Classic Raises $1 Million for Breast Cancer Research

Ana Mantica, Content Editor
(Tuesday, June 5, 2012)
Fort Wayne, Indiana When you play for a cure, it’s not about the game, it’s about having fun and putting your heart into it. That’s just what 614 golf and tennis players did over the weekend during the 2012 Vera Bradley Classic, raising $1,001,145, all of which benefit breast cancer research.

The Vera Bradley Classic is one of the largest amateur women’s golf and tennis tournaments in the country. The four-day event held June 1 – 4 included partners tennis matches, 9-hole and 18-hole golf team tournaments, and social events with close to 1,000 people – players, volunteers and supporters – showing their support and commitment to the cause. Women from 11 states participated.

"The first Vera Bradley Classic, almost 20 years ago, raised about $60,000, and we were excited," said Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Co-founder. "To raise more than $1 million for the cause this year inspires our hope that a cure is within reach.

The funds support breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, a nationally ranked cancer center. This brings the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer's total giving to nearly $16 million.

Classic Tennis
The events kicked off with 150 women facing of in the doubles tennis competition on Friday and Saturday at Wildwood Racquet Club. The tennis tournament included 5.0-5.5 Division, 6.0 Division, 6.5 Division, 7.0 Division and 8.0 Division play. During the Tennis celebration and awards dinner on Saturday, tennis pros Mike Andrews and Jade, and Maja Furniss and Jay Smithley, also played an exhibition match. See the results »

Classic Golf
Meanwhile, on Monday, at Fort Wayne Country Club and Sycamore Hills Golf Club, 464 golfers tee’d off for a cure for18-hole and 9-hole Florida scrambles. See the results »

Classic Celebration
After the golf games, nearly a thousand people gathered under a 200-foot-long tent for an outdoor celebration dinner at Sycamore Hills. Guests heard from our leaders, breast cancer survivors and researchers, with special guest U.S. Senator Dan Coats also in attendance.

In a moving moment, breast cancer survivor Kathy Little shared a message of hope, adamantly urging for early detection and emphasizing the level of care she received is a result of the many research advancements being made. Most importantly, she added: “Pay it forward.”

Drs. Hari Nakshatri and Brittney-Shea Herbert, who is currently battling breast cancer, gave an update on the research we support as well. Read more on research updates ».

Classic Supporters
Behind the scenes, more than 300 volunteers helped make the event special and keep it running smoothly. “Our volunteers are true professionals,” said Catherine Hill, Vera Bradley Foundation Executive Director. “They execute this event to perfection. And of course it helps that Mother Nature did her part, too.”

Guests also enjoyed auction at both dinner celebration with fabulous items from generous donors and supporters. Popular items included Vera Bradley-inspired Electra Townie bicycles, KitchenAid Standing Mixer and Corn Hole game; a luxury suite at Parkview Field for a Fort Wayne TinCaps game; and an “Around the World” dinner for 12 from Club Soda.

An additional special thank you to long-time partner Wendy’s, whose customers helped raise $59,000, showing that just $1 can make a true difference.

All proceeds went to benefit breast cancer research.

See pictures of the Vera Bradley Classic 2012 »

See the unveiling of the grand total at the Celebration Dinner »

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