Pink Ribbon Classic Continues To Evolve With Same Goal

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OCEAN CITY – The Pink Ribbon Classic is off to a good start toward meeting its goal — setting a new donation record while helping to educate and raise awareness on breast cancer.

In 1996, Ocean City residents Nancy Dofflemyer and Judy Johnson Schoellkopf, along with members of the Executive Women’s Gold Association, created the Pink Ribbon Classic.

Since its inception the series of events, which includes a golf tournament, the Poor Girl’s Open fishing tournament in August, a card party, a mahjong tournament, a tennis tournament, a concert and scrapbooking event has raised more than $1 million for the ACS.

“It started out as a golf tournament and every year more and more events have been added,” Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk/Run Chair Beverly Furst said. “It has evolved over the 16 years from being a one-time Pink Ribbon event to multi-Pink Ribbon events.”

In 2010, the Pink Ribbon Classic series brought in about $114,000 ($106,000 net) to hit the $1 million mark and it was the sixth consecutive year that more than $100,000 was donated to the organization. In 2011, aided by the new Making Strides run/walk style event, the event series brought in about $209,518.

“I think what makes our Pink Ribbon Classic so unique is that there is something for everybody to do, and that is what has helped keep its longevity too,” Furst said.

All month the 15th Annual Pamper For Charity event at A Perfect Face Day Spa will be taking place and the winner will be drawn on Nov. 1. Owner Carol Withers has organized this special event in honor of her mother, Elizabeth Chaney, who passed away from breast cancer in 1995. Raffle tickets are $5 each or six for $25 and the raffle includes dozens of gift certificates to local business as well as numerous gifts and products. Call 800-476-5524 to get your raffle ticket.

On Oct. 3, Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicked off with a Luncheon, Card and Game party at Lighthouse Sound in Bishopville and on Oct. 5 a Tennis Tournament took place at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, a Mah Jongg Tourney will take place at the Golden Sands on 109th Street followed by a Golf Tournament at Ocean City Golf Club on Oct. 19 and the Making Strides 5K Walk/Run starting at the Inlet on Oct. 20.

The events will conclude on Nov. 2 at the Jammin’ Out Cancer at Seacrets on 49th Street that features some of the best live music around.

Registration for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk/Run event will continue until 8:30 a.m. on the day of the race. The run starts at 9 a.m. and the walk at 9:30 a.m.

Furst explained that in the beginning she started out as a volunteer with the Pink Ribbon Classic and ran a small community walk/run donating the proceeds to the ACS until two years ago her event joined the ACS nationwide event, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

There were 892 registrants in the walk/run last year but at least 900 people participated in some way, and almost $90,000 was raised in that event alone.

“Last year I was just blown away,” Furst said.

“The interesting thing to note about Making Strides in Ocean City is it was one of the most successful first year community-based Making Strides event in the nation,” ACS Senior Community Manager Laura Martin added.

This year the goal in the amount of funds raised through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk/Run is set at $125,000. As of Monday morning, almost $33,000 had been raised with a number of registered teams still having to report their fundraising amount. For example, Kirby’s Red Onion softball team is holding onto about $4,000 to donate.

As far as the 2012 Pink Ribbon Classic series of events, a goal has been set to raise $200,000. Furst and Martin believe that goal will easily be reached, especially since the Poor Girl Open has already brought in $62,000.

Martin said by the end of this calendar year donations will be cut off to begin next year’s donations. At that time, the total amount raised will be announced.

“We will be announcing successes along the way,” she said. “A good deal of support comes from this community meaning Worcester County and Wicomico and so on but it does come from far and wide too.”

Martin pointed out that the lead fundraising team is the same as last year, Wonder Women, from Easton who have raised $7,550 so far this year.

Martin concluded that volunteers are what make the Pink Ribbon Classic so successful.

“They have their feet on the ground, they are talking to people all of the time, they are networking,” she said. “We welcome anyone who wants to become involved next year as well.”

The money donated to the ACS aid women diagnosed with cancer as well as helps to fund research and awareness.

Funding goes towards helping people understand what screening tests they need and the steps to take to protect themselves from breast cancer by developing prevention and early detection guidelines that are the industry standard.

The ACS also provides transportation to and from treatment, free lodging for those having to travel far for treatment, workshops that teach beauty techniques to female cancer patients to help deal with appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment, emotional support programs that connect newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors, cancer education classes., an online cancer survivors support network, as well as information from a trained cancer information specialist is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-227-2345.

For more information on Pink Ribbon Classic in Ocean City visit www.facebook.com/pinkribbonclassic, and for more information on the ACS visit www.cancer.org.

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