Banding together with L.A. Chargers Travis Benjamin

As we prepare for the 26th annual Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure® on September 24th at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, we reflect on our loved ones, whose lives, as well as our own, have been affected by breast cancer. Whether we were diagnosed with the disease or we know someone who was, the news is life changing.

Travis Benjamin, wide receiver and return specialist for the Los Angeles Chargers is no stranger to the devastating news: he has received it on three different occasions. First, when he was in high school, he learned his grandmother had breast cancer. Later, during his college years, his mother and aunt were both diagnosed with the disease. Fortunately, all three women were able to overcome the disease and are cancer free today! By banding together, he and his family conquered many hardships, coming out even stronger than before.

This year, Benjamin is banding with Komen Orange County to raise awareness about breast cancer and encourage supporters to raise funds. We’re very proud to announce that Benjamin is the Honorary Race Chair for the September 24th Orange County Race for the Cure.

Travis Benjamin

As Honorary Race Chair, Benjamin agreed to shoot a public service announcement (PSA) at one of the Chargers’ training camps in Costa Mesa to promote the Orange County Race for the Cure and to remind us all how important it is to unite with our loved ones, survivors, supporters and volunteers in the fight against this disease. Stay tuned as we will share the PSA on our social media in the upcoming weeks.

The Los Angeles Chargers are long-time supporters of Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer. In past years, they have partnered with the San Diego affiliate, opening the Qualcomm Stadium to mobile mammography screenings onsite at games.

Recently, the Chargers and the National Football League have teamed up in the campaign, “A Crucial Catch,” focusing on the importance of regular breast cancer screenings. During the month of October, players, coaches and referees will sport pink game apparel to raise awareness.

This year, the Chargers will support Komen Orange County and the Orange County Race for the Cure by creating team “Chargers for the Cure.” Those who register on this team will receive a commemorative Komen/Chargers wristband. Anyone who raises $125 or more will be entered to win a pair of tickets to one of the Chargers’ 2017 home games. For more information or to join Team Chargers, visit www.komenoc.org/chargers.

Lisa Wolter and Travis Benjamin

Komen Orange County Executive Director, Lisa Wolter, and Travis Benjamin at the Chargers training camp.

Benjamin invites YOU to band together and be MORE THAN PINK in the fight again breast cancer by registering for the Orange County Race for the Cure on September 24th.  This year’s event features two 5K Run/Walks (7:15 a.m. for early risers, and 9:45 a.m.), a One-Mile Fun Walk for families and kids, a Breast Cancer Survivors Tribute, and a Wellness Expo. Register online today and donate $26 to receive a limited edition I AM MORE THAN PINK medal. For more information visit www.komenoc.org/race.

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What’s YOUR reason to Race for the Cure?

We all have a reason to Race for the Cure®. On any given day in Orange County, more than five women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one will die from the disease. Chances are, one of these women is a family member, a friend, or even a colleague of yours. Indeed, breast cancer does not discriminate: It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race and ethnic affiliation, religion, income, and even gender!

Judy’s reason to Race for the Cure is her parents. They were both diagnosed with cancer just 15 days apart during the Summer of 2015, her father with a nasal carcinoma and her mother with breast cancer. Feeling powerless, Judy witnessed them both undergoing treatments and enduring the challenges that come with it. She witnessed the first physical changes in her mom: hair first, then nails, and finally, loss of appetite. She also witnessed her mom’s resilience, her bravery and her resolution while making one of the toughest decisions in her life: getting a single mastectomy.

Judy's dad, mom and her son Jacob at the 2016 Komen OC Race for the Cure

Judy’s dad, mom and her son Jacob at the 2016 Komen OC Race for the Cure

Today, Judy’s parents are cancer free! Since 2015, it has become her family’s tradition to gather at the Race for the Cure as Team Mila. Their reason? Having experienced cancer, they understand that “even the strongest person couldn’t do it alone.” Breast cancer survivors and their families need a support system and Race for the Cure is one way our community can come together and provide this for them.

