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West Hartford Resident’s Fundraiser Contributes Almost $2 Million in Breast Cancer Donations

Diane Greenfield, in pink on the right, and co-organizers present a check for $60,000 to Susan G. Komen New England. Courtesy of Susan G. Komen New England

West Hartford resident Diane Greenfield has been hosting the ‘Play for the Cure’ fundraiser at Tumble Brook Country Club since 1997, and recently presented a check for $60,000 to Susan G. Komen New England.

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Twenty-two years ago, two of Diane Greenfield’s best friends died from breast cancer.

The West Hartford resident and member of the Tumble Brook Country Club responded to that personal tragedy in 1997 by hosting the club’s first Play for a Cure fundraiser.

Twenty-one events later, the efforts of Greenfield, the members of the private club, and Greenfield’s co-organizer and office manager Denise Delaney, have generated almost $2 million in funding for Susan G. Komen New England.

“Diane’s goal in organizing Play for a Cure was to help find the cures for breast cancer and to support families affected by breast cancer in Connecticut,” said Lori van Dam, Komen New England CEO. “Most of the money raised goes to local women who can’t afford screening or treatment, and a portion goes to research efforts.”

In its first year, Play for a Cure raised $30,000 through members, both men and women, coming together to participate in golf, tennis, and auctions held at the event. This year, a check worth $60,000 was handed to the organization.

The tournament, this year titled “Tumble Brook Country Club’s Play for a Cure with a Twist,” was made possible through generous contributions of time and talent by an organizing team comprised of Veronica Dicke, Leigh Farber, Laurie Goldsmith, and Charna Kaufman.

Following the $60,000 raised from Play for a Cure, resident golf pro Howie Friday played 74 holes of golf, braving pouring rain and howling winds, to raise another $5,000. Friday’s golf-marathon efforts fund Tumble Brook Country Club’s annual donation to Komen New England. Because of a donation matching program, the total donation from Tumble Brook Country Club was $72,000.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the decades-long commitment the members of Tumble Brook have shown to supporting their neighbors who are struggling with this terrible disease,” said van Dam. “Sadly, Connecticut is the state with the second-highest rate of breast cancer in the country, and we have too many neighbors who can’t afford screening or care without our support.”

In recognition of their accomplishments in raising substantial funds for Susan G. Komen New England, Play for a Cure organizer Diane Greenfield and the country club have been the recipients of several fundraising awards.

In 2007 Tumble Brook Country Club was awarded the Susan G. Komen Million-Dollar Cure Finder award, and in 2012, Greenfield was awarded the Susan G. Komen Promise of One award.

“When I announce that fundraising amount at the banquet, tears stream down my face,” Diane Greenfield said. “This to me is the biggest part of all. We’re helping all these women in Connecticut. When I won the Promise of One award from Susan G. Komen, that wasn’t just me, that was everyone involved at the club.”

The funds raised by Play for a Cure have helped to provide more than 8,500 mammograms in Connecticut over the 21 years. “We know that early detection is the key to good outcomes,” said Lori van Dam. “There is still a tremendous need for screening and diagnostic support for under- and un-insured women in Connecticut. We look forward to continuing our work to meet that need with the help of Tumble Brook.”

Through fundraising dollars raised through community events like Play for the Cure, since 1993, Susan G. Komen New England has invested over $13 million in Connecticut organizations, over $3 million in Maine organizations, over $9 million in Massachusetts organizations, and over $6.5 million in Vermont and New Hampshire organizations providing breast health services to uninsured and underinsured residents. The Affiliate has also contributed more than $9.5 million to support breast cancer research.

Susan G. Komen New England continues to work to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.

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