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Breast Cancer Awareness Month events
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Photo courtesy of SEMINOLE HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Sales from the limited edition collectible Pinktober Hard Rock pins help fund breast cancer research.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease and provide greater access to services.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness about the importance of screening and the early detection of breast cancer. About one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during her life.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer throughout the year. Following is a list of Tampa Bay area fundraisers, programs and events promoting awareness and raising funds to support the fight against breast cancer.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events are a celebration of survivorship and an occasion to express hope and the shared determination to make this breast cancer’s last century.

It is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation. The network enlists nearly 300 communities annually to participate in the fight.

Making Strides of Pinellas will host its annual event Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m., at Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

This will be a noncompetitive, 3.2-mile walk that celebrates breast cancer survivors and saves lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.

“Because of our advocacy, Florida developed two cancer research programs over the past decade,” the group states on its Facebook page.

For information, call Patty Riddle at 727-812-7025, email patty.riddle@cancer.org or visit www.m­aking­strid­eswal­k.org­/Pine­llas.

In anticipation of the walk, Making Strides of Pinellas also will host Bank Day on Monday, Oct. 14. Supporters may stop by the American Cancer Society to drop off any cash/check donations their team has raised, pick up T-shirts for registered team members that have raised $100 or more and get last minute logistics information for the event.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Hillsborough County will host its annual event Saturday, Oct. 19, 9:30 a.m., at Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa.

Organizers expect 17,000 walkers to participate in this year’s walk.

“Every Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is an incredible and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about what we can do to reduce our breast cancer risk, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services and access to mammograms for women who need them,” the organization’s website states. “The progress we’re making because of Making Strides supporters is nothing short of remarkable.”

For more information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, visit makin­gstri­des.a­cseve­nts.o­rg.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day

Tampa Bay’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day fundraising event will run Friday through Sunday, Oct. 25-27.

The opening ceremony will kick off the three-day event on Friday morning at Sand Key Park, 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. Crew members will arrive at 5:30 a.m., followed by walkers between 6 and 7 a.m. The opening ceremony will start at 7:30 a.m. with community stretching.

Public cheering stations will be situated along the route. Cheering station dates and locations will be posted approximately two weeks prior to the event.

Spectators may encourage walkers by creating banners, holding up signs, bringing some music and spreading the love. On some portions of the route, spectators may find areas that are deemed “quiet zones” which will be indicated by signage on the route.

There will be a closing ceremony Sunday, Oct. 27, 5 p.m., at Spa Beach Park, 615 Second Ave., St. Petersburg.

After three days and 60 miles, participants will take a final and incredibly emotional victory walk into the closing ceremony.

Each participant is required to raise at least $2,300 to participate. The money raised helps fund community education and outreach programs in the community.

For information or to register as a participant, visit www.t­he3da­y.org.

Brides Against Breast Cancer

Brides Against Breast Cancer is a nonprofit organization serving people affected by cancer.

“Brides Against Breast Cancer contributes to programs for cancer patients, their families and caregivers,” according to the group’s website.

“Our outreach and educational efforts during our ‘Nationwide Tour of Gowns’ bridal shows around the country help ensure that people impacted by cancer have the resources and information they need in their battle with cancer,” the site states.

Brides Against Breast Cancer will sponsor Dia de Los Muertos, an adults-only Halloween comedy show and concert, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 6 to 9 p.m., at Nova 535, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. The show will feature Alex Reymundo at 6:45 p.m. followed by the Ron White Comedy Show and Charity Auction at 7 p.m. and a concert featuring Margo Rey beginning at 8:15 p.m. Tickets range from $75 to $200. Attendees will be able to stay for Novaween 7, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come in costume.

Visit www.b­rides­again­stbre­astca­ncer.­org.

The Brides Against Breast Cancer Charity Wedding Gown Sale & Bridal Show will be Sunday, Nov. 3, at Nova 535.

A VIP unveiling of the gowns reception will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is a $25 tax-deductible donation. General admission cost, from 1 to 7 p.m., is a $5 donation.

Guests will have an opportunity to browse through hundreds of new and lovingly worn designer and couture wedding gowns, all at an incredible savings. Gowns prices range from $99 to $3,900, and are available in all styles and in sizes 4 to 18. Attendees also will meet some of the area’s top wedding vendors and enter exciting giveaways – all while supporting a great cause.

The VIP reception will feature entertainment and giveaways. Attendees will be among the very first in the St. Petersburg market to browse through, try on and purchase selections from the large inventory of gowns, before general admission begins.

Two lucky brides attending the VIP reception will receive an exciting giveaway. The first raffle item will be a gift certificate for two wedding bands from JVL Jewelry. The second raffle item will be a travel package gift from VIP Vacations.

The organization is currently seeking volunteers to help facilitate this event.

Registration is necessary to reserve a volunteer time slot. Volunteer duties will be assigned upon check-in. There are a wide variety of ways in which volunteers, both male and female, can help out. Some of the volunteer positions include greeters, registration, personal shoppers, dressing room assistants, go back runners, fill-ins, setup and breakdown.

