DETROIT — Approximately 300 top supporters gathered Sept. 16 to hear the accomplishments of the 2015 Komen Detroit Race for the Cure®, locally presented by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, held in May. As a result of this year’s Race, total net proceeds were more than $1.1 million: $918,436 was awarded to four local breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs serving Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties; and an additional $275,830 went to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award and Research Grant Program to support innovative breast cancer research.
The announcement was made during the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure® Friends for the Cure® and Teams Celebration, which recognizes Race teams and individuals for their outstanding fundraising. In addition to honoring top fundraisers, other event highlights included a panel of breast cancer experts from Karmanos and Wayne State University School of Medicine who shared the latest updates and answered questions from the audience; and the Susan G. Komen “The Promise of One” award was presented to Maureen (Mo) Keenan Meldrum, former chair of the Komen Detroit Race who retired earlier this year.
More than 25,000 participated in the 2015 Komen Detroit Race held in May at Detroit’s Chene Park. The Komen Detroit Race is a top tier Race event in Komen Race series and among 150 Komen Races held around the world. The Karmanos Cancer Institute has been the local presenting sponsor of the Komen Detroit Race since the Race began in Detroit in 1992. Since then, the Komen Detroit Race had raised and invested more than $28 million to help end breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised help support local breast cancer programs and 25 percent funds national breast cancer research. Globally, Susan G. Komen has invested more than $2.6 billion in research and life-saving breast cancer community programs.
The 25th Annual Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure will be held in spring 2016.
“We are honored to recognize and celebrate all those whose dedication and commitment help us in our work to end breast cancer,” said Katrina Studvent, chair of the Komen Detroit Race for the Cure. “This year’s fundraising results are a testament of the outstanding support of numerous Race teams and participants, companies, organizations and faith-based groups, and more than 100 generous Race sponsors.
“Together, we are helping more women and men survive breast cancer, including those with metastatic disease where there is currently no cure – our forever fighters. We continue to be inspired and grateful for all you do and ask that you continue your support to help end breast cancer forever.”
Brian Christy, co-chair for the Komen Detroit Race shared some compelling findings from the Komen Detroit needs assessment, which helps determine how Race funds are allocated.
“We have come a long way since our fist Detroit Race in 1992 but our work is far from over,” said Christy. “Our latest needs assessment on our Detroit service area (representing Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties) showed a significantly higher incidence of late-stage diagnoses and deaths from breast cancer compared to the rest of Michigan. Your support of our annual Race helps close the gap on these disparities.”
2015 Komen Detroit-Funded Local Breast Cancer Programs
Based on the results of a community needs assessment, a panel of community experts invested this year’s Race proceeds in the following programs:
- ACCESS: BREAST CANCER OUTREACH PROJECT – Awarded $100,004
Hiam Hamade, MPH, RN, BSN, Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services
The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) will continue its breast cancer outreach while providing education and screening services for low-income Arab American women who reside in southeastern Michigan. Through the program, women will receive comprehensive one-on-one health education through in-home visits and have access to a free mammogram and clinical breast exam.
- EXTEND AND ENHANCE: PROVIDING BCCCP SERVICES TO MORE WOMEN IN WAYNE COUNTY – Awarded $313,991
Robert Burack, M.D., MPH, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine
The Wayne County Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) assists uninsured and underinsured women in the tri-county region to have full access to breast cancer screening, follow-up and treatment. The program includes community outreach and breast cancer education, breast screening, follow-up and treatment at no out-of-pocket cost to uninsured women. This grant will also cover out-of-pocket costs for women with high-deductible health insurance and treatment for women diagnosed with breast cancer but ineligible for Medicaid.
- HELPING HANDS: BREAST DIAGNOSTIC AND LIMITED TREATMENT SERVICES TO LOW-INCOME/UNINSURED PATIENTS AT THE ALEXANDER J. WALT BREAST CENTER – Awarded $333,880
Laura Zubeck, RN, BSN, MBA/HCA, Karmanos Cancer Institute
The Helping Hands grant covers diagnostics, co-pay, high deductibles and limited treatment for uninsured/underinsured women and men who are not eligible for other support. Karmanos staff evaluates all requests for financial assistance and provides educational materials, system navigation, follow-up guidance and help with needs, such as transportation, prescriptions and other needs.
