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OC event series celebrates most successful year

(Dec. 14, 2012) The annual Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series, which, in 2012 provided eight activities designed to draw attention to breast cancer while raising money for the American Cancer Society, had another record-breaking year.

Judy Schoellkopf, Nancy Dofflemyer and other members of the Executive Women’s Golf Association established the Classic in 1996. Since its inception, the series has raised nearly $1.5 million for the organization.

In 2011, the Pink Ribbon Classic brought in approximately $186,000 (net). It was the seventh consecutive year that more than $100,000 was donated to the organization.

During a wrap-up meeting last week, it was announced that $269,659 had been raised during 2012 Classic events.

“It was significantly higher this year. I think the series was absolutely fantastic,” said Laura Martin, senior community manager for the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. “There was such a dynamic committee that was totally committed and went above and beyond for the cause. This was my first time working with this group, and I’m so impressed with all the work they did.”

The 2012 Classic kicked off Aug. 16, with the 19th annual Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open, a three-day, ladies-only fishing tournament. In 2012, 108 boats registered and 499 females participated. The tournament garnered $62,500 for the American Cancer Society. The total donated by the Harman family through the tournament and other events over the past five years is $312,000. Since the Open’s inception, the American Cancer Society has received $560,000.

Although the Open takes place in August, the other Pink Ribbon Classic events are spread out between September and October, known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with one activity in November.

Approximately 95 women took part in a luncheon, card game and party on Oct. 3, at Lighthouse Sound in Bishopville, and $6,070 was collected.

On Oct. 5, about 70 ladies participated in a tennis tournament at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach, Del., raising nearly $6,000 for the cause.

The next activity was the mah jongg tournament, held Oct. 18, at the Golden Sands Club on 109th Street in Ocean City. In excess of $2,900 was garnered during the event, which drew about 60 ladies.

The next day, 103 ladies competed in the 16th annual golf tournament, presented by the Eastern Shore Chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, at the Ocean City Golf Club. More than $27,500 was generated, including $6,500 in in-kind donations.

“We were excited to have over 50 sponsors and 75 dedication flags in honor and in memory of those touched by cancer, and the putting green at Ocean City Golf Club was lined in bright pink dedication flags to remind all of us what we are fighting for,” said Schoellkopf, co-chair of event with Dofflemyer.

On Oct. 20, more than 1,000 walkers and about 280 runners hit the Boardwalk for Ocean City’s second annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k event.

“As chairperson for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, I am again overwhelmed by the community’s generosity and support of this event. We had more people, more teams and well exceeded our goal [of $125,000] by raising $159,777 this year,” said race Chairwoman Beverly Furst. “As part of the Pink Ribbon Classic, we were able to raise more money for research and programs and awareness for the American Cancer Society.”

The final Pink Ribbon Classic event — Jammin’ Out Cancer party and concert — took place Nov. 2, at Seacrets on 49th Street. Approximately 150 people attended, and about $10,500 was raised.

“Although we felt attendance for Jammin’ was down slightly from last year, we still raised more than last year. With [Hurricane] Sandy hitting earlier in the week, we weren’t sure what to expect, but people still came out and rallied,” said event organizer Amy Katz. “Overall, the Pink Ribbon Classic had an amazing year with all events being amazingly successful and raising over $250,000.”

Pink Ribbon merchandise was also sold during each event, with proceeds benefiting the organization.

“The community was supportive and the enthusiasm carried through the entire series,” Martin said. “I’m super impressed by the generosity of the community. The people in Worcester County really rally around causes.”

For 15 years, Carol Withers, owner of A Perfect Face Day Spa, has organized an October fundraiser in honor of her mother, Elizabeth Chaney, who lost her battle against breast cancer. This year’s winner, Dede Smith of Ocean City, received numerous prizes, including gift certificates to area restaurants and retail shops, salon products, jewelry, designer handbag, wine, a two-night hotel stay and a three-hour limo service. A total of $4,670 was raised for the American Cancer Society.

While some of the money raised through the Pink Ribbon Classic will be earmarked for national breast cancer research, the remainder will stay on the Eastern Shore, where it will be used for education projects, patient programs and services. Some of those include the Look Good Feel Better program, which teaches patients how to cope with the cosmetic side-effects of treatment; Reach to Recovery, a one-on-one support visitation program by trained breast cancer survivors for new patients; Road to Recovery, which offers patients transportation to and from medical facilities for cancer treatments; nd a 24-hour/seven-day information center with oncology nurses or social workers. All of these services are free.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization and the largest source of cancer research funds in the country, next to the U.S. government.

For information about the Pink Ribbon Classic, visit www.facebook.com/pinkribbonclassic.

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