Rally for the Cure
52 teams participated in Tuesday's Rally for the Cure golf tournament, which benefited breast cancer research and those battling breast cancer.
Steamboat Springs Stephanie Loomis isn't a golfer, she's a survivor.
On Tuesday, Loomis was among the dozens of volunteers and hundreds of golfers, many of them wearing pink, who came out to support the eighth annual Rally For The Cure golf tournament at Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club. The event is a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
"I would love to play the game - my father was an avid golfer, but I just don't have the time it takes to play a round of golf," Loomis said.
She says it's difficult to justify four hours on a golf course when she is busy trying to keep pace with her 11- and 13-year-old daughters. Loomis also admits that when she finds spare time, she is on her mountain bike riding along Steamboat's scenic trails.
But after being diagnosed with breast cancer in February, Loomis says she's got a new appreciation of time and the community that has supported her.
Her outlook is good.
She is scheduled to undergo her final chemotherapy treatment early next week, and thinks coping with the five months of hormone treatments will be the easy part of her dealings with cancer.
She looks forward to getting her hair back and moving on with life after cancer. But that doesn't mean cancer hasn't changed her life or that she will forget the people and organizations that were there for her.
"When I was first diagnosed, I wanted to keep it quiet," Loomis said. "I didn't want people saying 'There's Stephanie Loomis, she's the one with cancer.'"
Loomis no longer cares if people talk about her - as long as it inspires them to practice self-exams, have regular mammograms and pay attention to the warning signs of cancer.
"You never really think about breast cancer unless someone you know is dealing with it or it impacts you personally," Loomis said.
She hopes that by talking about cancer, other women will realize that it can happen to them, and the key to surviving is early detection.
Loomis said the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project was there to lend a helping hand after her diagnosis. The group offers support and education to victims of breast cancer. It also educates the public about the importance of early detection. The project also steps in to help women who can't afford mammograms. The Rally For The Cure golf tournament and the Bust of Steamboat, which is held in October, support the local program.
Loomis is thankful for the support from the local group and impressed with the work of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is pushing forward the treatment of breast cancer. She said supporting the Rally For The Cure golf tournament is a great way to give back.
Her company, Steamboat Sp-ine and Sport Physical Therapy, sponsored a hole in Tuesday's tournament. She also donated her time and services to the silent auction, and helped out on the day of the event.
"I asked if I could help out, and I think they made a job just so I could be a part of the event," Loomis said.
Tournament director Linda Danter says it's the type of response that makes the Rally For The Cure a success.
"This community is awesome," Danter said. "This year's silent auction was unbelievable. It's an incredible feeling. I can't describe how it feels to know that people in our community will always be there to support you and pitch in for the cause."
Two hundred and eleven golfers took part in this year's tournament, which featured a double shotgun start. But Danter said it was the support the event got from hole sponsors, individuals and local businesses that was most overwhelming. Despite the tournament's success, Danter would be happy if she never hosted another Rally For The Cure event.
"I want to find a cure," Danter said. "I don't want to do it anymore."