MTVAC Hosts Annual Swing For Pink Fundraiser on October 19 – All About Local Community

Are you looking for a night out where you can have fun while making a difference in the community? The 2018 Swing for Pink fundraiser is scheduled, and we’re excited to be celebrating the event’s 13th year!

Mark your calendars for Friday, October 19 from 6:30 – 11 p.m.

Swing for Pink is open to the public and features a tennis round robin, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, dinner, wine tasting, free childcare and more! The Mount Vernon Athletic Club (MTVAC), Alexandria VA fitness and tennis club, has been hosting the Swing for Pink fundraiser since 2005 in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Thanks to the generosity of our members, staff and the Alexandria community, the event has raised over $153,000 to date in support of local breast cancer initiatives!

Thirteen Years of Swing For Pink Fundraiser

Maureen Sinn, Linda Shellhouse, Sharon Timmons and Ellen McMichael

The Swing for Pink fundraiser evolved from “Play for Prevention,” a local event held for four years, from 1997-2000, to honor the memory of Jean Magnone. A member of the Alexandria community and fellow MTVAC member, Jean was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 and passed away in June 1996 after a 5-year battle.  

Jean’s dear friend Linda Shellhouse, a one-time manager at MTVAC and current member, organized an event at MTVAC in 2004 after realizing women at the club had a fear of breast cancer.

Play for Prevention consisted of 32 women playing in a tennis tournament. Linda gave each player a gift bag for their participation and to celebrate life after breast cancer. The event broke even, but the message was out: You can survive breast cancer.

The Evolution of the Event

Since the event was such a hit with the Alexandria community, it was held the following year. Former MTVAC Tennis Director Fred Delosobera named the event “Swing for Pink. The funds raised were donated to the Susan B. Komen organization. Since then, Linda chose to go local with the money to help the women (and men) in the Alexandria community.

Each year, the committee members try to do something unique to make each event memorable. In 2017, for example, there was a “remembrance wall” to pay tribute to friends and family who battled breast cancer. This year’s event will feature a special Zumba and Body Pump class as well as a “Burpees for Boobies competition held at the club 10/13 at 11:30 am in the fitness area (sign-up at the front desk)!

Local Funds For Families in Need: MTVAC Member Kate’s Story

What’s unique about this pink fundraiser is the money raised goes directly to local families who are in the midst of fighting breast cancer and seeking treatment. This is the case for MTVAC member Kate, who is recovering from breast cancer treatment. She wouldn’t be able to get the treatment she needed without the generous support of the Alexandria community.

Donations go to the Breast Cancer Institute at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and the Joseph Viar Jr. and Bonnie Christ Cancer Center at INOVA Alexandria Hospital.

Kate told Swing for Pink Chairperson Deb Oelschlager: “I don’t know if I could have done it without INOVA’s Life with Cancer. They were like life rings when I was drowning … anything you can think of as a patient, that you need, is there.”

MTVAC Swing For Fun and Pink Check Presentation to Inova Hospital

Pictured left to right: Deb Oelschlager, SFP Chairperson; Sharon Timmons, SFP Committe Chair; Adreinne Taylor, Inova Mt. Vernon Development Officer; Jennifer McGihon, Executive Director, East Region Development for Inova Health Foundation; Jasmine-Symone Pruden, MTVAC Front Office Manager; Kathleen OBrien, MTVAC Director of Digital Marketing

Life with Cancer is a free resource that provides patients with education, information and support during the treatment process.

The organization offers support groups, too. Kate joined the “Young Women with Breast Cancer” support group, which provides women the opportunity to come together to share their fears and experiences with each other.

When Kate questioned how a mastectomy would affect her marriage, her Life with Cancer support group referred her and her husband to a sex therapist. And after surgery, INOVA provided Kate with a massage therapist who knew how to position her during a massage to relieve her pain.

In addition to the services Kate received, patients can also benefit from INOVA’s philanthropic services, which help pay rent when they are faced with eviction because they are too sick to work.

The services patients like Kate receive are made possible by generous donations, like those from Swing for Pink, given to organizations like the Breast Cancer Institute at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and the Joseph Viar Jr. and Bonnie Christ Cancer Center at INOVA Alexandria Hospital.

A Big “Thank You” to the Alexandria VA Fitness Sponsors & Supporters!

Swing for Pink would not be possible without the Mount Vernon Athletic Club, generous sponsors and local supporters. This year’s event sponsors include Kihomac, Inc., Geico, Solutions Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, United Bank, Dr. Brian Bodnar of Bodnar Chiropractic and Rex Reiley of Re-Max Allegiance Group.

Events like this really bring out the best in the community. In 2017, we raised over $17,000, and this year we aim to raise $20,000Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Today, there are more than 2 ½ million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

This is a community event so please join MTVAC Friday, October 19th to fight breast cancer in our community and register here to attend this year’s Swing for Pink fundraiser!

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