The statistics are staggering. About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime (that’s 12%!). In 2010 alone, more than 250,000 new cases were diagnosed. And although death rates have been decreasing since 1990, nearly 40,000 women died of breast cancer in 2010. I know few people whose lives haven’t been touched by the disease in some way – mothers, wives, daughters, aunts, nieces, sisters, or personal experiences, the impact of breast cancer in this country has been devastating.
Better news? From 1999 to 2006, breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. decreased by about 2% per year. And in 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. That better news is largely due to the energy, courage, and spirit of dedicated, determined groups of volunteers and organizers.
Two local innovative fundraisers are underway. The YMCA’s Breast Cancer Research Center (BCRC) has just launched its 100 Women, 100 Ways, 100 Days Project, and the Blue Point Grill is hosting the 12th Annual Oyster Bowl benefitting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Central and South Jersey Affiliate (Komen for the Cure).
BCRC’s 100 Women, 100 Ways, 100 Days Project is challenging 100 women (…or men… or children) to each raise $100 in 100 days to support programs and services for local women affected by breast cancer. Beginning last Friday, January 28, it runs until Sunday, May 8 (Mother’s Day!), and aims to raise $10,000. Have fun and be creative with fundraising efforts: host a party (Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day, luncheon, cocktails), set up a sale of handmade jewelry or scarves, or a simple garage or bake sale, organize an activity like a read-a-thon or talent show, or provide a service (shovel snow, babysit, walk dogs). Best of all, 100% of the funds raised will help the BCRC continue to provide local women affected by breast cancer with FREE support groups, counseling, peer support, wigs and prostheses, mind/body wellness classes, financial assistance, lectures and teleconferences, and more. For more information, visit www.ywcaprinceton.org/100women, call 609.497.2100, or email email@example.com.
The 12th Annual Oyster Bowl, New Jersey’s annual oyster eating contest and fundraiser benefitting Komen for the Cure, kicks off on Super Bowl Sunday, February 6, from 11 am to 2 pm. Spectators gather in front of the Blue Point Grill (corner of Nassau and Pine Streets in Princeton) to watch individual and corporate team contestants devour all the oysters they can eat in a two-minute period, competing for a an all-inclusive trip for two to the Caribbean. The fundraiser also features lunch at the Blue Point Grill, kids’ activities, and a raffle with fabulous prizes such as a flat screen TV, golf foursome at Springdale Country Club, a Chef Tasting for Four at Elements, and a get-away at the Nassau Inn. For more information on the event, visit www.oysterbowlnj.com, or call the Blue Point Grill at 609.921.1211.
Cary Sullivan is a freelance writer, editorial consultant, and community volunteer. She enjoyed a variety of editorial roles during her 25 years in corporate publishing, and holds a degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She moved to Hopewell from New York City with her husband and son nine years ago.