Hundreds golf to fight breast cancer
Steamboat Rally for the Cure tournament draws more than 200
July 13, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Real men wear pink.
That's according to Linda Danter, who was greeting players on the deck of the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon in Steamboat Springs as they arrived for the Rally for the Cure golf tournament. Most of them, men and women, were wearing something pink on this day, which put a wide grin on Danter's face as she joked with one of the men who had shown up to play.
Danter played a pivotal role in starting the event in Steamboat Springs 11 years ago, when it was held at the Steamboat Golf Club, and she is thrilled that men and women come out to support the annual fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
"The support for this event has been unbelievable," Danter said. "I'm blown away by it every year."
Blase Arigo, who lost his wife to breast cancer in November 2005, recalled the first time he played in the Rally as he waited for the afternoon shotgun start, dressed in a pink striped shirt and a bright pink baseball cap.
"She was standing up on the deck there the first time I entered this tournament, with tears in her eyes, because I was part of something she looked up to in this community," Blase said about his wife, Jane. "She had a great big smile on her face because I was participating in something she knew I would love and something she talked me into doing."
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Jane, who had battled breast cancer off and on for 20 years, fell in love with the lifestyle in Steamboat Springs while living and working as a kindergarten teacher in New Jersey.
For 15 years, Blase and Jane spent their summers in Steamboat. After she retired, the couple moved to Steamboat in 1994, built a home and became full-time residents.
"For 11 years, she lived in her dream home," Blase said.
He said Jane was an avid skier, even after being diagnosed for a second time, and loved everything the Yampa Valley had to offer.
She worked as a substitute teacher when she first came to Steamboat and started a small business that sold jams, jellies and Italian cookies.
"Jane was grateful for the fact that there are tournaments like this, and for the hospice groups that are for people who are in her situation," Blase said. "She felt, even in her situation, as though she was living in a whole lot better world than she would have had she not been in Steamboat."
Blase, who is a regular at the Steamboat Golf Club these days, says he has fallen in love with golf.
He also has made it a point to support the Rally for the Cure tournament every year, knowing it's an event Jane loved.
Danter said interest in the tournament has remained strong this year, with 208 golfers, about 360 donors and 86 hole sponsors supporting the event.
The bulk of the money raised will go to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, which provides assistance to residents of Routt and Moffat counties to prevent or treat breast cancer.
Jan Fritz, director of cancer services at Yampa Valley Medical Center, said the money raised by events such as the Rally for the Cure is instrumental for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, which relies on the golf tournament and the Bust of Steamboat to operate.
Last year, the organization paid for 140 mammograms and helped provide support for many who were dealing with the expense of fighting breast cancer.
Most of those people were without insurance or were underinsured. In other cases, the money was used to pay for expenses that are not covered by insurance.
"If we can give somebody $500 to help pay for the expense of traveling for a radiation treatment, it's huge," Fritz said.
Last year, the organization was able to meet the needs of Routt and Moffat counties. However, Fritz said she expects the demand to increase because of the recession.
She said the last thing she wants is for a woman to skip a mammogram because she can't afford it.
"We know that there are people who are struggling out there, and who will not get a mammogram because of it," Fritz said. "Hopefully, we will be able to help them thanks to events like this."