Started in November of 2002, Southwest Florida is one of the newest Komen Affiliates. The Affiliate has recently celebrated its one-year birthday. By the end of the first fiscal year, (at only 4 months old) the Affiliate had raised $5,000, and participated in its first education event, the Senior Expo, which was held for two days and reached over five thousand seniors.
Today, at over one year of age, the Affiliate has a beautiful office and furniture (donated by the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center), and computers (donated by Cleveland Clinic) in Bonita Springs, Florida. Although the Affiliate does not have a Web site as of yet, they can be reached at 1-239-980-PINK.
Rally for a Cure®
Southwest Florida remains an area of sunshine and beauty and golfers love it. The Rally for a Cure® is the Affiliate's largest fundraiser as the majority of the funds raised have been through Rally events. These ladies (and men) turn a day of golfing into an event that includes education for breast cancer and fundraising.
March 24, 2004 marked the First Annual Grant Recipient Luncheon for the Southwest Florida Affiliate. More than 80 women and men witnessed the presentation of six grants. After showing the "For the Cure" video, the Affiliate took the opportunity to acknowledge all those coping with breast cancer first-hand.
In her message, Affiliate President Dara Leichter talked about the advances made in breast cancer due to Susan G. Komen for the Cure's research.
Dr. Susanna Beshai, Grant Chair, presented each recipient organization with their check along with a letter signed by State Senator Burt Saunders. Each recipient organization had the opportunity to give a brief explanation of how their grant money will be used to further the mission of eradicating breast cancer as a life threatening disease. After the luncheon, many donors acknowledged how wonderful it was to see exactly where and how their donations are being spent in Lee and Collier Counties. The entire atmosphere of this event left all humbled, with a feeling of tremendous pride.
The Affiliate has big plans for future fundraisers including a Pink Tie Ball, perhaps in February 2005. At this time, the priority is to build a strong foundation on which to establish the Southwest Florida Affiliate so that it will be and remain THE breast cancer resource for the community.