History

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $800 million in research and provided more than $1.6 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.

Komen Southern Arizona

The Southern Arizona Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure was started in 1999. Through events like the Race for the Cure and El Tour de Tucson, we raise dollars for local community-based programs that educate, screen and treat women who otherwise could not afford it. Our focus is on making grants for clinics that treat un-insured and under-insured women.

Out of every dollar raised, 75 cents net stays in the Southern Arizona community. The rest goes towards international breast cancer research. Because of some of the cancer research programs that exist here through the University of Arizona, much of that funding comes back.

We are always looking for new ways to reach the community, boost awareness about breast cancer, and diversify our funding efforts. These have included:
•    Players for Pink, a high school breast health awareness initiative involving student sports teams
•    Komen Shorts: 30 Seconds to Save a Life, our first film shorts competition.
•    Cook for the Cure, a fundraiser in which the public gets to see some local Tucson chefs in action
•    Voices for the Cure, a radio series in collaboration with Arizona Public Media sharing the stories of survivors and families of survivors
•    ‘Pink October’ live concert series in collaboration with 92.9 The Mountain.

Komen SAZ is the ONLY local breast cancer foundation to raise money for treatment, as well as other initiatives.Where our money goes:
* Breast cancer treatment programs
* Breast health education
Education and outreach in outlying communities of Southern Arizona
* Staffing a local resource office to respond to the breast health needs of our community.

How do we do it?
We operate with the help of Tucson’s generous community. That includes: 
* Fundraising events and campaigns. Our biggest is Race for the Cure, Southern Arizona’s largest participatory fundraising event.
* Hundreds of volunteers who help man our office, organize events, operate Race for the Cure, and spearhead local education initiatives
Sponsors and small businesses that help us take part in, organize and cater events
Media partners like KOLD News 13, KVOA News 4, Tucson Weekly, the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Bilingual, who give space and air time to our issues
Physicians, scientists, politicians and business leaders who advise us and work with us in our missions to access health care for all Arizonans, and to highlight the benefits of early detection of breast cancer.

And it doesn’t stop there…
•    Our Students for the Cure initiative engages students from schools and promotes health and early awareness of breast cancer.
•    Faith in Pink works with churches to raise awareness about the Komen mission
•    Players for Pink, launched in October 2011, promotes breast health awareness among sports teams in high schools.
•    In 2011-12, a small grant issued by Komen SAZ to The Loft Cinema aimed to spread our message of breast health awareness through screenings, and our first film shorts competition.

About our grants
The majority of our money stays right here in Southern Arizona, where needs are serious. We fund grants to projects that educate, support survivors and offer screening/diagnostic services. But we don’t just award them to anyone; we’re looking for not-for-profit organizations that provide innovative breast health and breast cancer services that are not found elsewhere – ones that directly serve the uninsured and under-insured in Southern Arizona. The counties we cover are: Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Yuma, Graham and Greenlee. For more information on our current grantees click here. Our grants review panel is made up of members of the Southern Arizona community who are independent of Komen SAZ. They make decisions on the awarding of grants based on our Komen Southern Arizona Community Profile 2011 Executive Summary