From left to right: Peggy Suggs,
board president, and Cindy Nick,
volunteer, at the Tyler Affiliate
Brand Roll Out party in January 2007
The Tyler Affiliate was founded on a promise similar to the one between Nancy and Susan. Anne Owens had a good friend who was dying of breast cancer and asked Anne to try to do something about this disease. Anne had been to the Komen Fort Worth Race for the Cure® and decided to contact Susan G. Komen for the Cure regarding the possibility of Tyler having an Affiliate. At the same time, Freda Harder, a teacher at one of the Tyler high schools, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in trying to gain more information about the disease, also contacted Komen. This was the beginning of the start of the Tyler Affiliate.
Founded in 1999, we heldour first Race on May 8, 1999, on the brick streets of the beautiful andhistoric Azalea district. At first we worked out of garages andbacks of cars, and during Race week, borrowed conference rooms. In 2003, a breast cancer survivor and her husband gave us office space with free rent and utilities. After a little remodeling, painting and furnishing, we now have a great space with a conference room, office, storage area and front lobby/office.
Komen Tyler Race for the Cure
was held on Mother's Day weekend
in the beautiful downtown historic
Azalea district of Tyler. The race
included over 5,300 participants
and 300 volunteers.
From 2,500 participants at our first Race in 1999 to 5,300 participants and 300 volunteers at our 2007 Race, our growth gives us continuing reason to be excited about all of the programs we are now able to grant. Until December 2006, we relied solely on volunteers to meet the needs of the Affiliate for everything from the race to health fairs and speakers. With the addition of a part-time executive assistant, we hope to meet more of our goals and show the community that we are so much more than just a Race.
Our priority continues to be raising awareness of early detection through education, clinical breast exams, mammograms and breast self exams. Working with physicians, one of our projects is to provide a beautiful breast cancer treatment handbook— free of charge— to every person diagnosed with breast cancer. These handbooks are in both English and Spanish.
Each year we have a special luncheon to recognize all of our breast cancer survivors and their guests. Between 250 and 300 attendees enjoy door prizes, education tables and a "pink" boutique.
This year we also participated with the Gladewater Rodeo Association in a Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night. Rodeo attendance on Pink Night increased by more than 40 percent, and it was great fun. Other money-raising activities include a roping contest that benefits our Affiliate as well as bowling and golf.
We will celebrate our tenth year as a Komen Affiliate in 2008, and we are planning to have a tenth year bash! And the planning goes on.