We invite YOU to be MORE THAN PINK and join us on September 24th at the annual Race for the Cure, to celebrate survivors and pay tribute to those who have lost the battle against breast cancer. Your presence and your engagement means a lot to them. It shows that you care, and it gives them hope. Hope that a world without breast cancer is possible.

Since its inception in 1991, through events like the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure®, Komen OC has invested more than $38 million in community breast health programs and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. This fiscal year alone, Komen OC assisted more than 16,000 uninsured and underserved Orange County residents with their breast health care needs. Our bold goal is to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent in the next decade. We have no doubt that with your support, we can achieve it!

Whether you’re a runner or a walker, there is something for everyone at Race for the Cure, including two 5K Run/Walks (7:15 a.m. for early risers, and 9:45 a.m.), a One-Mile Fun Walk for families and kids, a Breast Cancer Survivors Tribute, and a Wellness Expo. If you can’t join us in person, you can show support by opting for virtual participation when registering online!

Don’t miss our early bird registration until July 31st! Additionally, if you register today and donate $26, you will receive a limited edition I AM MORE THAN PINK medal. If you’d like to form a team, contact Danielle Hamilton at 714-957-9157 ext. 26 or via email at dhamilton@komenoc.org for useful tips and recommendations.  For more information, visit komenoc.org/race .

Men in Pink

Komen Orange County may not have Agent J, K and Frank the Pug on its side to pursue its mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer forever, but it can certainly count on the support of Orange County finest men, the Pink Tie Guys.

For the past 11 years, Komen Orange County has recognized a new class of seven Pink Tie Guys each year, an exclusive group of male advocates committed to the local fight against breast cancer. The 2017-2018 class was honored at Komen Orange County’s annual Pink Tie Ball, hosted at Huntington Beach’s Paséa on May 13. The celebration themed “On the Edge,” raised more than $635,000 to fund the next generation of research and local initiatives to achieve the organization’s Bold Goal, to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.

Each Pink Tie Guy was presented with a pink tie donated by Macy’s, symbolic of their commitment to raise awareness within the business community in support of Komen’s mission.

photo of the 2017-18 class of Pink Tie Guys

From left to right: Ken Paramo, William Sanderson, Mark Rhee, David Moatazedi, Denis Kalscheur, Michael Ricks accepting for Robert Braithwaite, Ray Baird. Photo credit: Antje Woolum

Here is your chance to learn more about these local philanthropists:

  • Mark Rhee was the 2017 Pink Tie Ball co-chair, with his wife Dr. Jessica Rhee, Komen OC Board member and oncologist at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and UC Irvine Health. Mark’s mother is a breast cancer survivor, and sadly, his mother-in-law lost her battle against breast cancer several years ago. Mark has spent 20+ years in senior finance business operations and development roles in different industries and now is an entrepreneur who owns and operates businesses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, Los Angeles and Hawaii.
  • Ray Baird, Founding Partner of Branding Business, has been providing pro bono marketing and communication consulting to Komen Orange County for the past year. Ray’s wife is a two-time breast cancer survivor who has been cancer free for 15+ years. His personal experience brought him a deeper understanding of the struggles a woman faces from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment, to reconstruction and beyond.
  • Robert Braithwaite, President & CEO of Hoag Hospital, has been instrumental in providing grants to the Komen Fund providing breast cancer diagnostic procedures for uninsured low-income women. Hoag Hospital’s Community Benefits Program and Hoag Hospital Foundation also have been very supportive of our mobile mammography initiative.
  • Denis Kalscheur, Vice Chairman of Aviation Capital Group, earned his title of Pink Tie Guy by being a Pink Tie Ball Co-chair last year. He used every ounce of business leverage that he possessed to bring the worldwide aviation industry on board to support Komen Orange County’s work.
  • David Moatazedi, Senior Vice President of US Medical Aesthetics at Allergan, recently attended the funeral for his 37-year-old colleague who lost her battle with breast cancer, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old son. This was a wakeup call for David who decided to support Komen in its bold goal.
  • Ken Paramo is Brand Manager at Korbel Sparkling Wines for Southern California. Ken and his company, Brown-Forman, have generously donated wine and spirits to KomenOC events, including the past 11 Pink Tie Balls!
  • William Sanderson, Corporate Executive Vice President and CFO at Golden State Foods, recently organized a creative corporate fundraiser. For each member of the management team who wore a pink tie to work, the company donated to Susan G. Komen. The event was a great success and raised a total of $2,400.