- ACHIEVING RACIAL EQUITY IN BREAST CANCER CARE ACCESS: WITNESS PROJECT DETROIT and VODI PARTNERSHIP – Awarded $170,561
Hayley Thompson, Ph.D., Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University
To address racial disparities in breast cancer, the Witness Project of Detroit and Voices of Detroit Initiative (VODI) will form a partnership to increase awareness of breast cancer knowledge and screening, dispel breast cancer myths, increase timely and complete mammography screening through patient navigation and reduction of barriers to care and ensuring access to the full cancer continuum.
Recognizing Outstanding Accomplishments and Fundraising
Susan G. Komen recognizes exceptional individuals with “The Promise of One” award, which was presented to Maureen (Mo) Keenan Meldrum of Lathrup Village, former chair of the Komen Detroit Race.
Keenan Meldrum served as the Komen Detroit Race Chair since 2001. She herself is a breast cancer survivor and has been since 1992, the year the Race began in Detroit. Under her guidance, the Komen Detroit Race has become a day of extreme importance in the City of Detroit and State of Michigan. Her determination, persistence and persuasiveness grew Race participation and revenue significantly during her tenure: exceeding $1M for 10 consecutive years, increasing total Race revenue by over $21M; initiating many Race traditions that continue to engage participants today; and she helped engage more than 300,000 participants in the annual Race since 2002. Her accomplishments helped make the Komen Detroit Race one of the top tier events in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Series. For her leadership and commitment to help end breast cancer and her ability to unite a community to significantly impact lives for the better, Keenan Meldrum was awarded “The Promise of One” award.
The Sept. 16 celebration also recognized outstanding fundraising efforts through the Friends for the Cure® program. The event acknowledges Race teams of 40 or more, teams that raised more than $5,000 and individuals who raised more than $1,000. Michael Meldrum, volunteer chair of Friends for the Cure®, along with co-chairs Shari Franko and Delaney Erikson, has been actively involved in the program, which started 19 years ago. Since then, the program has raised $11.5 million and now accounts for nearly half of the total Komen Detroit revenue.
Sixty-seven Platinum Club members raised at least $2,000 each. Twenty-two Promise Club members raised $5,000 or more. Of the top ten individual fundraisers, the latter seven of this impressive group together raised $58,961.
The top three fundraisers for 2015 are:
- 1st place winner is Dorene Williams of Bloomfield Hills, who raised $28,100 this year. Williams was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in 2003. She has won top fundraiser six times since 2008. In the past five years, she has raised $155,894.
- 2nd place winner is Lynda Jablonski, of Sterling Heights, who raised $12,410 this year. She said she continues to fundraise so that her grandchildren can, one day, live in a world without breast cancer. She has been a member of the Platinum Clun every year since its inception – 12 years.
- 3rd place winner is Audrey Sim, M.D., of St. Clair Shores, who raised $10.905 this year Dr. Sim has been fundraising for nearly a decade and during that time she has raised more than $121,000. She is captain of the team Julie’s Angels, named for her sister Julie Grace Sim who lost her five-year battle with breast cancer in 2005.
Race Teams with the highest overall fundraising and highest percentage of team member participation were also recognized with News Balance Fundraising Award incentives. Teams include:
- Pink Squirrels, raising $10,443
- Gallagher-Kaiser, raising $16,261
- Alissa’s Angels, raising $13,763
- Kelly Services Pink Crusaders, raising $23,692
- Hewlett Packard, raising $27,719, and
- Ford Motor Company, raising $67,865
Over the past 23 years, Ford Motor Company’s local fundraising efforts have totaled more than $677,000, including funds raised from its Warriors in Pink apparel.
Ford is a national partner of the Komen Race Series and has dedicated more than $128 million to the breast cancer fight. over the past 20 years.
Source: Karmanos Cancer Institute