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The Strength Behind the Pink

Photo Credit- OCC School of Photography

Photo Credit- OCC School of Photography

Last weekend marked our 22nd annual Race for the Cure and we wish we could thank each participant individually for their contribution to making the day such a success.

More than 25,000 attendees headed to Fashion Island on Sunday, including Ali Vincent, season five winner of “The Biggest Loser” and host of “Live Big with Ali Vincent,” to celebrate survivors and remember loved ones who have fought breast cancer. With the support of our Orange County community behind us, we raised more than $2 million, and counting, for local breast health services and education as well as groundbreaking global breast cancer research.

As always, our more than 1,200 survivors were the heart and soul behind the event. Their march from the survivor tent to the Survivor Tribute Ceremony was supported not only by their strength, but the compassion from the hundreds of family members and friends who came out to support them. A sea of pink, these women and men sat on the stairs of the Pacific Life Building, and listened to this year’s guest speakers and breast cancer survivors, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, Ashlea Wright and Georganna Hall-Wadsack, who shared their journeys of how they conquered breast cancer.

Teamland was buzzing with excitement – and ample amounts of coffee – all morning. The Wellness Expo, which lasted until noon, showcased products, local businesses and programs available in Orange County.

In the morning, there were two 5Ks and a One-Mile Fun Run so everyone could walk or run at their own pace and start at their own time. We were touched to see how many people crowded the streets of each race, all there with a single goal in mind, to eradicate breast cancer.

The generous donations of participants and our sponsors: The Allergan Foundation, Chevron, Orange County Register, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, ABC7, Pacific Life, ADP, Fashion Island, MartiniInTheMorning.com, Spa Gregorie’s, 100.3FM The Sound and Yoplait ensure that we will be able to fund local initiatives that will help save Orange County lives over the next year, including the Komen Tissue Bank coming to Orange County in November.

Komen Orange County is still collecting donations now through the end of October in support of the Race for the Cure. Visit www.komenoc.org/race or text KOMENOC to 50555 to contribute.

Upcoming Events:

October 1 – Our Breast Health Education Series continues at The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital. The topic being covered is “The Day in the Life of  Cancer Patient in 2025 and will cover the breakthroughs on the horizon in cancer treatment.

Team Brutus, ‘Brave and Bold’ for a Cure

Orange County is a long way from Ohio, and you won’t find many references to Brutus, the mascot of the Ohio State University varsity teams. But one team participating in the annual Komen Race for the Cure has deep roots in Ohio and a particular fondness for a mascot named Brutus.

Team Brutus is one of hundreds of teams getting ready to lace up their sneakers to raise money and awareness on Sunday, Sept, 22, in Newport Beach. Christie Brockhage, a well-known marketing professional in OC, tells us what her team is all about.

Christie and Laura Stofko met their freshman year at Ohio State University and spent their years at OSU building a foundation for a friendship that would last a lifetime. Ironically, after graduation, both women ended up living and working in Atlanta. After a few years, Christie left and settled in Orange County, when she received a call from Laura, who, as fate would have it, was also moving to Orange County with her husband and three daughters! The two faithful OSU fans shared a friendship that spanned decades and thousands of miles, and developed a bond that no distance could touch.

Christie Brockhage & Laura Stofko on race day

Christie Brockhage & Laura Stofko on race day

Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 38 years old. She fought hard for 10 years with the support of her loving husband, three daughters and wonderful friends like Christie. More than three years ago, in the midst of her battle with cancer, Christie and Laura decided to start a Komen Race for the Cure team. Team Brutus was born out of the desire to increase awareness of breast cancer and to celebrate Laura’s life. She saw her team cross the finish line that first year, but unfortunately lost the battle before last year’s race. Team Brutus celebrated her spirit, and will continue to honor her memory at this year’s race and in years to come. Like the OSU fight song encourages, Team Brutus will be participating in the race with the theme “Warriors for the Cure, Brave and Bold,” inspired by their team captain Laura.

