Susan G. Komen is the largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government, while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $800 million in research and provided more than $1.6 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psycho social support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.
The Komen Tidewater Affiliate will celebrate seventeen years of service in 2016. In 1998, a core group of three volunteers had the vision for an affiliate in the southeastern Virginia area and received affiliate designation from Susan G. Komen in 1999. The first Komen Tidewater Race for the Cure® was held in October 2000 and, with approximately 3,400 participants, was the fifth largest inaugural race in Komen history. In the first year, the affiliate awarded $99,502 in grants and sent $40,500 to the Komen Award and Research Program.
Over the years, Komen Tidewater has added more fundraising events in addition to Race for the Cure®, like Pink-o De Mayo, Hoops for the Cure (a partnership with the Lady Monarchs Women’s Basketball team from Old Dominion University), Pink in the Rink (partnered by the Norfolk Admirals Hockey Team), Bat for the Cure, (partnered with the Norfolk Tides baseball team) and many more! The Komen Tidewater affiliate has raised over $5.5 million through fiscal year end March 31, 2015 and contributed over $1.4 million to the Komen Award and Research Program.
Funds raised on behalf of the Affiliate from 2000 until 2015 have provided over $5.5 million in the form of community grants, to nonprofit organizations, hospitals, health departments and universities that provide breast cancer/breast health services people in need in the 22 counties of Southeastern Virginia that comprise the Tidewater Affiliate. Additionally, the Komen Tidewater has contributed over $1.8 million to breast cancer research. Besides raising money for community grants and research, Komen Tidewater performs valuable outreach and education to the community through a number of programs. Worship in Pink is a Komen program aimed at raising breast health awareness in the Black/African-American community. The Komen Tidewater Survivor Advisory Council provides knowledgeable advocates to assist in raising awareness of the importance of early detection throughout the Komen Tidewater service area.
Komen Tidewater has an active Board of Directors, hundreds of volunteers helping at events and in the office, and actively raising funds through a wide variety of events. The affiliate also has an active speaker’s bureau, providing breast health education presentations to large and small groups of all sizes.