Kicking Up a Little Dirt

Staying up for 24 hours and donating to a good cause? That’s easy, compared to fighting breast cancer. That was the thinking behind Kawasaki’s decision to hold a dirt bike school to raise awareness for breast cancer. The event, Moto Marathon for the Cure, raised $2,500 for the cause, as well as raising a little dirt, a little fun and lots of breast health awareness.

Two inspirations sparked the idea for Jan Plessner, Kawasaki’s Public Relations Manager. First was the Monster Energy AMA Supercross event in Anaheim in February, which went pink with breast cancer awareness. The second inspiration was friend Shasta Johnson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. Now 38 years old, Shasta’s cancer is thankfully in remission, although her younger sister Fiona died at age 29 from the disease.

The Moto Marathon had a perfect setting – the 5.5 acre dirt and grass field next to Kawasaki’s headquarters in Irvine. There was no problem getting participants – the spots were filled, with a waiting list. Riders were divided into beginners and riders with experience. The lucky riders got four free hours of dirt bike instruction, plus other goodies from Kawasaki. All in exchange for a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Kawasaki employees who put on the event went from 8 a.m. one day until 8 a.m. the next day to finish all the classes.

The instructors who ran the Marathon, and the riders, were happy in the end. Instructor Tania Satchwell summed it up this way: “The battle to stay up for 24 hours is nothing like the battle breast cancer survivors have to go through. It’s awesome. Crazy, but awesome.”

Rider Beverly Morgan of Newport Beach has a boss who is a breast cancer survivor. Did she have fun? “This is a great setup. The bikes feel brand new and they’re spoiling the hell out of us,” she said.

Good News from Sacramento

There was a bit of good news for the state of California’s breast cancer screening program, Every Woman Counts. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved an audit of the program at the request of Assembly members Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) and Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), who are challenging the state’s elimination of mammograms for low-income women.

The Every Woman Counts program, which provides mammograms to 350,000 underserved women in California each year, was closed to new entrants January 1, 2010, and will not start screening women again until July. And when the program resumes, services will be denied for women age 40 to 49 — only women age 50 and above will be eligible.

Evans and Nava seek the audit in time for incorporation into the 2010-2011 state budget. The audit will review how Every Woman Counts has faced financial shortfalls and assess how the program uses the money it receives.

The good news comes right after Lobby Day on February 8th in Sacramento. There was a lot of pink for Lobby Day as breast health advocates and survivors took their message to state lawmakers. The Komen Orange County Affiliate was represented, as all the California Komen Affiliates worked together as the California Collaborative to raise a strong voice on behalf of the Every Woman Counts Program. You can follow public policy issues with Susan G. Komen for the Cure at

Buy Your Ticket Today

Stop procrastinating and buy your ticket today to MasCUREade. You save $5 per ticket – the price will go up next week.  MasCUREade, a Celebration of Wellness for Breast Cancer Survivors and Co-Survivors, happens in just two weeks, on Friday, March 5, from 6 to 11 p.m.

What’s planned? The Komen Orange County Affiliate promises fun, food, music and a meaningful tribute to survivors –the community gathering is dedicated to celebrating breast cancer survivors and co-survivors. There will be educational demonstrations and presentations, a photo booth and an opportunity drawing. One highlight is sure to be the recognition of Komen’s Most Inspirational Breast Cancer Survivor, Most Inspirational Co-Survivor and Outstanding Breast Health Advocate.

Casual cocktail attire is suggested. The location will be the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center.

You can register and get your ticket today at, where you can also read a special message from the event Chair. See you there!

Don’t Miss the Party Prizes

The bad news is that you missed the party. The good news is that you can still buy tickets to win great Opportunity Drawing prizes. More good news – you can throw your own Passionately Pink for the Cure® party anytime during the year and wear silly hats and eat pink sweets. Check out for ideas.

The Komen Orange County Affiliate hosted 40 guests this month as a sample Passionately Pink party. It was impossible to taste all of the desserts in the baking contest – but you could inhale the sugar and enjoy the creativity of the bakers. It was indeed “eye candy.” (Cassi Hartmann won the contest with eye-catching mini Swedish cakes, Susan Laird won second place and Chris Tannous placed third in a close overall vote.) Lyndi Begen, Stampin’ Up! hostess, kept everyone busy with various Valentine’s Day crafts. Email her a to learn more.