Most people involved in Komen Orange County, and in the annual Race for the Cure, have been touched in some way by breast cancer. Some teams have members that have fought, or are currently fighting, the disease; others are inspired to start a team in honor of someone near and dear who lost a battle. Some teams are inspired by the mission to save lives and educate, and through the course of inspiring events and amazing stories shared in our community, are touched on a deeper level.

Team Brutus

Team Brutus

Christie Brockhage’s team is just one example of a group rallying around and honoring the memory of a beloved friend and family member. We know that there are many other touching stories that inspire teams to walk and run. We would like the Komen OC community to share stories of why they race, who they race for and what keeps them inspired throughout race season. Share your story in the comments section below and read about what, or who, inspires others to Race for the Cure.

To Team, or Not to Team, That is the Question

A few members of Chapman University's first year team, The Argyros Panthers.

A few members of Chapman University’s first year team, The Argyros Panthers.

There’s no wrong way to support Komen Orange County’s mission to educate and save lives, but there are choices when it comes to participating in the 22nd Annual Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure. Whether you choose to join a team, race as an individual, or volunteer on race day you will be contributing to saving lives. This year we are excited to have a number of passionate first-year participants, like Chapman University’s Argyros Panthers team spearheaded by their MBA Alumni Association and in honor of two faculty members who have battled breast cancer. For those who don’t already know, we’re happy to shed some light on what is expected of a team, how to start one, and how to meet specific team goals!

1.      Pick a team captain. Your team captain should be someone who is committed to the Komen Orange County mission of increasing education and saving lives, and to making your team a success! They should be organized and able to inspire participation through leading by example, which means having the ability to answer questions and encourage the team to be active in fundraising, leading up to the race, and participating on race day!

2.      Come up with a creative team name and register. Whether you want to be funny, inspiring or representative of your company’s participation during the race make sure you pick a team name that your team members and donors will remember. Chapman University is keeping their school spirit alive by naming their team the Chapman Argyros Panthers and friend and family teams often come up with names to honor the person who inspired their team to Race for the Cure. Or come up with a team name that will inspire a chuckle when others walk by your tent in Teamland. Once your team is named, you can register on the Komen Orange County website.

3.      Fundraise, Fundraise, Fundraise! The Race for a Cure is a moving event that inspires hope and action from a whole community through its participants, but it’s important to keep in mind that the goal of the race is not only to inspire, but also to put that inspiration to work by raising funds for community programs that help women and men and save lives. Komen Orange County offers mammograms, diagnosis and treatment programs to people who would otherwise be ineligible to receive such care. By fundraising with a team, every single team participant is directly affecting the treatment and diagnosis available to members in our community who are fighting breast cancer. Many teams, like Ware Malcomb Warriors host a number of fundraising events leading up to the race, which they promote on their Facebook and Twitter pages. For other fundraising tips and ideas, or to see if your team is a top fundraiser visit the Komen OC Race for the Cure website.

4.      Set Goals. At Komen Orange County we challenge every participant to raise $125, the cost of one mammogram, but every bit of participation helps. Each team should set clear goals, whether they are monetary or participatory, the team participants should know what is expected of them, so create goals that will get participants excited!

5.      Teamland. Teamland is a great place for your team to meet before the race, grab some breakfast and gather support for each other at the start of race day. It’s also a place to celebrate or remember the people that have inspired your team to raise and gain emotional momentum that will last the whole day! Reserve your spot in Teamland by September 6.

6.      Race Day.  Many teams show their spirit by coordinating their gear, having shirts made, or just picking some fun accessories that are sure to stand out. Team watching on race day is part of the fun and a lot of teams flex their creative muscle when coming up with their race day attire! There are three different race times for teams to participate; we encourage everyone to participate in whichever race works best for them. Throughout the day there are a number of other events recognizing survivors, or remembering loved ones no longer with us.

Race Day Participants show their spirit at the 2012 Race

Race Day Participants show their spirit at the 2012 Race

We would love to hear from our established or new teams in the comments section. Share with us what works for you leading up to the race or any information you think 2013 teams should know!

Check our detailed race day schedule for all the events happening on September 22 and we look forward to seeing everyone then!

