John Russell's sports column appears Sundays in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com.
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Most people understand that we will never find a cure for cancer, or any other disease, on a golf course.
Golf courses are for fun and games; scientific labs are where cures for things like cancer are found. Yet, every summer, I see hundreds of local people head to the golf course hoping to help find a cure, or to help someone battle the devastating impacts of cancer.
In July, the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club hosted the Rally for the Cure, and last week the Steamboat Golf Club hosted Arnie’s Army Battles Prostate Cancer.
Linda Danter started the Rally more than 10 years ago. It started small and has grown into a significant fundraiser for the local Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project. This year’s event collected roughly $38,000 in a single day — most of which will go to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, with a smaller portion going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Six years ago, Linda’s husband, Rich, got involved with the Arnie’s Army Battles Prostate Cancer. It’s a smaller event held in conjunction with the Steamboat Golf Club’s Men’s Club. This year, the event drew a record crowd of 50 players and raised $1,500.
Sadly, nobody found a cure while they were whacking the ball around the Rollingstone or Steamboat golf clubs this year — nobody really expected to find one. But efforts such as these raise the money needed to help scientists pursue treatments and cures, and the money raised helps create programs that help patients and their families. The efforts of people like the Danters make us all believe that someday we will find a cure for the diseases that have touched so many people in our community, our state and our world.
Truth is that scientist are making progress in the battle against cancer every day, and they are doing it thanks to the people in communities, many such as Steamboat Springs, who are holding fundraisers at golf courses across the country. The scientists are supported by people who are willing to give their time, their effort and their money to organize and support causes such as the Rally and Arnie’s Army, which in turn support the organizations that are seeking a cure.
The truth is that a cure for cancer never will be found on a golf course. The cure for cancer never will be found at a charity running event, a walk-a-thon or a bike ride. But it’s hard not to imagine that those fundraising efforts, and the people who are behind them, will someday lead us to the cure. When that day comes, we will thank the scientist who discovered the answer in some sterile scientific lab, but it never would have happened without the grass-roots efforts of people who organized countless golf tournaments or other fundraising activities that take place in communities stretching across our country.
— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org