Stepping Up to the Plate

September 30, 2014
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The John Wayne Cancer Institute enjoys the support of many community groups. The Premier Girls Fastpitch (PGF) and Surf City Tourneys (SCT) are two sister soft ball organizations that endorse our mission to eradicate breast cancer. Premier Girls Fastpitch holds a large soft ball tournament each summer in Orange County that attracts top teams of girls ages 10-18 from around the nation and helps raise funds for the John Wayne Cancer Institute. That tournament and other PGF and SCT events have raised $65,000 in donations for the Institute over the last three years.

The idea for the donations came from Dan Hay, president and chief executive officer of Premier Girls Fastpitch and Surf City Tourneys, who was watching The Western Channel late one night and saw an advertisement about the John Wayne Film Festival. “When I learned of the actor’s advocacy for cancer research, I wanted to support it,” Hay says.

And since the Surf City girls soft ball tournament is held in October—breast cancer awareness month—Hay took his inspiration one step further. He asked the tournament participants to also support the Institute.

That request fueled additional donations from individual players, parents, coaches, umpires and the tournament announcer. Premier Girls Fastpitch and Surf City Tourneys, based in Huntington Beach, provide a national platform in which fastpitch soft ball players can demonstrate their skills against the best teams in the nation.

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Dan Hay, Sue Enquist and Patrick Wayne at the Premier Girls Fastpitch tournament.

The Institute sponsors a booth at the October tournament to pass out educational materials and answer questions. During a tournament in July, Institute chairman Patrick Wayne and Auxiliary president Anita Swift, John Wayne’s granddaughter, attended the opening ceremonies to thank the teams for their support.

“Coach Hay is not only promoting healthy living, he is demonstrating to these young women the importance of giving back,” says Patrick Wayne. “We’re grateful for his friendship.”

Hay says he hopes the girls learn not only the value of philanthropy but facts about personal health and cancer prevention. “That’s our responsibility as adults—to help these youngsters.”

For more information on community fundraising, call the Development office at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at 310-315-6111.

Other community groups around the country support the Institute and hold fundraisers each year. We thank the Premier Girls Fastpitch, Surf City Tourneys and the following groups for their continued support:

  1. Buehrle Golf Classic is an annual golf tournament held each summer in Missouri to support breast cancer research.
  2. Tustin Brewery Charity Golf Tournament is an annual Southern California event that raises funds for melanoma research.
  3. Dr. Anton Bilchik and Norma Bilchik with Dennis Fasone at Rod’s Day, an annual event at Mo’s Place in Playa del Rey that raises funds and awareness for gastrointestinal cancer research.
  4. Cathy Classic is an annual golf tournament held in Kissimmee, Florida, that funds melanoma research.