Cancer is one of those rare words that elicits a visceral, gut-wrenching, reaction from anyone who hears it.
Despite decades of relentless research and experimentation, the disease...in all its myriad manifestations...is still among the most prolific killers in American society.
One group of local athletes is standing up to cancer, though.
On Tuesday afternoon at Honesdale Golf Club, 30 talented linksters participated in the 2012 “Rally for the Cure.” This event is sponsored each summer by the Susan G. Komen Foundation and seeks to raise funds specifically for the fight against breast cancer.
Sue Rickard and Priscilla “Pip” Tagle acted as co-chairs for this year’s edition of the event.
“We are one of the original groups,” Sue said. “The Honesdale Golf Club women have been doing a Rally for 17 years. We got in right at the beginning and we’ve never missed a year.”
All of the money raised... and to date the HGC women have generated more than $17,000...goes to the Komen Foundation. However, one golfer made an additional donation that will remain in Wayne County to help fight this insidious disease on the local level.
“Patty Tamblyn made a generous donation in memory of Jane Case,” Sue said. “Jane was one of our longtime members who died of cancer this past year and Patty wanted to do something nice in her memory.”
On the Course
The backdrop for Tuesday’s Rally was the 2012 Women’s Member/Member Tournament.
Thirty of HGC’s top female players hit the course early and battled throughout the afternoon in search of that elusive club championship.
In addition, one lucky linkster walked off with a brand new putter, the reward for getting her ball closest to the pin at the infamous Rock Hole.
Pip Tagle was the winner of this year’s grand prize. Pip used a 7-iron at the par-3, 100-yard 13th hole and came within 7’7” of the cup.
“I was thrilled,” she said. “And not just to win the prize, but to participate in the Rally. I personally have many family members and friends who’ve been affected by cancer and it makes me feel good to think I’m doing a little something to help in the fight.”
HGC members each donated $20, which is sent directly to the Komen Foundation.
And, while raising money for the battle against breast cancer is the focus of the day, there’s also the small matter of on-course competition: the 2012 Member/Member Tournament.
Last summer, the team of Kathy Haser & Bonnie Simons finished first and saw their names etched on the Louise Wall Memorial Trophy. This time around, Jennifer Randolph & Joanne Smith copped the crown.
This dynamic links duo carved up the lush HGC layout, carding a sizzling score of 59.
By the Numbers
According to statistics provided to HGC from the Komen Foundation, there appears to be a genuine ray of hope in this long-raging war.
“In the 30 years since we began, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer has risen from 74% to 98%,” said Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO. “We must encourage women to take action now and Rally is really helping us do that.”
The Susan G. Komen ‘Rally for the Cure’ had its genesis in 1996. Over the course of the next 16 years, tremendous amounts of money have been generated.
“In 2011, we were able to invest $75 million in research,” said Elizabeth Thompson, President of the foundation. “Another $93 million was distributed in local communities, providing more than 700,000 women with free screenings and 100,000 with treatment assistance.”
It’s figures like these that encourage women in every walk of life to keep fighting.
“Some of the people I know who had cancer passed away far too young,” Pip said. “How can anyone say they aren’t affected? I think in some way or another we’re all affected and we have to do anything we can to help find a cure.”