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Palm Beach Post – 100K Gift Lifts Komen Spirit

October 15, 2013

Steve Dorfman l Palm Beach Post

Christmas, Hanukkah and all the other gift-giving holidays came early this year for the good folks at Komen South Florida.

That’s because last month the nonprofit, breast-cancer advocacy organization received one of its largest private single donations in recent memory — a $100,000 gift from the estate of a Boca Raton resident.

However, say Komen officials, the executor of the estate explained there was one very important condition attached to the bequest: that the female decedent would remain anonymous.

“While we were overjoyed to receive the funds because we knew what an enormous difference it would make, we were also respectfully subdued because of the knowledge that this generous gift was the result of someone’s passing,” says Komen South Florida Executive Director Dayve Gabbard.

Gabbard added that Komen South Florida was one of four charities to receive a sizable distribution from the decedent’s estate.

The organization certainly needs every dollar it can raise — especially these days.

It’s still recovering from a slew of negative publicity in 2012, which included the since-abandoned plan to stop providing breast-cancer screening funds to Planned Parenthood agencies; founder and former CEO Nancy Brinker’s 64 percent salary increase (from $417,000 to $684,000); the release of the critical documentary “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”

Nationwide, donations to the three-decade-old charity have dropped significantly.

Officials at Komen South Florida report that, in the fiscal year before the multiple controversies, the organization raised around $1.3 million.

The next fiscal year: just $800,000.

So, during National Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month, Gabbard is thrilled that she can share with the community the news that a well-to-do local like this generous Boca Raton woman still believed enough in the Komen mission to infuse it with a six-figure contribution.

More importantly, Gabbard emphasizes what a huge difference this kind of bestowal can make in the services Komen South Florida can provide.

“By itself, a single $100,000 donation can provide 1,000 mammograms to local women,” she explains.

“When we provide additional breast health services like these, we detect more cases of breast cancer in its early, often-curable stages. Therefore, this gift will certainly save lives.”

Restoring the coffers of the Komen South Florida Affiliate Grant program also helps ensure that women diagnosed with breast cancer who don’t have adequate (or any) health insurance can still have hope for receiving the treatments they need.

In the year before the negative publicity, some 1,500 local women with breast cancer were assisted by the program.

A 40 percent drop in donations, as Komen experienced in 2012, means 600 of those local breast-cancer patients would need to turn elsewhere.

With an eye toward having record-setting participation in the 2014 Race for the Cure ( Jan. 25 at Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach) Komen South Florida officials hope, and expect, local donations to pick back up.

And the abundant generosity of an unnamed Boca Raton family has been a great place to start.

IF YOU GO
What: 2014 Komen South Florida Race for the Cure
When: Jan. 25
Where: Meyer Amphitheatre (104 Datura St., West Palm Beach)
Time: Race-day registration starts at 5:30 a.m.
Entry fee: $25 to $45.
Contact: For more information, to preregister or to make a donation, call 888-470-6374, or visit komensouthflorida.org/

View the tearsheet here.