Val Skinner and fellow LPGA pros tee it up against breast cancer
WEST CALDWELL, N.J., (May 19, 2010) - According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2009 there were an estimated 192,370 new cases of breast cancer in women. An estimated 40,170 women died.
One of the largest single day events for breast cancer awareness is nearing the starter's call. LIFE (LPGA Pros In the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer) is in final preparation for its 11th annual tournament, the LIFE Event, which will be held June 14th at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J.
Hosted by LPGA professional and staunch breast cancer awareness advocate Val Skinner, the gathering to date has added more than $6.3 million to benefactors' coffers.
"The LIFE Event has been very meaningful and I am proud of what we have accomplished," said Skinner. "However, until we erase breast cancer from the vocabulary our work is not done, and we must stay the course with total dedication and commitment.
"This is one of the premier events in the country, gathering the finest of athletes. We are fortunate to have so many returning supporters who are responsible for our success. Their friendship has created important programs that can alter the breast cancer front."
LPGA pros participating
in the 2010 LIFE Event
|Kristy Mc Pherson||USA|
|Jiyai Shin||South Korea|
Some of the most famous and honored LPGA golfers will participate in the LIFE Event. World Golf and LPGA Halls of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel and Karrie Webb are on the roster, along with up-and-coming stars Christina Kim, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome and current number one in the world, Jiyai Shin.
Many LPGA players have experienced friends and family losing their battle with breast cancer and are strong voices for the LIFE mission.
"The outreach and education of LIFE's efforts will hopefully help others to not have to go through what I did in losing my mother to breast cancer," said Morgan Pressel.
Nancy Lopez adds, "The work of LIFE is very important to me as I have three young daughters and I want every opportunity for them to be fully aware of health options."
The LIFE Event benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the LPGA's official national charity and largest private backer of breast cancer research and education, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer facility which houses the education-based LIFE Center, named after this advocacy.
The association is strong. These organizations aided the Val Skinner Foundation in creating the Young Women's Initiative, a multifaceted effort organized to target women, especially the younger population, with the breast cancer message.
Since the 1990s Skinner has been tireless in her advocacy. The impetus for her work originated with an aunt who experienced and survived breast cancer and the loss of two friends, one who was diagnosed at age 33 and left two children behind, and most notably, the misdiagnosis, struggle and death of popular 28-year-old LPGA star Heather Farr.
In 1999 she created her Foundation to raise money to support organizations primarily focused on breast cancer research, treatment and education. One year later LIFE was born. Incorporated in its mission is that outreach to a younger generation of women through the provision of information regarding the importance of early detection, healthy breast care practices, treatment options and cutting-edge research.
"Heather had such a deep reservoir of strength and that competitive spirit; she made a point to take advantage of her situation," said Skinner. "Much of her passion was focused on young women and to her it became all about awareness, early detection and becoming proactive. She showed us how to do it. I just followed her lead."
Each year the LIFE Event recognizes LIFE Heroes, individuals who have exhibited courage facing breast cancer and those who have played an active role in the fight against the disease. LIFE heroes come from all walks of life and serve as inspiration and a reminder of the work done by the Val Skinner Foundation. The honorees will be featured at a reception following the tournament. The heroes, along with a final roster of participants will be announced in the near future.
Val Skinner, a member of three golf Halls of Fame, played on the LPGA Tour for 21 years. The six-time winner was ranked in the top 15 in seven of those years. She has been the recipient of numerous rewards and honors for her work in the fight against breast cancer. In addition to overseeing her Foundation, Skinner serves as an analyst for the Golf Channel.
For more information on the 2010 LIFE Event, beneficiaries and partners visit www.valskinnerfoundation.org.