For tickets, information and volunteer registration, visit www.b­rides­again­stbre­astca­ncer.­org.

Brides Against Breast Cancer will contribute $2 million this year to help people impacted by cancer. The organization supports numerous free programs such as children’s programs, support groups, exercise and nutrition classes. Other programs include Camp No Worries, Cancer Education Series, and Ask the Doctor.

Pretty in Pink Tennis Tournament

The Pretty in Pink Tennis Tournament is set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, at the Countryside Country Club, 3001 Countryside Blvd., Clearwater.

The event will feature women’s and mixed doubles as well as a silent auction raffle and goodie bag items for players. The tournament format will be compass draw, with eight game pro-set no-ad scoring, limited to 16 teams per division.

Friday’s check-in and breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. followed by women’s doubles play beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch will be served from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Saturday’s check-in and breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. followed by women’s and mixed doubles beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon. The silent auction will conclude at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a post tournament party at 4 p.m.

Single entry fee is $75. A ladies player package is available for $125 and an all-access player package is $175. Sponsorship opportunities, ranging from $250 to $2,500, also are available.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase throughout the tournament. The raffle drawing will take place during the event party following Saturday’s play.

All proceeds will benefit the Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center. Proceeds will go toward the Mammography Voucher Program at the not-for-profit hospitals of Morton Plant Mease. The not-for-profit hospitals of Morton Plant Mease provide screening, diagnostic and treatment for women through the MVP. Through this program, women have access to needed services close to home. According to Morton Plant Mease, each year, nearly 2,000 educational contacts, 900 mammograms and clinical breast exams are conducted on uninsured and underinsured women in Pinellas County. These efforts have resulted in the diagnoses of breast cancer in more than 25 women with treatment and care implemented in a timely manner. Case management for each client includes annual reminders, assistance in completion of referral form, enrollment in the program and scheduling of all appointments.

For information and to register for the tournament, visit www.p­retty­inpin­ktenn­is.co­m.

Streak for a Cure

The fifth annual Streak for a Cure will host a kick-off party Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Eddies Bar and Grill, 1283 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin.

There will be food, drinks, games and prizes. The evening will serve as a kick-off event for this year’s Streak for a Cure at Hair Factor Salon & Day Spa, 504 Skinner Blvd., Dunedin.

Supporters may visit the salon anytime during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to purchase pink hair highlights. The highlights are done with Urban Shock Color Craze. Cost is $20 per highlight. It’s a temporary hair color lasting six to 10 shampoos.

Hair Factor also will offer pink clip-in hairpieces for $25.

All proceeds benefit the Mammography Voucher Program at Morton Plant Mease.

For information, call 727-733-1181.

Pink and White Ball

Men of US19 and B.L.A.Q. will host the Pink and White Ball on Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m., in the Margarete Heye Great Room at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.

The fundraising event will feature a banquet dinner, music and dancing. There will be a special performance by jazz guitarist TFOXX.

TFOXX – born Willie J. Thompson III in 1957 – is a St. Petersburg native. He studied trumpet with music instructor Robert Harris and music director Samuel Robinson throughout grade school. Upon entering high school he studied jazz guitar with Gary Syker and has been playing professionally for 39 years with two CD projects to his credit.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Moffitt Cancer Center. Tickets are $65 a person.

For information and tickets, call Renea at 727-557-8635 or Darry at 727-459-3653.

Crack Up Cancer

The seventh annual Crack up Cancer comedy benefit will spark laughter Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., at the Tampa Improv, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., C112, Tampa. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. This year’s lineup will showcase five great comedians, including Tim Pulnik, Al Romas, Tim Wilkins, Dean Napolitano, and Rahn Hortman.

Tickets are $20 a person in advance and $25 at the door. The proceeds from the event will benefit the Moffitt Cancer Center and All Children’s Hospital through local 501c3 Cure on Wheels.

As in other years, there will be a raffle. Tickets will be available from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. Valid ID is required. Attendees must be 18 or older to enter, and 21 or older to drink. For tickets and information, visit www.i­mprov­tampa­.com.

Fort Knox Golf Tournament

The third annual Fort Knox Breast Cancer Awareness Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, Oct. 19, at Seminole Lake Country Club, 6100 Augusta Blvd. All proceeds from the tournament benefit Susan Cheek Needler Breast Center at Morton Plant Mease.

The event will kick off with a pre-tournament party with buffet, drinks, auction and live entertainment on Friday, Oct. 18, at Fort Knox Bar on the Beach, 17850 Gulf Blvd., Redington Shores.

Saturday’s tournament will have a scramble and shotgun start at 1 p.m. Participants will enjoy 18 holes of championship golf set amongst native Florida landscaping and scenic views of Long Bayou. Cost is $85 per golfer through Oct. 1. After Oct. 1, cost increases to $95. For sponsorship opportunities, call 727-397-2553 or email fortknoxsportsbar@yahoo.com.

