Local Rally group first ever to win Komen award

It isn’t enough for the Ballantyne Country Club Rally volunteers to just be the best in the nation at fundraising for Susan G. Komen’s Rally for the Cure. They have other goals to hit and barriers to break.

And after topping $1 million in total donations in 10 years of fighting breast cancer, the south Charlotte volunteers reached another milestone: becoming the first Rally group to receive the Susan G. Komen Lifetime Pink Ribbon Circle Award, which was presented on Nov. 15.

The award is usually reserved for businesses or individuals who top the $1 million donation mark, but the Ballantyne volunteers surpassed that mark this year with another $220,000 in donations, marking the sixth-straight year BCC Rally has been top in the nation. It’s becoming a trend – one that takes a year’s worth of planning and hundreds of volunteers to accomplish.

“I think we’ve just been very lucky with the group of people who have been involved over the years,” said Sue Dockstader, the group’s board president. “Most other groups in the country are just one event, such as a golf tournament or tennis tournament … but that’s how we started, and now we have a whole week of events and the Pink Bow Campaign. All that together, there’s a lot going on.”

Planning already is under way for next year, and Dockstader said the group was pleased with this year’s newest addition, the Walk and Wag Pink-a-thon – which brought families together and let kids, and dogs, take part in the fun. The walk added a new dimension to the BCC Rally week of events, which could help the group reach its goal of helping as many people as possible beat breast cancer.

“One of the goals of Rally is to raise awareness, not just funds,” Dockstader said. “So, to do that, we want to reach out to lots of different areas of our community. Between the golf and tennis and gala, we were reaching a lot of adults – but not reaching out to families as such. And by having a family day … it gets the conversation going about cancer in families, which is not always easy to talk about.”

Dockstader said she isn’t sure where BCC Rally goes from here. It would be tough for the group to fit more into a week of events than it already does, especially since it’s an all-volunteer endeavor. So, more volunteers will be sought and more business sponsors will be added in hopes of allowing the effort to reach more homes and engage more families.

“Our goal is to keep going because,  as a group we made huge progress in expanding and we feel we’ve reached out into the community and made a difference,” Dockstader said, “but there are still so many people in Charlotte and the surrounding counties that need help. So, as far as we’re concerned, there’s still work to be done.”

Find more information on the group and how to become involved at its website, www.bccrally.org.

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