Bowling Fundraiser Against Breast Cancer Grows in Second Year
The event, hosted by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, raised more than $25,000 for education and screenings.
Maureen Rofuls found out she had breast cancer by accident. A CAT scan on her shoulder in March revealed a tumor in her breast, so she was whirled off to see specialists.
"I remember sitting in the office, looking at pictures (of breast cancer) and thinking, 'Hmm, that's me,'" Rofuls, of St. Charles, said. She called her sister, Pat Terbrock, with the news and then she waited to find out just how bad it was.
Seven months, a mastectomy, a reconstructive surgery and the first rounds of a 13-month chemotherapy treatment later, Rofuls is bowling with her family and close friends.
Rofuls joined more than 550 others Oct. 24 at the "Spare Nothing for the Cure" fundraiser for the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The event raised more than $25,000 in two sessions at two locations: Brunswick Zone in Chesterfield and Camelot Bowl in Collinsville, Ill.
The event grew from its premier last year, when it was held at just one location and raised about $15,000. The majority of the money raised stays in the St. Louis metro region and funds education and screenings; only 25 percent goes to the national Komen for the Cure.
"This year, we sold out," Allison Tonsing, directory of fund development with Komen for the Cure, said. "We ran out of shirts," Tonsing said of the T-shirts participants received. "Everyone will get one, though. We're mailing them!"
Jenny Allen, Rofuls' niece, said she saw the event advertised on TV—both KSDK Channel 5 and St. Louis Bread Company were sponsors—and thought to sign the group of family and friends, most of whom have been bowling in league play together for seven years in St. Charles.
"She's doing very well. She has a completely positive outlook," Allen said of Rofuls. "You'd never know this has even happened. She still has a full-time job (as a supervisor with United Healthcare in Maryland Heights). She had her reconstructive surgery and two days later was back at work."
Most at the event were either survivors of breast cancer or knew a survivor personally. A few lanes down from Rofuls' group, Alissa Nicks was surrounded by friends wearing T-shirts from the trivia night fundraiser Nicks organized in March.
Nicks, of Maryland Heights, was 17 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's celebrating 10 years of remission this year and was prompted to begin fundraising for Komen for the Cure after her mentor, Gwen Randall, died in her eighth battle with breast cancer. The music trivia night, Pinkapalooza, raised $20,000.
Nicks, and those bowling with her, had fun with the fundraiser, many wearing costume jewelry and rabbit ear headbands.
"I'm not even paying attention," Nicks said when asked who was winning. Rofuls' lane was full with the same non-competitive spirit. There was a bigger battle on her mind.
"Don't let (cancer) beat you," she said. "You don't give into it."