Seminole Hard Rock

Dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk, set for Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Team members also will participate in the walk. Hard Rock’s commitment to breast cancer awareness and research continues throughout October with its Pinktober campaign. This marks the 14th year of Hard Rock International’s support and the sixth year for SHRHC’s efforts.

Monies raised from the noncompetitive 5K walk fund groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat and cure breast cancer; ensure access to mammograms for women who need them; and provide free resources and support to the one in two newly diagnosed women who turn to the society for help and support, including transportation and lodging during treatment.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa joined the American Cancer Society in 2006 with a team of walkers for the event. Since then, the company has raised more than $50,000 for the American Cancer Society. Last year, the casino was one of the top two fundraising teams and had more than 300 walkers.

“As a global leader in the entertainment industry, we are proud to lend our resources as part of Hard Rock International’s breast cancer research and awareness campaign to educate the local Tampa community about this deadly disease,” said John Fontana in a press release. Fontana is president of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. “Our month-long charitable effort is designed to engage guests, celebrate survivors, raise awareness and drive funds toward research for the advancement of defenses and treatments for breast cancer.”

Through their 2012 Pinktober efforts, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino donated nearly $65,000 to help fund research for prevention and a cure for breast cancer. This year, they hope to raise even more funds.

Hard Rock will donate proceeds from the sale of special limited edition Pinktober merchandise to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Caron Keating Foundation and select local charities worldwide. The special collection items will be available Oct. 1-31.

The resort will donate 25 percent of the proceeds from its “Get into Bed” Pinktober “Pink Sheets” guest room bookings to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Guests can request to stay in the limited availability “Pink Sheets” rooms at no additional cost. Guests also will receive a complimentary commemorative Hard Rock pin. The select guestrooms will be supplied with special collectible Pinktober bathrobes that can be purchased in the Seminole Hard Rock Retail Store, with a portion of the proceeds donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Additionally, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be donating 100 percent of the retail purchase price of its limited edition collectible Pinktober Hard Rock pins ($12), and 15 percent of the retail purchase price of its ladies pink T-shirts ($26); pink-hued guitar-embossed “Sleep Like A Rock” bedding sheet sets (queen $95, king $105); pillow cases (queen $50, king $60); scarf ($18); bracelet $(18); and pink robe ($80) to the cause.

To further direct attention to Pinktober’s charitable efforts, SHRHC will showcase color-changing lights designed to bathe both the middle of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel tower sides and the main casino floor in pink hues. Special “Pink-tini” cocktails will be available for purchase in the casino’s center and lobby bars throughout October with partial proceeds also donated.

Breast Cancer Seminar

Breast Cancer: Diagnosis to Reconstruction will be presented Thursday, Oct. 10, 6 to 7 p.m., in the Birchwood Conference Room at St. Anthony’s Hospital, 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. This informative and interactive panel event will feature several physician experts. Discussion topics will include the latest breast cancer screening guidelines, diagnostic testing and the most advanced surgical options available for treatment. Attendees will learn about all the breast reconstruction options available. For information and to register for the class, visit www.m­pmhea­lth.c­om.

My Hope Chest to unveil ribbon

My Hope Chest, the only nonprofit organization in the nation that offers assistance in obtaining breast reconstruction surgery for the uninsured and underinsured, will unveil the first official Breast Reconstruction Awareness Ribbon to the public on Monday, Oct. 14.

In preparation for October and the second annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, endorsed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, My Hope Chest will debut this original awareness ribbon as a means to spotlight issues of uninsured and under-insured breast cancer survivors.

“The colors of this unique breast reconstruction ribbon transition and transform, just like survivors,” said Alisa Savoretti in a press release. Savoretti is the founder of My Hope Chest.

The official Breast Reconstruction Awareness ribbon turns from pink, the original color of breast cancer, to white known as the “light” or the power of healing. The white then blends into yellow – the color of hope, sunshine and new beginnings.

It is no secret that pink ribbons have been associated with breast cancer awareness, education and research for decades. However, the pink ribbon has overlooked the anguish of many who have undergone mastectomies with no sight of breast reconstruction due to lack of health insurance or financial means. In 2010, it is estimated that more than 22,000 uninsured patients had undergone lifesaving mastectomy procedures with many left maimed and disfigured.

“There is a huge population of underserved breast cancer survivors living with physical and emotional scars that are a constant reminder of the disease,” said Savoretti. “As a result, they are unable to heal completely and move past their cancer journey.”

Despite the support that hundreds of breast cancer organizations offer to survivors around the country, there is a lack of advocacy and funding for those who are left without reconstruction surgery as an option.

“I feel that too many organizations focus on the moot point of ‘awareness’ and not enough on the men and women surviving the disease everyday still unable to attain this final step of treatment and closure they seek,” said Savoretti.

For more information on My Hope Chest, call 727-488-0320 or visit www.m­yhope­chest­.org.

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