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A Lifetime of Komen


(From L to R) Sue Parks, Nancy Enomoto, Eric Brinker and Chris Tannous

When your mother is the founder of an international non-profit organization like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, you become a volunteer at an early age, and for life. Eric Brinker is the son of Ambassador Nancy Brinker, the founder and CEO of Komen for the Cure, and nephew of Susan G. Komen. He visited the Komen Orange County Affiliate and shared how Komen has been woven into his life.

A member of the Komen National Board of Directors, Brinker praised the Orange County Affiliate for its “best practices” and explained that work done on the local level to break cultural barriers in the fight against breast cancer is just as important as steps on the global level.  He spoke about the lessons learned at a Race for the Cure in Egypt last year and about the planning for the first Race for the Cure to be held in Israel this fall. (You can be a virtual participant in the Israel Race, and even get a t-shirt, if you register soon at http://www.info-komen.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HQ_Israel_VIP)

Greeted by a crowded room of Komen staff, volunteers and sponsors, Brinker shared that:

  • He was young when Susan Komen died of breast cancer, but he has summer memories of his beautiful aunt.
  • He chaired the Race for the Cure this year at the Peoria Memorial Affiliate
  • The California Collaborative is a leader in public policy at a time when many Affiliates must deal with state governments in fiscal crisis and the resulting impact on uninsured women who need screening and treatment
  • “This organization doesn’t work without volunteers.”

Want To Meet People?

Meet new people at your Race expo booth.

Here is your invitation to be in the thick of the crowd at the 2010 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure. In the expo. With your own booth. Meeting thousands of people. Are you up for it?  An Exhibitor booth in the Wellness Expo offers an unprecedented opportunity for local businesses to be part of a nationally recognized brand that expands its participant base and loyalty year after year.

More than 30,000 women and families are expected to attend the 19th Annual Race for the Cure in Newport Beach on September 26.  We invite you to join companies like The Allergan Foundation, Chevron, The Orange County Register, Ralphs & Food 4 Less, and Farmers & Merchants Bank. Exhibitor spaces go quickly so early registration is encouraged.

These numbers may help you. The demographics of the Race participants are:

  • Female: 65%  Male: 35%
  • Income over $75,000:  62%
  • College educated:  65%
  • Women ages 25 to 52:  72%
  • Top five participant hometowns: Irvine, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Anaheim

Contact Stacy Davis on staff with any questions about the expo booths sdavis@komenoc.org or call 713-957-9157 Ext. 34. We’ll see you at the Race! We can smell the kettle corn already.

Red, White . . . and Pink

Tweet when you see the pink Race RV.

It’s officially “Race season!” The Komen Orange County Race for the Cure will be Sunday, September 26 at Fashion Island. An event that brings together up to 30,000 people takes planning, but thank goodness much of the anticipation is fun.

The Fourth of July weekend is the traditional start of publicizing the Race. We want to encourage everyone to register, to start fund raising or start a Team. One hard-to-miss message about the Race was unveiled at the Huntington Beach parade on July 4. The “pinked out” RV is courtesy of Wayne Pinnell of Haskell & White LLP. Pinnell is one of the new Pink Tie Guys for Komen and he is clearly embracing his role. Be on the lookout for the RV in Orange County the rest of the summer. Tweet when you see it.

Farmers & Merchants Bank gave survivors the spotlight.

Farmers & Merchants Bank, a new Local Presenting Sponsor of the Race, was also on hand in Huntington Beach on July 4. The bank provided an entry in the parade to honor breast cancer survivors, who carried pink parasols. Thank you to Pink Tie Guy Henry Walker for helping Komen raise breast cancer awareness. The bank is offering a “Pink Checking” promotion. If you open a new account at Farmers & Merchants, they will donate $125 to YWCA, a grantee of Komen OC. $125 is  the cost of a mammogram for a local woman in need. www.mypinkchecking.com

If you need to register for the Race, want to know how to form a Team or purchase booth space in the expo, go to www.komenoc.org.

Nutrition and You

How often do you think about what you eat? Is it healthy?  The Komen Orange County Affiliate Education Series: Be Aware & Take Charge of Your Breast Health has an upcoming seminar at Kaiser Permanente, “Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle” presented by Pamela Honsberger, M.D.

You are invited to this free session on Thursday, July 22, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente, Irvine Medical Center, 5th floor, Conference room 2 & 3. To RSVP please email or call: (714) 796-2657/ Cheryl.a.vargo@kp.org

Whether you are a survivor, co-survivor, provider or advocate, this seminar will tell how proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can help keep your body, mind, and spirits strong. There will also be discussion on how nutrition can support breast cancer treatment and manage side effects while providing healthy strategies for maintaining optimal quality of life and well-being.

For information about other seminars that will be offered in the series, go to www.komenoc.org.

To get started on the topic, there is information at the Komen national website. A recent study suggests that regular use of fish oil supplements may reduce the risk of breast cancer.  http://ww5.komen.org/KomenNewsArticle.aspx?id=6442452236

We know our diet affects our health in many ways, but how do meat and fat affect our risk of breast cancer? Find our more at http://ww5.komen.org/Research/KomenPerspectives.aspx by reading the Komen Perspectives article, Getting to the “Meat” of the Matter – How Does Diet Affect Breast Cancer?

