First the Race, now the Rally too

Race, meet Rally. Rally, Race.

Bainbridge Island boasts new partners in the fight against breast cancer, after this week’s highly successful Rally for the Cure event at Wing Point Golf and Country Club.

The daylong gala included golf and tennis tournaments, bridge games, gourmet luncheons and dinners, plus raffles and auctions. While the accountants are still banging away on the abacus, organizer Lori Sweningson says the event breezed past the goal of $55,000 in donations for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation’s top private funder for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.

“It was the community at its best,” Sweningson told us Friday, bringing together volunteers and participants from Bainbridge, Seattle, North Kitsap and Silverdale. Key sponsors included IslandWood, Lowry Hill investment managers, Wells Fargo, Liberty Bay Auto Care and Pacific Eye Care; seventy-five percent of the funds will go to local breast cancer programs, with the rest earmarked for the Komen Foundation’s national programs.

If you’re unfamiliar with the “Rally” for the Cure – as opposed to the “Race” – well, so were we. For some years, this newspaper has been a fan of the latter event, for which the sponsorship of Town & Country Markets has been so integral. Hundreds of islanders each year join the tens of thousands who fill the streets of Seattle in the Race for the Cure; besides being an excellent cause, it’s the one morning of the year you can stroll the length of the Alaskan Way viaduct without being run over by speeding vehicles. And we’re telling you, you can’t beat the view of Elliott Bay from up there.

Both Race and Rally events spin within the orbit of the Komen Foundation and its efforts to end the blight of breast cancer. Nationwide, Race for the Cure programs last year brought in $73.4 million for the cause; a variety of lower-profile affiliate events, including the Rally for the Cure, raised another $18.1 million, according the foundation’s annual report.

We’re pleased to see that Bainbridge Island now supports both the Race and the Rally; we’re given to understand that discussions are under way to cross-promote the two programs next year, for the benefit of all. Anyone who wants more information on the Rally for a Cure (volunteers, perhaps?) can email rally@wingpointgolf.com.

A footnote: Sweningson tells us that on Thursday, Rally-goers celebrated with an otherwise healthy 48-year-old Bainbridge woman who was recently surprised by breast cancer during a routine mammogram; after a mastectomy, she has been pronounced cancer free.

Cancer-free. That’s what both Race and Rally are all about.

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