Organizers of the 11th annual Pink Ribbon Golf Classic are attempting to raise at least $150,000 this year for local breast cancer research and related services.
To reach that goal, the nonprofit kicked off its efforts Oct. 4 with a Tee Off Cocktail Party at Marsh Landing, which featured a silent auction fundraiser, food and cocktails.
The series of fundraising events continues with the area’s only all-women charity golf tournament at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club Oct. 12 that will include over 100 female participants. Taking place from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the day of the tournament will feature a light breakfast, a luncheon and a speaker and short video package detailing the importance of Pink Ribbon’s fundraising efforts.
The organization’s events will conclude with a Nov. 16 trunk show and check presentation at 6 p.m. at Underwood’s Jewelers, where 10 percent of all sales of David Yurman Jewelry will be donated to the nonprofit (Other local businesses will be donating to the cause.). Representatives from both Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville and Baptist Medical Center Beaches will attend the check presentation to announce the total funds raised by Pink Ribbon this year.
To date, Pink Ribbon has raised over $1,200,000, with event proceeds distributed each year to Mayo and Baptist Beaches.
"We are trying to give these two institutions in Jacksonville the extra money they can use to offer cutting-edge treatments and make some research breakthroughs," said Sara Strom, a volunteer who leads the organization’s publicity efforts.
Pink Ribbon’s website notes that past contributions to Baptist Medical Center Beaches have helped purchase state-of-the-art equipment, such as a SenoClaire breast tomosynthesis with three-dimensional imaging technology, an x-ray pathology unit, a digital mammography unit and more.
Meanwhile, Pink Ribbon has supported Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville’s Breast Cancer Genome Guided Therapy Study, the research of Sarah A. McLaughlin, M.D., Edith A. Perez, M.D. and the purchase of a biopsy system.
Strom explained that a group of ladies at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club started Pink Ribbon after their friends were diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I think everybody's motivation is a little personal,” Strom said. “Part of it is you have friends who have survived cancer, and you have friends who have not survived. I had a very dear friend who died back in 2011; she was diagnosed 11 years before with a very aggressive form of breast cancer, and Mayo Clinic kept her alive for 11 years.”
Strom said Mayo did “wonderful work” for her friend, who lived long enough to see her child graduate from high school, then graduate from college and get married.
“Lots of people have stories like that, – their mothers, their sisters, their dear friends, – so it's very personal and very inspiring,” she added.
For more information on the Pink Ribbon Golf Classic, including how to register or donate, visit www.pinkribbonjax.org.