Thanks to the support of these gentlemen, and the 70 Pink tie Guys who’ve preceded them, Komen Orange County’s Pink Tie Ball has raised more than $3.6 million over the past decade, with 75 percent funding local programs focused on the breast health needs within the community and 25 percent given to global breast cancer research. Hats off to our very own Men in Pink!

On Our Quest for the Cure, Pink Tie Ball Raises Record-Breaking Funds

Susan G. Komen Orange County’s seventh annual Pink Tie Ball was a huge success! More than 400 attended the lakeside gala, which was held last Saturday, May 11 at Lake Mission Viejo.

Women in gorgeous flowing gowns and men in sharp suits and tuxes walked along a path of floating candles and entered the gala beneath a pink shooting star archway.  As servers offered hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, guests mingled and placed bids on silent auction items.

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More than 200 handmade stars were hung for the “Stars of Hope” opportunity drawing. For a donation of $100, guests could choose a star created by survivors and friends of Komen Orange County, and were given a chance to win one of three prizes from sponsor Black, Starr & Frost, including a grand prize of a set of 18-karat white gold constellation star earrings featuring 0.65 carats of round brilliant white and black diamonds (valued at $6,000).

As the sun began to set, pink lights cast a glow around the edges of the venue. At dinner, Pink Tie Ball co-chair and breast cancer survivor Estela Riela shared her touching story of survival and explained that the event’s theme “Quest,” which promotes the search for a cure, was inspired by the lyrics of “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha.”

Estela and Sam Riela 2-AndyArt Photography

TV newsman and returning Pink Tie Guy Ed Arnold introduced the 2013 Pink Tie Guys before asking the previous classes to join them in front of the stage. This year’s Pink Tie Guys are:

Hector Infante, Dennis Parks, Sam Riela, Scott Sherman, Dr. Melvin Silverstein (Ed Arnold middle)-AndyArt Photography

The Pink Tie Ball raised $385,000 through live and silent auctions, sponsorships, ticket sales and revenue opportunities throughout the evening. Seventy five percent of the funds raised will go back into the community for breast health education, services and mammograms for underserved and uninsured men and women. The remaining 25 percent goes towards ground breaking global research.

Thank you to all who attended the 2013 Pink Tie Ball and helped contribute to our mission of serving women and saving lives. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page over the next few days for photos from the event!

$125 Fundraising Challenge

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Every dollar counts when fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

The average cost of a Komen-funded mammogram is $125. If you asked five friends to donate $25, the money you raise could provide a mammogram for an underserved woman in Orange County.

Komen OC has set up the “125 Fundraising Challenge” encouraging Race participants to raise at least $125 each. Our goal this year is to raise $3 million for vital breast health services and to help us succeed we encourage your participation in the $125 Fundraising Challenge.

As we celebrate the lives of those who have battled breast cancer, we must remember the importance of fundraising to support education programs and scientific research toward the fight against breast cancer.

Register now and start raising money toward your goal of $125.

The race is on Sunday, September 23. There is still plenty of time to make a difference!

The 2012 Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure Registration is Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2012 Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, taking place at Fashion Island in Newport Beach on Saturday, Sept. 23. Every year, thousands of breast cancer survivors and supporters come together to participate in the 5K run and walk which raises funds to provide breast cancer treatment, prevention programs and further breast cancer research for Orange County women in need.

This year, we’ve introduced a new runner’s start time for the first 5K at 7:15 a.m. Other 5K run/walk times are at 7:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., with a one-mile fun walk at 8 a.m.

Early bird registration is available for a discounted rate of $30 and fees will go up June 30. In hopes of surpassing our fundraising goals, we are encouraging all participants to take part in the 125 Fundraising Challenge, a call-to-action for all of those who register to raise at least $125—the cost of a Komen-funded mammogram.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.komenoc.org/race.

More updates on the 2012 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure to come so stay tuned!