Formerly the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Komen's Orange County board President Marica Pendjer and Executive Director Lisa Wolter will help the foundation unveil its new name and will introduce its "promise makers" — Orange County residents who have vowed to help Komen in its search for a cure.
"The common organization has grown tremendously over the last 25 years and is really the leading catalyst in the breast cancer movement," Wolter said. "The change in our name is to provide people with a laser focus on what we're all about — we're Susan G. Komen for the cure."
Over the last 25 years, the national organization has raised about $1 billion in research, participating in major drug and treatment advances, Wolter said.
This year, the Orange County Komen organization will give out more than $1 million in grants — a record for the organization — to local organizations.
The Share Our Selves medical clinic will be one recipient, with $18,000 going toward the "women's initiative" project, which will help the clinic give free breast screening services to women who may otherwise not have been able to afford them because they are uninsured or underinsured, something Wolter called a "gap" in breast healthcare.
"It's so important for every woman over the age of 40 to get an annual mammogram, but mammograms in Orange County cost somewhere between $100 and $150 if you're paying out of pocket," she said. "Where that might not seem like a lot to some people, for others it becomes a luxury — it becomes a choice between buying the groceries and getting a mammogram."
On Friday, the Costa Mesa-based chapter will announce one of its biggest fundraising events, the Race for the Cure, scheduled for September in Newport Beach.
"We anticipate the race for the cure continuing to grow," Wolter said. "In 2006 it grew by over a half a million dollars because of people's participation and generosity, and we think that says people want to be a part of that fight, they want to be a part of the cure."
The Race for the Cure grossed $2.8 million last year, and event organizers plan on exceeding that number this year. Seventy-five percent of that money went to the services the foundation supports.
But this year, the organization is starting something new. In May, the organization will have a Pink Tie Ball in Irvine, what organizer and Newport resident Peggy Goldwater Clay said will not be "your mother's black tie ball."
"I have been fortunate: I haven't been diagnosed, I don't have breast cancer, but I do have friends that have and some that have not made it," Goldwater Clay said. "As I get older, I want the younger generation to have a cure and not have to go through what a lot of women have had to go through."
For more information or to donate, call the Costa Mesa office of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure at (714) 957-9157.