A Splash of Friendship

Friends poolside at the Splash Swim-a-Thon

This is a story of friendship and how tears transformed into pool water and then transformed again into a generous donation to fight breast cancer. The “Make a Splash Swim-a-Thon” was conceived when a group of Corona del Mar High School friends discovered that Lysanne Ray Sebastian had become the “one of eight” women to be diagnosed with breast cancer. An old-fashioned swim- a- thon was organized as an appropriate way to show support for their friend.

The Splash was held in April at the Corona Del Mar High School swimming pool. Participants swam laps and the combination of registration fees, a raffle and donations added up to over $13,000 to benefit the Orange County Affiliate of Komen for the Cure. Thank you!

Costa Mesa resident Sebastian is an athlete whose life has always been connected to water. She is an active member of the Imua outrigger canoe team based at the Newport Aquatic Center, has paddled around Molokai twice and met her husband Rick at an outrigger race. She was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. As she went through chemotherapy, her friends rallied around her. Go to the Splash website www.make-a-splash-swim-a-thon.com to read about why they shaved their heads to honor Sebastian and help raise awareness of breast cancer. The strength of friendship will give you a good feeling . . . like wrapping a warm towel around yourself after a brisk swim.

Go to www.komenoc.org and click on the Events section to read about upcoming events to benefit the Komen Orange County Affiliate, or for information on how to organize one.

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KFC and Komen

Survivor Jane Sussman with a pinked-out "Colonel."

Breast cancer awareness is so important that even the iconic “Colonel” of KFC is wearing pink this spring. KFC’s “Buckets for the Cure™” is going full force until May 30, hoping to raise up to $8 million dollars for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The idea is simple – for every pink bucket of chicken sold (grilled or original recipe) at participating restaurants, KFC will donate 50 cents to Komen.

You can follow the progress at www.bucketsforthecure.com and donate online if you want to skip the drive-thru. KFC also has stories from breast cancer survivors online and they make great reading. Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will be donated to Komen’s 120-plus domestic Affiliates for breast cancer programs in their communities — which includes Orange County! The remainder of the funds will support Komen’s national research and community programs.

The lids of these special pink buckets have a call to action to get involved. That message is particularly important to local survivor Jane Sussman, the Executive Director of the Pink Ribbon Club Foundation. She signed a giant pink bucket in Irvine as part of KFC’s campaign. Her message on the bucket says it all: “Early detection is hope. I’m an 8-year survivor and awareness is my passion.”

The campaign has already reached a donation to Komen of over $3.7  million. You didn’t feel like cooking tonight did you?

Cheers to Our Pink Tie Ball Committee!

2010 Pink Tie Ball Committee

The Pink Tie Ball was a night of hope and community support for a cure for breast cancer. With “Destination…Cure” as its theme, the May 15th gala raised $400,000 for vital breast health services for underserved Orange County women.

Four hundred guests attended the event, held at the private Atlantic Aviation Hangar at John Wayne Airport, and funds were raised through sponsorship levels, ticket sales and revenue opportunities throughout the evening. Among the guests were breast health advocates, the Komen Pink Tie Guys and breast cancer survivors. Staff and 135 volunteers donated their time to help make the evening possible.

The Ball was led by a trio of philanthropic power couples: chairs Analisa and Bruce Albert, with co-chairs Marica Pendjer and John Miller, and Trish and Michael Gustafson. The event’s presenting sponsor was The Allergan Foundation; platinum sponsor was Mindy and Glenn Stearns; gold sponsor was FreeCreditReport.com; and silver sponsor was Saks Fifth Avenue. Those in attendance came together in strong support for raising money to end breast cancer forever.

Learn About Clinical Trials

Have you ever been interested in a clinical trial, but didn’t know enough about how they work? Don’t miss an educational presentation on Wednesday, May 12 from 6 to 7 p.m., called “Leading Edge Care: Integrating Clinical Trials in the Cancer Care Continuum.”

The seminar will provide you with an overview about clinical trials and their role in treating cancer. You will learn about the basics of clinical trials and how you can access a broad range of trials locally. Participants will learn the different types of trials available and the process for signing up for a trial if one is right for you.

The seminar is being held at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange in the city of Orange. RSVP 714-734-6233 or Stacey.fischer@stjoe.org.

This is the first in a comprehensive breast health education series presented by the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in partnership with Orange County hospitals. Other seminar topics and dates are listed at www.komenoc.org. It is free and open to the public.

Volunteers for Pink Tie Ball

Volunteers assist the caterer at the 2009 Pink Tie Ball.

Want to mingle with the “jet set” at the Pink Tie Ball? If the ticket price of $350 per person is not in your budget, you can participate that night as a volunteer. The gala to benefit the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is coming up on Saturday night, May 15, at the Atlantic Aviation hanger with the theme “Destination . . . Cure.” Volunteer jobs range from transporting materials and décor from the Komen office on Friday, May 14, to helping the caterer prep food at the event, to helping clean up after the ball for all the night owls.

Information for any and all volunteer jobs is available now so you’ll be prepared. A Volunteer Orientation specifically for Pink Tie Ball will be held at the Komen office in Costa Mesa on Thursday, May 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Training for food preparation and servers will provided by the caterer, Crème de la Crème. This is your chance to learn from the professionals before your next party at home! The trainings at the Crème de la Crème kitchen in Costa Mesa will be offered on Wednesday, May 5 and Monday, May 10. You must attend one. Those trainings are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

More information is at www.komenoc.org and questions and sign ups should be directed to Cindy Brenneman at cbrenneman@komenoc.org. Thank you for helping Komen keep costs low so more funds from Pink Tie Ball can go into the community and the fight against breast cancer.