The Susan G. Komen Story

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and commitment to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.

Though Susan lost her battle with the disease, her legacy lives on through the work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the organization Nancy started in her honor. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $2 billion since its inception in 1982. Komen’s promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

Across the country, that promise is upheld by a network of 122 local Affiliate offices. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who, like Susan, wants to make a difference.

About Susan G. Komen Sacramento Valley

Susan G. Komen Sacramento Valley was started in 1997 when a group of volunteers came together to host a golf tournament. Through events like the Race for the Cure and Gala for the Cure, we raise dollars for local community-based programs that educate, screen and diagnose women who otherwise could not afford it. Our focus is on making grants for local clinics that treat uninsured and underinsured women. Since it’s inception, Komen Sacramento has awarded over $19 million to local organizations.

Out of every dollar raised, 75 cents stays in the 19 counties served by Susan G. Komen Sacramento Valley. The rest goes towards national breast cancer research. Because of some of the cancer research programs that exist here through the research programs like those at UC Davis, much of that funding also stays local.

We are always looking for new ways to reach the community, boost awareness about breast cancer, and diversify our funding efforts. Some of these community outreach events include the following:

  • Swing for the Cure, sponsored by the Sacramento River Cats, which turns Raley Field pink and raises funds by auctioning off pink player jerseys.
  • Athletes for the Cure, which helps high school and college athletic teams host successful fundraising events at games or tournaments.
  • Komen Connections, an outreach program designed to bring Affiliate supporters together as Ambassadors in outlying regions, including those counties that we share with the Northern Nevada Affiliate.
  • Rally for the Cure, a “tournament in a box” program that provides support to golf courses, tennis clubs and other organizations wishing to raise funds and awareness

Where our money goes:

  • Breast cancer screening and diagnostic programs
  • Breast health education
  • Outreach to outlying areas and at-risk populations

How do we do it?

We operate with the help of the generous people in the Sacramento region.

That includes:

  • Fundraising events and campaigns. Our biggest is Race for the Cure, Komen Sacramento’s largest participatory fundraising event.
  • Hundreds of volunteers who help man our office, organize events, operate Race for the Cure, and spearhead local education initiatives
  • Sponsors and small businesses that help us take part in, organize and cater events
  • Media partners like KCRA/KQCA, Entercom, Andelante Media and others, who give space and air time to our issues
  • Physicians, scientists, politicians and business leaders who advise us and work with us in our missions to access health care for all women, and to highlight the benefits of early detection of breast cancer.

And it doesn’t stop there…

  • Our California Collaborative initiative engages legislators and supports public policy efforts to ensure all women have access to care.
  • Circle of Promise works with churches and other African American organizations to raise awareness about the Komen mission and importance of early detection
  • Lazos que Perduran, an outreach effort for Latina women, will launch in 2013.
  • Volunteers remain our greatest asset! To find out more about volunteer opportunities available for the Race, in our office or other events throughout the region, please click here.

About Our Grants

The majority of our money stays right here in the Sacramento Valley, where needs are serious.

We fund grants to projects that educate, support survivors and offer screening/diagnostic services. But we don’t just award them to anyone; we’re looking for not-for-profit organizations that provide innovative breast health and breast cancer services that are not found elsewhere – ones that directly serve the uninsured and under-insured in the Sacramento Valley. The counties we cover are: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sierra, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba. For more information on applying for a grant, click here.

Want to know more?

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has always been a brand to trust, and we are honored that we ranked number one in a recent Harris Interactive poll as the most valued non-profit brand and the charity people are most likely to donate money to. Additionally, Komen for the Cure ranked second on the 2010 list of the nation’s most trusted charities.