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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Frankfort women’s groups give back in a big way – by supporting local cancer research

Two groups of women from Frankfort are giving back in a big way this holiday season.

Representatives from the Frankfort Country Club’s Ladies Golf Association visited Lexington Monday to present a $25,000 check to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. The funds were raised through the group’s annual “Rally for a Cure” invitational golf tournament, now in its ninth year, and will support breast cancer research.

On Tuesday, representatives from Frankfort’s Capital Ovarian Cancer Organization (COCO) came to present a $10,000 check to the UK Markey Cancer Center. These funds were raised through the group’s third annual Tee It Up with COCO Charity Golf Scramble and will support the UK Ovarian Cancer Screening Program.

“We are extremely grateful for these gifts,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center. “Every donation helps us move further towards a cure. As we move towards earning an NCI designation, community support becomes critically important, and we are grateful to have the support of so many citizens in Frankfort.”

In the last four years, the FCC Ladies Golf Association has donated $112,000 to the Markey Cancer Center. These donations help fund the studies of Peter Zhou, an associate professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry at UK. Zhou’s research focuses on treatments for triple negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive type of cancer that is associated with early metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy and occurs at women at a younger age.

COCO is affiliated with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and in the past two years has donated $20,000 to the UK Ovarian Cancer Screening Program. The program was initiated in 1987 by Dr. van Nagell and his colleagues. The goal was to study whether transvaginal sonography could be an effective means of early ovarian cancer detection.

So far, more than 200,000 free screening examinations have been provided to more than 37,000 Kentucky women, and women from every county in the state have participated in this program. Currently, screenings are being performed at six locations throughout the state, including Lexington, Elizabethtown, Somerset, Prestonsburg, Maysville and Paducah.

“Everybody in our community helps out,” said Glenna Glass, who serves as both chair of the FCC’s Rally for the Cure tournament and public relations chair for COCO. “There are so many women who get together to work on on these events.”

In 1996, the Frankfort Country Club Ladies Golf Association became a charter member of the Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure. That year and through 2003, the event was only for members of the Club and was only an inside the circle challenge on hole 10. In 2004, board member Monika Clark suggested that the Rally be expanded to an invitational tournament and it remains so today. In addition to the funds they have donated to Markey, the group has also donated $183,622 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

COCO was founded in memory of exective director Beverly VanHouten’s sister, Debi Furnish, who died of ovarian cancer in 2004, nine months after being diagnosed. The group is a nonprofit organization that offers support services for women and families fighting ovarian cancer. Their goals are to raise awareness, increase early detection and improve treatment methods of Ovarian Cancer; to contribute to research for a cure for ovarian cancer; and to provide women with the information needed to make educated decisions about their health care.

From UKNow