Local Rally event hits $1M mark

What was once “just a little fundraiser” in Ballantyne has hit the 10-year anniversary and $1 million mark in raising funds for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and breast cancer research.

The annual Ballantyne Country Club Rally returns next week, and will once again attempt to be the top fundraising rally event for Susan G. Komen in the nation. The local all-volunteer nonprofit has been the No. 1 fundraiser of the more than 3,000 rally groups since 2008.

Local organizers set the $1 million goal a few years ago, but that’s not how things started out.

“It was literally just a group of women who saw something in a magazine and thought we could raise money for this organization and that would be a worthwhile thing to do,” said Sue Dockstader, the BCC Rally board president.

“It was just a little fundraiser and then it grew year by year and became a fully registered charity. No, from the beginning (reaching $1 million in donations) wasn’t in anybody’s mind.”

The annual event has grown into a week’s worth of activities in the Ballantyne area, and each year draws in hundreds of volunteers and donors. The rally will run from Tuesday to Sunday, Sept. 24 to 29, and will include a number of activities for families and individuals.
• The ladies’ golf luncheon, on Sept. 24, will include an informal fashion show by the Lilly Pulitzer company, a silent auction and raffle and a discussion with Nancy Adams, a genetic counselor with Moses Cone Hospital.
• The men’s Pink Ball golf tournament will be Sept. 26.
• The ladies’ tennis tournament and clinic will be Sept. 27, and will include a discussion with breast cancer survivor Annette Telljohann and yoga instructor Maria Logan.
• The Pink Bow Gala, a black-tie affair, will be Sept. 28 and will include dinner, live and silent auctions and All-American basketball player Trudi Lacey.
• The Walk and Wag Pink-a-thon, a family walk, will be Sept. 29. The new event is open to dogs and will have a special appearance by Blue, the Charlotte Hounds mascot.

According to Dockstader, 75 percent of the funds raised stay in the Charlotte area, meaning BCC Rally has raised enough money in 10 years to pay for 3,750 procedures such as mammograms and biopsies.

“We could possibly be involved in saving 3,750 (local) lives, because what we’ve done has enabled people to get free treatments who otherwise would not have had the opportunity,” Dockstader said. “That kind of puts it in perspective for us.”

But while the money is nice, awareness may be more important, Dockstader said.

“We’re celebrating that fact that we’ve reached 10 years, yes,” Dockstader said. “But the sad thing is, there is still so much work to be done. Yes, we’ve raised $1 million, but … people even in the Charlotte community don’t realize what services are available to them. Expanding that awareness is a huge goal for us.”

Find more information on the group and events, as well as purchase a pink ribbon to help raise money for the cause, at www.bccrally.org.

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