Paddle Rally: Playing With Purpose
Each year, many dedicated individuals raise money for Living Beyond Breast Cancer through a variety of DIY (do-it-yourself) events. Linda Dutton, from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, is one of those people. In 1997 she organized a paddle tennis event that has become known as the Paddle Rally. About 130 people participated in that first event. The annual rally has grown over the years, with several hundred people participating in the 2015 Paddle Rally.
Paddle tennis is adapted from tennis but uses a depressurized tennis ball and a solid paddle rather than a strung racquet.
The 2016 Paddle Rally will be on October 17 and will begin at a club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. After gathering there, Paddle Rally participants spread out to more than a dozen locations to play in honor of Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
“The event is a morning of play, support and education,” says Linda, the founder and chairwoman of the Paddle Rally. “We want to bring awareness and education about breast cancer to our participants.”
At each event, a speaker talks about a topic related to breast cancer. Past topics have included nutrition, treatment options, detection and research.
The event is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016. It has raised more than $200,000 for Living Beyond Breast Cancer during that time and it is the longest running DIY event in LBBC’s history. LBBC CEO Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, says this long-running commitment “makes the impact of the event so much greater.”
“We are proud that we can continually raise these types of funds in a grassroots way,” says Linda. “All of the funds are from individuals who want to give back.”
Jen Davis, of Abington, Pennsylvania, has participated in the Paddle Rally for nearly 10 years.
“My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1965 when I was three-and–a-half,” Jen says. “While she made us aware of everything [happening to her] it was a much different climate back then as there wasn’t much education, awareness or treatment options. I support LBBC’s mission. The more education and awareness we can provide about breast cancer the better.”
This year’s Paddle Rally will feature speaker Laura Martin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.
“[The paddle rally] is a great way for women to get together to support an organization where they know where their money is going,” says Laura, who has played paddle tennis for 35 years. “I’m honored to be this year’s chosen speaker.”
You can learn more about the event, sign up to participate or make a donation by clicking here.