Taking It a Step Further

Carla, Mark & Jane Longfellow and Becky Allen.

Timing is everything. Sometimes being the last-on-board turns out to be a good thing. Take Mark Longfellow.

His sister Carla Longfellow started one of their family traditions – volunteering for the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure. Carla first volunteered at the 1996 Race as a Volunteer Captain in the Team tailgate area. Her enthusiasm for the event was contagious, and her mom Jane Longfellow and sister Becky Allen later joined the Race committee as volunteers. Brother Mark was the last to jump on the Longfellow-Race volunteer bandwagon, but he is going gung-ho this year.

All four Longfellows will be volunteering at the Race on September 26. Mark has taken on the big role of Volunteer Captain of Site Setup and Breakdown in the expo. Carla and Becky will be his assistants, riding along on his utility cart to do whatever is needed. Jane will be a volunteer photographer.

Mark has gone one giant step further, setting a fund-raising goal of $10,000 for the Race.

As he says in a letter to friends and family, “I’m known to challenge people to do things on a dare for money. This time I’m taking on the dare myself. If I can raise $10,000 for the Orange County Race for the Cure, I will shave my head. Bald.”

“Both of my grandmothers had breast cancer and that thought alone drives me to help. But even more so than that is watching the smiles on people’s faces as they finish the Race and feel a part of something bigger,” Mark explains. If you want to volunteer at the Race like the Longfellow family, go to www.komenoc.org for a Volunteer Application. If you want to see Mark’s hair-loss video on You Tube later this summer, you can donate to him at www.komenoc.org in the Race section.

The Power of Teamwork

Did you know that about half of all the participants at the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure are part of a Team? In 2009, there were 793 Teams at the Race and they raised $1,698,595.00 in the fight against breast cancer. Teams are fun because you can share the fund raising and planning for Race Day with your fellow workers, friends or anyone you are bonded with.

Team “Think Pink” is a prime example. They created a calendar to raise money for their Team this year – the 16-month Breast Cancer Survivor Calendar — and it goes on sale July 15. They’re also doing an event called “Survivors Under the Stars” on Saturday, July 31. Their goal? Think Pink hopes to recruit 125 members and raise more than $20,000 by this year’s deadline of October 31. The Team was created in 2008 by Huntington Beach resident Gail Ross in honor of a friend’s mother who died of breast cancer. In their first two years  they have donated more than $25,000 to Komen Orange County via their Race Team. They exemplify inspiration and teamwork!

You can read more about Team Think Pink in the Daily Pilot

And get information about their July 31 event http://teamthinkpinkinc.eventbrite.com/

If you are inspired to start your own Team, details are at http://www.komenoc.org under Race for the Cure. You can get in-person details at the Komen office Team Kickoff event on July 29, either at noon or 5:30 p.m. Go Teams!

KOMEN is the Magic Word

Say “Komen” and Get 20% off a swim suit at SwimSpot’s Irvine Spectrum Boutique!

Since June 29, SwimSpot’s Irvine Spectrum Boutique has been hosting 12 days of Celebration and Awareness benefitting the Orange County Affiliate. They kicked off the event last week with Ladies Night at Kimera Restaurant and will finish the promotion with a party at their location on July 10 from 4 to 7pm. Throughout the celebration, SwimSpot is promoting Komen Orange County’s upcoming Race for the Cure and giving all of their customers Breast Health Awareness information.

Until July 10, Swimspot is donating 15% of all sales to Komen Orange County and giving 20% off to anyone who mentions “Komen” at check out.

This new boutique has fantastic designer swimsuits and was recently featured in Glamour magazine as having the bikini that looks good on everyone! Stop by their boutique to show your support for Komen and get a great discount on lines from Hurley, Guess, St. John, Tommy Hilfiger and Luxe by Lisa Vogel.

A Million Reasons to Attend

Cindy Thomsen with Nancy Brinker

Do you enjoy golf? Do you appreciate wine? Do you want to be part of a “million dollar moment”? If any of your answers are yes, we will see you at the Reds, Whites & Greens Charity Golf Classic on July 26 at the Newport Beach Country Club. This will be the 8th annual event and proceeds are expected to put the cumulative total over one million dollars – all benefiting the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The golf classic was started by breast cancer survivor Cindy Thomsen who was first diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33. She loves golf, she loves wine, so she decided to combine her two hobbies into one event. A second bout with breast cancer in 2002 cemented her passion for breast cancer research and education. Having been a very young target for breast cancer, Cindy feels extremely fortunate to have successfully battled the disease twice and credits the improvements in both breast cancer education and diagnostics for her early detection and ultimate recovery.

Cindy chose the Komen Orange County Affiliate as the sole beneficiary of all proceeds from the Reds, Whites & Greens Charity Golf Classic. To date, the event has raised $867,000.

Eric Brinker

We will see you on July 26th, along with Eric Brinker, the son of Komen founder Nancy Brinker and nephew of Susan G. Komen, who will be there to congratulate Cindy.  Go to www.redswhitesgreens.com to sign up to play, to purchase a tee sign or to attend the dinner and auction to celebrate with Cindy and her committee.