The Komen Northeastern New York (NENY) Affiliate's Albany Race for the Cure® was organized in 1995 by the founding sponsor, the Junior League of Albany. More than 1,000 runners and walkers participated. Over the past 11 years, under the direction of an all-volunteer Board and Race Committee, participation in the Race has grown to nearly 5,000.
Sleep In for the Cure®
In 2004, the Race Committee implemented the Sleep In for the Cure® component of the Race, allowing people who cannot attend the race/walk to show their support. This "event" is very popular, with more than 1,000 people registering to sleep in over the past two years.
In conjunction with the annual Race/Walk, the Komen Northeastern New York Affiliate hosts a luncheon to honor and celebrate local breast cancer survivors. More than 250 people attended this year's event.
The luncheon featured a Coldwater Creek fashion show with survivor models, and entertainment from The Booby Sisters, a group of survivors from Plattsburgh, NY, who combine laughter and compassion in their musical presentation.
The luncheon also serves as the setting for the announcement of the You Can Make a Difference Awards, presented to individuals who have made a difference in the lives of breast cancer survivors.
Third Party Hosted Events
Two years ago, the Affiliate introduced a formal application process to allow third parties to host events and donate proceeds to the Komen NENY Affiliate. An increasing number of organizations are hosting events, including a dinner dance, a bridal fair, and a Sing for the Cure® event.
Some of these events result from existing relationships that members of the Race Committee have with breast cancer survivors and grantees. For example, The College of St. Rose Woman's Basketball Team will host an upcoming game to benefit the Affiliate. Coach Karen Haag, a breast cancer survivor, also organizes Camp Bravehearts, an oncology camp for women that has received several grants from the Komen NENY Affiliate.
Grants Reach Out to Expanded Service Area
Over the past 10 years, the Affiliate has funded 67 grants for breast cancer education, screening and treatment in our service area.
Three years ago, the Affiliate's service area increased in size from five counties around Albany to 11 counties stretching to the Canadian border. The Affiliate has implemented special outreach efforts to provide grants to reach the underserved in this area with education, screening and treatment programs.