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Ready To Party on May 1?

Nilo G. (seond from left) at the OC Breast Cancer Fundraiser in 2009.

If you enjoy a great party and also like to support breast cancer research and awareness, we’ve got the soiree for you. The 7th annual OC Breast Cancer Fundraiser comes to life Saturday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Pavilion in Irvine. Donations to attend are $25 ahead of time and $30 at the door. It is guaranteed to be a fun cocktail party for young professionals, based on the previous events.

The founder is Nilo G., CEO of Kapture. Kapture is the main sponsor of the event.

What’s planned? The pavilion will be bathed in pink LED lighting to set the mood. There will be a unique still-model fashion show by Holly Morgan Designs. Pianist and singer Kristen Meadors will start off the cocktail hour, but high-energy dance music by DJ Jace One will end the night. Pink-themed specialty cocktails will keep guests refreshed, there will be art and a beautiful segment to honor breast cancer fighters and survivors. To pay your donation ahead of time and for more information, go to www.ocbreastcancerfundraiser.com. Be sure to check out photos from previous events, and to read the stories of love about breast cancer survivors.

Don’t you want to be there when they meet their goal of raising $20,000 this year for the Komen Orange County Affiliate? We’ll toast to that.

Catch Monica’s Spirit

Monica at the Komen 3-Day Walk, all smiles

Monica Olmos is training for the Komen 3-Day Walk in San Diego in November. It is familiar ground for her. This will be her 8th year doing it. “The experience is contagious. You will be smiling for many months to come,” she says, and she should know.

“I am training by walking every other day up to 5 -8 miles a day. I’ve realized that it’s not healthy to push the miles if my body tells me otherwise.” Monica is attuned to her body and her motivations. She is an 8-year breast cancer survivor. “I have found each year a new and profound reason to walk, whether it’s for the underserved or uninsured women, or for my doctors and nurses who went above and beyond compassionately for my health and emotional needs,” Monica tell us.

Monica was part of a team for her first 3-Day Walk and enjoyed the group comraderie of training and raising money. In her second year, her team raised $32,000 with much collaboration. “More recently I walked the 3 Day without a team. This allowed me more freedom . . .I was a lot more at peace walking at my own pace and taking as many pit stops as I wished.”

Whether you opt for the team approach or walking as an individual, you are never alone  during the 3 Day. Monica’s advice: “Walk at your own pace. It’s not a competition. Having the right perspective can make your walk more inspiring, not to mention others will benefit from it as well. It’s probably the only time your life when you will have thousands of people happy to see you and support you for 3 whole days.” Inspired by Monica? Go ahead, register at www.the3day.org.

Free Mammograms

Early detection saves lives

Free mammograms are available for low-income women, 40 years old or older, on Wednesday, May 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location is the Monrovia Health Center at 330 W. Maple Avenue. Please call 626-256-1600 to schedule an appointment.

If you do not qualify as low income, a referral for low cost mammogram will be provided. For more information, please contact Iling Wang at 626-256-1636 or ilwang@ph.lacounty.gov.

Mamografías gratis – gratis para mujeres de 40 años o mayor y de bajo ingresos. Miércoles, 12 de mayo 2010, Monrovia Health Center, 330 W. Maple Avenue.  8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Si no califican, le daremos una recomendación para una mamografia de bajo costo.

Por favor llamar para una cita al: 626-256-1600. Para más información, pregunte por Iling Wang, ilwang@ph.lacounty.gov.

Putting Komen in Focus

Komen's volunteer photographer Alireza Alavian.

“The beauty of photography is the relationship you build with your camera that enables you to capture moments, expression, emotions . . . which become memories . . . I find human emotions and their achievements the most inspiring to me when creating pictures.”

That’s what motivates Alireza Alavian to be a photographer. Since the Komen Orange County Affiliate witnesses and produces emotions all year long, it is a perfect match that Alireza has become a volunteer photographer, offering to capture and record events all this year. He’s already photographed several office events and the MasCUREade celebration and Pink Tie Ball Sponsor Reception in March. “I wanted to do something that would result in more awareness” of breast cancer, he said.

“As a photographer I tend to pay attention to details and relationships . . . and the same goes for the events I have covered so far for Susan G. Komen. At every event I have covered from large to small, I can say the staff and volunteers are simply giving to this cause with their hearts and so much love and care, “ Alirreza says. “I can simply say that it feels so great to be a small part of this group and it’s an honor to be able to give back.”

Alireza, who has been passionate about photography for years, has volunteered for other organizations, too. You can see his work at www.alirezaalavian.com. Look for him at Komen events and say hello. If you’d like to be a Komen volunteer, the latest opportunities are listed at www.komenoc.org.

