The Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen handed out 21 grants totaling over $1 million to Arkansas organizations.
1st Choice Healthcare with clinic locations in Corning, Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge and Ash Flat was awarded a grant of $39,456 for its program entitled Breast Care Awareness Program.
This year marks the 20th for the Komen organization to award grants to programs around the state who are working in the fight against breast cancer. These funds are predominantly raised through the Race for the Cure® chaired in 2013 by Mike Gavigan. Also introduced was the 2014 Race for the Cure ® chair, Ashley Hurst. A total of $1,006,737 was granted.
“We are delighted by the amount we were able to issue in grants this year,” said Arkansas Affiliate Executive Director Sherrye McBryde. “It is directly due to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our supporters. The recipients of these funds were chosen because they reflect the commitment of the Arkansas Affiliate to assure the uninsured and under-served women of Arkansas get the vital breast health services they need. Additionally, $340,000 has been used for breast cancer research to help find the cure.”
The Komen Arkansas Affiliate first awarded grants totaling $78,700 in 1994. This year the largest grant totaled $113,290 and the smallest was $10,510.
“We are so pleased to be able to raise almost $1.6 million dollars that will have a direct impact on the women and men of Arkansas fighting breast cancer,” says Komen Arkansas Board Chair Leila Dockery. “Whether they fight for someone they love, or fight for themselves, or for their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or children, we join them in their efforts to eradicate this disease. We worked hard to earn this money and we are so proud to distribute to such trustworthy, valuable, impactful programs. Our fight continues until a cure is found.”
The affiliate also awarded its highest honor, the Hickingbotham Award for Service, to Mattye Willis. Mattye was recognized for her long service to breast health in Arkansas. She is a long time volunteer with the Witness Project, which began at UAMS in Little Rock, and is now in thirty-three states in large part to Mattye’s efforts. The Witness Project provides education, outreach and navigation services for African American and medically underserved women over the age of 40 needing mammograms and pap test. In addition, Mattye is a long time volunteer and Board member of Susan G. Komen.
The Hickingbotham Award is named in honor of businessman Frank Hickingbotham and his family who were founding sponsors of the Arkansas Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
During the meeting at the Junior League of Little Rock Building, the Komen Arkansas Affiliate also inducted Heather Owens and Donna Terrell into its Pink Ribbon Society.
The Pink Ribbon Society is an honorary membership based on community leadership in the area of breast health and breast health awareness and given to recognize significant contributions to the state to advance the mission of the Komen organization.
Also awarded was the Promise of One Awards. Long time volunteers Kim Cook and Mike Gavigan were recipients.
The Promise of One Award, established in 2007 by Komen for the Cure national, is awarded to two local individuals each year in recognition of their exceptional volunteer contribution.