Albert H. Fulcher | Editor
Susan G. Komen San Diego (Komen San Diego), the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government, held its sixth annual Dine Out for the Cure on Oct. 18. This annual event has raised more than $90,000 over the past five years. With approximately 50 restaurants from all over San Diego County participating for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Shaina Gross — president and CEO Susan G. Komen San Diego — said that she is pretty sure that they will hit, if not exceed, this goal.
“Dine Out for the Cure [is] one of the ways we raise money throughout the year to provide services back to the community of women, men and families facing breast cancer,” Gross said. “We are encouraging people to spoil themselves for all three meals of this day. It’s for a good cause, so calories don’t count. Restaurants are donating between 10 and 25 percent of proceeds for the day.”
Gross said that money raised provides local services in the county for people that cannot afford a mammogram, and outreach for the importance of mammogram screenings.
“If you are diagnosed with something or the mammogram shows some finding and you need additional care like a biopsy or ultrasound, Komen San Diego will help pay for those services,” Gross said. “We’ll help pay the deductible, or co-pay. We know that many times the costs of care and treatment keep people from getting the care that they need.”
Komen San Diego provides programs that help people with all of the little things that help in completing their treatment that insurance doesn’t cover such as transportation back and forth from the doctor, and child care.
“Many people going through treatment are too sick to work, so we help out with rent, paying the mortgage, and utilities,” Gross said. “That is where Komen steps in. Wigs, lymphedema sleeves are things that we forget that are so important to successfully complete your treatment. The best thing we can do for breast cancer is early diagnosis and quality treatment. Komen wants to make sure that everybody has the option for those two things.”
Tania Warchol, owner and president of Hob Nob Hill said it is the restaurant’s second year participating in Dine Out for the Cure. Warchol said prior to this, she has sponsored one of her customers who participates in the walk each year, and she also provides gift certificates for another friend of hers who does fundraising for Komen San Diego.
“It was really nice to do the Dine Out for the Cure because I can help out in a larger way,” Warchol said.
“This is our second year in participating in Dine Out for the Cure and it all happened because a group of ladies of Komen San Diego used to come in every Thursday morning and one of my waitresses was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she continued. “Those women went right to her side and helped her all the way through the process, getting her into doctors. And it really touched our hearts, because she has been working here for 18 years. It devastated all of us as a family. Everyone in my family has passed away from cancer. It is just a horrible, horrible disease. You never know. I’ve had scares with biopsies. It’s really a tough disease. It’s terrifying.”
Along with 15 other restaurants in the county, The Broken Yolk Cafe celebrated its fifth year in participating in Dining Out for the Cure; all of its restaurant locations participated. The Broken Yolk Cafe Director of Marketing Lisa Erickson said to date, it has raised $50,000 for this annual event, adding another $10,000 this year.
The Broken Yolk was approached by Komen San Diego and at that time Erickson said the only thing that they were participating in was its yearly event with Rady Children’s Hospital. The restaurant decided they wanted to do more for the community and hopped on board.
“It has escalated to this, where our locations are excited to participate, employees dress up, balloons, lots of pink,” Erickson said. “Everyone has literally been touched by this disease somehow, whether it’s an aunt, a mom, grandma. We have so many employees and everyone has been touched by this at least once, with someone in their family. So we rally around them.”
Erickson said she met a breast cancer survivor at the Mission Valley location and that this experience almost caused her to break out in tears to be participating in such a wonderful event.
“And you can see it in the employees’ faces, that they are just as happy in participating,” Erickson said. “It means something to them that we are doing something that is giving back. I love having all the employees involved. I came back to the Pacific Beach location that day and our regular customers were there, coming back every year to support this wonderful event. If you are deeply involved with the cause or have a family member, it really means something to you. If you can’t participate in the walk, or go the other events, why not come just have a meal and support?”
Next up for Komen San Diego is its 22nd annual Race for the Cure in Balboa Park on Nov. 4. The race is its largest fundraiser of the year. The vendor expo opens at 6:30 a.m. along Balboa Drive and the race begins at 8 a.m.
“With the unwavering support from our community, dedicated partners in the local breast health industry, sponsors, staff and volunteers, we continue to move toward our goal to put an end to breast cancer,” Gross said. “Every day we see bold, fearless women and men who continue to overcome their breast cancer battles. We encourage more members of the community to lend their support, time and voice to these warriors that are in the fight for their lives.”
For more information visit komensandiego.org/walk.
—Albert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.