African Americans and Cancer

The greatest risk factor for getting breast cancer is being a woman. Race is not considered a factor that might increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. However, the rates of developing and dying from the disease differ among ethnic groups. For example, African American women are 55% more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than non-Hispanic white women and have 44% increased risk of dying from the disease. African American women are also more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age with larger and more aggressive tumors.

The “African American Cancer Care Conference” scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 15 will teach African American women about early detection and screening for breast cancer. The conference is open to health care professionals, caregivers and anyone in the community to attend and learn more about breast, cervical, colon, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer. The conference will be held at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The conference is being coordinated by the G.R.E.E.N. Foundation, a grant recipient of the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the past five years.

Medical doctors will lead two sessions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) on breast cancer topics. More information is at www.komenoc.org. To register for the conference, call 714-507-0338 or email thegreenfoundation3@yahoo.com. For more information about racial and ethnic differences in breast cancer, go to www.komen.org and go to Understanding Breast Cancer.

Pink Tie Ball to Soar

An elegant party is scheduled to take off on Saturday, May 15 at the Atlantic Aviation hangar at John Wayne Airport and you are invited. “Destination Cure” is the theme for the 2010 Pink Tie Ball to benefit the Komen Orange County. The unique setting at the private hangar is perfect to represent Komen’s worldwide search for the cure for breast cancer.

Guests will begin the evening in the open air hangar while the sun sets. After the reception — which includes food, champagne, silent auction and Parade of Art — the guests will move to the decorated dining area for a gourmet dinner by Crème de la Crème, dancing, a Live Auction and other entertainment.

If you are unable to attend, you can participate through the Keys of Hope or Ignite Your Promise.  Keys of Hope is an opportunity drawing for a necklace valued at $8,000 and donated by Black, Starr & Frost. You can purchase a vintage-style key for $100 – each key gives you an opportunity to win. Ignite Your Promise is a monthly philanthropic gift to Komen Orange County. You select the level — $25, $50, $100 or more – each month for the next year. In appreciation of each annual donation of $300 or more, Yard House Restaurants will give the donor a Yard House gift card worth $25 per month for the full year.

Pink Tie Ball tickets are $350 per person. To purchase tickets or be part of Keys of Hope or Ignite Your Promise, call Tami Thompson, Komen’s Director of Development, at 714-957-9157 x 27 or email her at TThompson@komenoc.org.

Volunteer Night April 14

Join the Komen family as a volunteer.

No one has more fun, or personal fulfillment, than a Komen for the Cure volunteer. Don’t believe us? Find out yourself on Wednesday, April 14th at the 2010 Volunteer Orientation at the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The orientation will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the office in Costa Mesa.

New volunteers are required to attend before helping at an event, and returning and veteran volunteers are always welcome. There are opportunities for everyone, from office duties to working at events, to loading trucks to making phone calls and using your professional skills. When you volunteer at Komen Orange County, you become a vital partner in the fight to end breast cancer forever. Volunteers help Komen to keep down costs so more dollars are spent on mammograms and other life-saving work in the community.

Two  upcoming volunteer opportunities include the Pink Tie Ball on May 15 and Race for the Cure on September 26. Other volunteer needs for April and May include health fairs and the Wacoal Fit for the Cure. More information is available at www.komenoc.org.

RSVP for the Orientation by phone to 714-957-9157 ext. 31, or to Cindy Brenneman at cbrenneman@komenoc.org. Bring a friend, or come and meet a new one. Welcome to the Komen family!

Pink Ribbon Clubs Thrive

The PRC volunteers at Komen's MasCUREade celebration in March.

Never underestimate the energy and enthusiasm of teenagers. Pink Ribbon Clubs are flourishing at high schools, and now universities, with these goals: to increase teen awareness and education of breast cancer, to provide community service and to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer.

The first Pink Ribbon Club was founded at University High School in Irvine in 2002 by two sisters whose mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. They did a great job laying the groundwork for future clubs by focusing on leadership structure, volunteer and fundraising activities and by working with local affiliates of national organizations – the Komen Orange County Affiliate being one of them. There are now almost 60 Pink Ribbon Clubs across the country. The clubs have sprouted at large and small, public and private schools. Members provide volunteer hours at many of Komen’s events, including Race for the Cure®, the upcoming Pink Tie Ball and the recent MasCUREade celebration.

Coming up is the annual Pink Ribbon Club Conference on Sunday, April 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Sage High School in Newport Coast. The day will include education, speakers, survivor forum, crafts, food, and the endless energy of Orange County teenagers on a mission. The day is for any Pink Ribbon Club member or students interested in starting a club at their school. Check out www.prc-foundation.org for more information and to see their amazing accomplishments.