It’s a homily with all the tread worn off it, but the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic long ago took it as gospel.
Records are made to be broken?
Darn right they are.
And so again this year the Classic exceeded its previous best, raising $1,083,629 – an all-time high in the 21st year of the event. It topped last year’s total of $1,047,235, which in turn topped the previous record of $1,045,250, set in 2007.
The money raised enables the Vera Bradley Foundation to support breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, a nationally ranked cancer center. Since 1998, the Foundation has supported 22 labs and 36 researchers and clinicians who are leading major advancements in drug therapies. It receives funding through national events, a $1 million annual gift from Vera Bradley and through donations on verabradley.org.
The record amount raised for this year’s Classic event is truly a testament to the generosity of the Fort Wayne community, said Catherine Hill, executive director of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Each of the 12,000 pink ribbons you see throughout Fort Wayne represent all of us who stand united against this disease.
This year the Classic – a four-day event that is the largest women’s amateur golf and tennis charity event in the nation – drew more than 600 participants in tennis events at Wildwood Racquet Club and golf events at Pine Valley and Sycamore Hills. Women from 16 states participated.
It continues the overwhelming success of an event that was founded by Patricia Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard after a close mutual friend, Mary Sloan, died from breast cancer. The original fundraiser in 1994 drew 144 participants and raised $64,000.
According to the Vera Bradley Foundation, in the past 21 years, the breast cancer death rate has dropped by 32 percent, and the five-year survival rate for a woman with breast cancer has risen from 75 percent in 1994 to 90 percent.