More about those great prizes — we need to raise an additional $120.00 in ticket sales soon! If we do, Lisa Wolter will wear a pink wig at the upcoming 2010 MasCUREade: A Celebration of Wellness for Breast Cancer Survivors and Co-Survivors on March 5. Drawing tickets are a mere $5 each and one prize is a KitchenAid Cook for the Cure stand mixer in pink. (That would be the best $5 you ever spent.) Other prizes include pink designer sunglasses, beauty and fitness products. Stacy Davis at 714-957-9157 x34 or can help you with tickets.

Be passionate. The need to end breast cancer is urgent.

Couples Having a (Pink Tie) Ball

Analisa & Dr. Bruce Albert

Even the name of the event is romantic – the Komen Pink Tie Ball.It’s an elegant evening of extraordinary cuisine, fine wines, dancing, haute couture and, of course, inspiration about why we need to end breast cancer forever. California’s only Pink Tie Ball will be held in Orange County on Saturday, May 15. The evening promises to be a sensory adventure, offering guests the opportunity to celebrate survivors, honor those who have lost their battle and ,most importantly, raise funds as well as awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

John Miller & Marica Pendjer

The Pink Tie Ball is chaired this year by a “trifecta” of couples: OC philanthropists Mrs. Analisa and Dr. Bruce Albert, longtime sweethearts and Komen advocates Marica Pendjer and John Miller, and fundraising power couple Trish Coury and Mike Gustafson. Each has their own strengths that will help create a wonderful experience for guests– for example, Analisa is a connoisseur of food and drink and will oversee the  gourmet cuisine, Trish is experienced in planning successful fundraising galas, and Marica is a marketing expert who is vital to the overall vision of the Ball.

Michael Gustafson & Trish Coury

Of course, their significant others aren’t sitting idly by; all are well-connected businessmen who will help perfect details for the ball and solicit in-kind and cash donations so more funds can go directly to the Komen Orange County Affiliate. Those funds will be used for local breast cancer services and research.

The couples are indeed making Pink Tie Ball “a labor of love!”

The Ball will be held at Atlantic Aviation’s private hangar in John Wayne Airport – the unique setting a representation of Komen’s worldwide mission to find a cure for breast cancer. Join the party — you can purchase tickets, make a donation for our auction or volunteer. Event details are at Singles and couples welcome!

Click here to see pictures of the 2009 Ball.

Incentives to Your Goals

Keep Going on your resolutions AND help Komen

How are you doing on your resolution to get and stay fit in 2010? Two national corporate sponsors of Susan G. Komen for the Cure might help you stay on track.

Energizer has a limited-edition Keep Going® Journal to benefit Komen for the Cure. The journal, which features quotes, a calendar and a pink ribbon bookmark, is available through March 31, 2010 by mailing in three proofs of purchase from select Energizer battery packs. For every journal redeemed, Energizer will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, up to $15,000 with a minimum guaranteed donation of $10,000. More information about the Keep Going Journal can be found at

If you are looking for walking or running shoes, head to a New Balance store. From now until April 4, 2010, each customer who tries on a pair of New Balance shoes in New Balance stores will be given a $1 “Instant Give” donation voucher. Customers who receive a voucher can designate Komen for the Cure as the recipient of the instant donation. And each customer that purchases a pair of New Balance shoes in New Balance stores through April 4, 2010 will be given a $5 mail-in rebate voucher, which can also be designated to Komen for the Cure. New Balance is donating a maximum of $150,000.00 in total donations to selected charities (including Komen) via the Instant Give promotion. More information is at

Orange County Director of Volunteer Services Honored

Congratulations Cindy Brenneman!

Cindy Brenneman, Director of Volunteers Services for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® was honored with an Excellence in Leadership Award by Leadership Tomorrow. This honor is well deserved as Cindy works tirelessly to motivate Orange County residents to become volunteers and breast health advocates. She has inspired and engaged countless people in the community to become involved in the breast cancer movement and is key in recruiting and retaining stellar volunteers. Under her leadership the Orange County Affiliate has consistently retained more than 2,000 committed volunteers for various projects ranging from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® to the Pink Tie Ball®. Her work continues to further the Komen mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

Most importantly, Cindy practices what she preaches and is an active volunteer herself. Cindy is receiving the award for her work with the Orange County Affiliate, the Costa Mesa Community Emergency Response Team, the Costa Mesa Community Foundation, OC Medical Reserve Corps and the Mesa Verde Homeowner’s Association.