Upcoming Events:

September 22nd – The 22nd annual Komen Orange County Race for the Cure will be held at Fashion Island. If you haven’t registered yet, click here to join a team, start your own, or just support the race! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the starting line!

The Damsels of Destruction Demolition Derby Crashes Cars in Support of Breast Health and Early Detection

The donation tent was set up at the front gate before and after the derby.

The donation tent was set up at the front gate before and after the derby.

The crushing of cars met cheers from thousands of spectators at the OC Fair’s Action Sports Arena during the ninth annual Damsels of Destruction Demolition Derby. The OC Damsels took aim and smashed into each other, putting on an exciting show for a nearly sold-out audience. The event raised more than $9,000, benefitting Komen Orange County and local breast health services.

The evening began with a message from Rebecca Hultquist, an eight-year breast cancer survivor and member of Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure Team MDK. Rebecca shared her battle with breast cancer, emphasizing the importance of early detection and Komen Orange County’s mission to serve women and save lives. She concluded the night with a floral presentation to the winner, Talia Feige, along with the nine Damsels. Hultquist, who will serve as a hostess at the survivor tent for the 22nd annual Race for the Cure on September 22, is a frequent presence at Komen Orange County events. Along with her family, both natural and adopted through Komen, she cheered with the crowd as the smoke cleared and Talia’s bright green and pink car ran over the others and succeeded to be the last car… rolling.

survivor, Rebecca Hultquist hands winner, Talia Feige, a congratulatory bouquet.

Survivor, Rebecca Hultquist hands winner, Talia Feige, a congratulatory bouquet.

The night was action-packed, punctuated with dirt flying from the tires, the crushing of metal on metal and with the crowd roaring at the edge of their seats. Everyone in the stands, on the ground and behind the wheels had fun – all for a great cause. We would like to thank each of the daring Damsels: Windy Jones, Shannan Childs, Talia Feige, Tiffany Ortega, Jill Henderson, Jessica Hughes, Rhonda Palmer, Denise Childers, Misti Laverde and Leigh Hansen. We hope you had as much fun driving as everyone in the crowd did watching!

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Survivor Rebecca Hultquist poses with the Damsels after the race

Survivor Rebecca Hultquist poses with the Damsels after the race

Upcoming Events:

September 22nd – The 22nd annual Komen Orange County Race for the Cure will be held at Fashion Island. If you haven’t registered yet, click here to join a team, start your own, or just support the race! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the starting line!

August 24th Join us for our last Team Captain Kickoff before the race! Come meet other team captains, learn effective ways to fundraise, and about all the race day logistics!

Team Captain Kickoffs Bring Team Captains, Old and New, Together for Inspiration


On Tuesday, we hosted another Team Captain Kickoff event and the turnout mimicked our community: strong. We were happy to welcome captains from a number of our Race teams to our OC office for a fun, informative planning session that was rife with tips, information on the programs we fund, suggestions for fundraising and race day logistics from successful Komen OC teams from past races.

The information was interesting and abundant, but our team captains and supporters gave our mission heart. In keeping with the theme Inspired, our team captains in attendance shared their own inspirations for participating in the race and how their lives have been affected by breast cancer and touched by Komen Orange County. There were tears, laughter and support for each other — and these team captain kickoffs speak to what amazing participants we have.

The captains were introduced to our T-shirt design for this year’s race, and were provided with a number of pamphlets and materials to distribute to their team members. Our veteran captains were eager to share tips on what has worked for them in the past, and our freshman captains were enthusiastic to take it all in and expressed any concerns or questions they had.

Here are a few great fundraising tips shared by our Race captains:

  • Host a community car wash to raise awareness and support for your race team
  • Post Komen logos with the name of race participants and hang them throughout your office to let everyone know who is involved with the race
  •  Bake Sales can include all ages, can be done at work or socially and serve as a delicious way to increase awareness for your team the race (and gives you another reason to run or walk that 5K on Sept 22!)
  • Dress Down for Donation Day at work has worked for corporate teams in the past. They’ve charged $5 for the comfort of a dress down day and donated the money to the team’s funds        
  • Reach out to your friends on your favorite social network by posting a link on your wall that will bring friends directly to your personal fundraising page where they can leave an inspiring message and donations

We would love to hear what has worked for you or what you are planning for this year, in the comments section of this post. Together we can make this year’s Race event a huge success to support Komen’s mission to serve people and save lives!

