who have survived the disease.

Each board member at Komen OC possesses a passion and drive necessary in advancing Komen’s mission of serving women and saving lives. We are thrilled to have two dedicated community leaders join the 2014-2015 board of directors and can’t wait to see what the new year holds!

A Special Valentine’s Day Giveaway: Win Free Tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm!

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As a part of its two-month partnership with Knott’s Berry Farm, Susan G. Komen Orange County is excited to announce that it is giving away pairs of tickets to California’s best amusement park, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Starting today, we are offering Komen Orange County supporters a chance to win five pairs of tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm. Nothing says romance quite like cotton candy, arcade games and exhilarating rollercoaster rides! In order to enter the contest simply like our Facebook and/or Twitter pages and share and re-tweet the messages below. No need to worry if February 14th has snuck up on you, we could have you covered this year!

Facebook:

  • We are excited to announce a special giveaway to @KnottsBerryFarm, this week only! Be entered to win free #KnottsPink tickets in time for #ValentinesDay, when you LIKE Komen OC’s Facebook page and share this post! #Giveaway

Twitter:

  • Follow @KomenOC and RT to win #KnottsPink tickets in time for #ValentinesDay!

Earlier this month, Knott’s Berry Farm and Komen Orange County announced its partnership and launched with an exciting kickoff event at the famous park with some of our daring breast cancer survivors enjoying a spin on the Pony Express rollercoaster!

During the promotion, which ends March 31, Knott’s Berry Farm is offering a special “pink ticket” at a reduced price, and a portion of the proceeds from tickets and pink merchandise will be donated directly to Komen OC.  At the start of the partnership, Knott’s Berry Farm also committed $50,000 to Komen Orange County, and hopes to give even more by the end of March!

We can’t think of better advocates to have than all of the Peanuts characters — and are grateful to Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Knott’s Berry Farm for the support in helping to end breast cancer. Make sure to enter to win the tickets on Facebook and Twitter by Thursday at midnight! The five winners will be announced on our Facebook and Twitter pages on Friday.

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Fighting for a Cure, 365 Days a Year

Battling breast cancer takes strength and courage, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone. This year, through admissions from celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Sharon Osborne, we learned that breast cancer can affect anyone. It is what we do when we find out that we are entering into a battle against cancer that can be the greatest determining factor of our success. However, the biggest difference between celebrities and the rest of us, aside from the fame, is the fortune.

Unfortunately, many women struggle to find the funds they need to receive tests and treatments necessary to fight – or prevent – this vicious disease. That’s why we created “Diagnostics 365” – a campaign that was created to fund diagnostic tests like biopsies and ultrasound guided mammograms—that uninsured women need to find out if they have breast cancer.

This year we were given more than $2.1 million to support breast health and cancer programs. At this year’s Grants Award Breakfast, we awarded more than $1 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations who are committed to serving local women in the community in the fight against breast cancer. Programs like these are made possible as a result of the funds donated to our Komen OC affiliate, to ensure life-saving breast health care services are accessible to all women in our community regardless of age, race, orientation or income level.

We are here to make sure than anyone who has 

breast cancer and needs help, gets help”.

  –Sue Parks, 2012 Board President

Last year, we took on the 3200 Mammogram Challenge, and it was wildly successful. We were able to help more than 2,400 women in Orange County alone, receive this vital exam. This year we want to extend another challenge through our Diagnostics 365 initiative. We have already helped more than 700 women in our community receive these diagnostics tests, and we invite you to support women in need for the next 365 days, and for many years to come. For more information on Diagnostics 365 and opportunities to get involved, visit http://ow.ly/s35TH.

Photo Courtesy of Margaret Soss, Komen OC Grants Award Breakfast 2013

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