Upcoming Events

August 5th – The 11th annual Red White and Greens Charity Golf Classic participants will be held at Aliso Viejo Country Club. Participants will take part in breakfast, a scramble golf tournament, wine and food tastings every 3 holes, auctions that cover a variety of prizes, and a chance to spend the day with the wonderful Komen OC community.

August 6th – As a continuation of our Breast Health Education Series, there will be a presentation on “Demystifying Breast Cancer” by a dynamic team of cancer experts will discuss known risk factors for breast cancer, and provide screening recommendations and risk reduction strategies at St Judes Centers for Rehabilitation and Wellness in Brea.

Inspired to Race for the Cure

Last week, we held our Race for the Cure committee meeting where we talked about event logistics and creative ways to ensure the success of this signature event. At Komen Orange County, we’re always so inspired by the countless number of volunteers who not only donate their time and energy but share our passion toward the fight against breast cancer. That’s why we think this year’s Race theme, “Inspired” is so fitting and we’re inspired by the thousands of women, men and children who come out to celebrate a day that honors those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Thank you to all who have been inspired to Race with us this year. If you haven’t registered for this year’s Race for the Cure on Sunday, Sept. 22, we encourage you to do so today. Join us in support of Komen’s mission to serve people and save lives.


Komen 2013 Race for the Cure Committee


Upcoming Events:

July 23rd – We’ll have our next Team Captain Kickoff at 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Komen Orange County office, 3191-A Airport Loop Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Learn more about Susan G. Komen Orange County, the upcoming Race for the Cure and fundraising tips while mingling with other team captains.

July 24th – Komen OC in partnership with MemorialCare Medical Group and Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center will host a tissue bank information session from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Learn about the Komen tissue bank drive’s local efforts in Orange County on Nov. 2. This will be the first event of its kind west of the Mississippi!

Celebrating Komen OC’s Survivors



Thank you to all our family, friends and supporters who celebrated our survivors by walking with Susan G. Komen Orange County at the 2013 Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade.

Nearly 30 survivors, co-survivor family and friends and friends of Komen Orange County were in attendance, painting the street pink in honor of Komen OC’s mission of serving people and saving lives. For most, the color combination of pink with red, white and blue may seem like an unusual pairing, but both represent an emblem of freedom. For those shining bright in pink, the color signified a celebration that recognized survivors and the striving liberation from breast cancer.

In the march celebrating independence,  breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and supporters of Komen OC rallied to walk for breast cancer, which affects one in eight women in her lifetime.

From all of us at Komen OC, we give our deepest thanks to all those who participated.

Upcoming events:

July 10th – Join us at our Komen Education Series at UC Irvine from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The series is free and open to the public and covers breast health care topics including prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship.

Don’t forget! Registration is now open Komen Orange County’s Race for the Cure.

Register today!

Register Early for the 2013 Race for the Cure & SAVE

The 22nd annual Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure will be here before we know it! Each year, the streets around Fashion Island in Newport Beach transform into seas of pink as nearly 25,000 participants come out to show their support and Race for the Cure. This year’s event will be on Sunday, September 22 and we promise a morning filled with excitement, hope, inspiration and courage.

Take advantage of early bird registration now through June 30 and save $5! After June 30, registration will increase to $35.

We all know someone who has been touched by breast cancer; whether it’s a mother, a sister, a wife, or maybe even you. The theme of this year’s race is “INSPIRED.” Whether you run, walk or stroll, be inspired this year to form a team of friends, family and co-workers and join us on our mission of serving people and saving lives.


Seventy five percent of the funds raised will help support local breast health outreach, mammography for uninsured women and men in need, and support for local women while in cancer treatment. The remaining 25 percent goes directly into the Komen Global Research Fund to energize science to find the cure.

Register today!