Hooray For Hooters

By Tara Miller

One of snowboarding’s largest fundraising and awareness events, Boarding for Breast Cancer’s Fifth Annual Snowboard and Music Festival, presented by RLX Polo Sport, took place at Sierra-at-Tahoe on Saturday, April 15, 2000. Although the sun was nowhere to be found, over 4,000 people showed up to support the cause, which raised over 115,000 dollars. BBC is a nonprofit, youth-focused awareness and fundraising organization. Their mission is to spread awareness about good breast health practices and the importance of early cancer detection, while raising funds for research projects and educational programs.

Chances are, if you don’t already know someone who has or has had breast cancer, you will at some point in your life. One in every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer, and contrary to popular belief, men are susceptible, too. The statistics are overwhelming: According to the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 1999—2000, 214,000 women and 1,000 men were diagnosed with the disease in 1999, and approximately 43,000 women died from it. There is no known cure for breast cancer. For this reason, it is imperative to be aware of how severe and widespread the disease is, as well as the importance of early detection.

This year’s Snowboard and Music Festival not only provided a halfpipe and big-air exhibition by some of the world’s best professional snowboarders, but also gave attendees an opportunity to ride with the pros and join an afternoon autograph session. Michele Taggart, Leslee Olson, Tina Basich, Ross Powers, Tom Gilles, Shannon Dunn, Jason Borgstede, Jeff Brushie, and Cara-Beth Burnside are just a few of the professional athletes who were there to promote BBC and breast-cancer awareness. The top riders of the halfpipe session were Tara Dakides and Brian Richardson, and recognition went to Sarah Meyers and Nate Mott in the big-air extravaganza.

Throughout the day, event MCs Gordy Johnson, Michele Taggart, and Kennedy entertained the crowd between spectacular music performances by Vera, Flogging Molly, Guttermouth, Del the Funky Homosapien, The Pharcyde, and Mos Def. Meanwhile, there was a major benefit raffle of more than 150 donated boards, clothing, and accessories, as well as on-site sponsors providing free snowboard demos and giving away tons of snowboarding gear.

BBC’s message of awareness was conveyed through numerous hands-on, interactive, educational displays by The Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, The Breast Cancer Action Group, and The Breast Cancer Fund, all demonstrating self-breast exams throughout the day. The festival’s tent city also included an art- registry organization for breast-cancer survivors; a local health-care provider; a masseuse promoting massage as a means of therapy; and Modart, an artist collective that engaged spectators to express breast-cancer awareness by painting plaster breast molds.

Once again, the single most important tool in surviving breast cancer is early detection. Although researchers have identified “risk factors” that may influence a woman’s chance of contracting the disease (two significant ones are being female and aging), many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors, and many women with known risk factors do not get breast cancer–all women are at risk for breast cancer. However, women may be at higher risk if there is family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or if a close relative had breast cancer before menopause or in both breasts.

Factors that may decrease breast-cancer risk are a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, soy, and grains, and a regular exercise program. In order to detect an abnormality in the breast, monthly breast self-examinations are recommended beginning by age twenty. Clinical breast examinations are recommended at least every three years beginning at age twenty, and increasing to annual examinations after age 40. Annual mammograms are also recommended for women by age 40 or earlier if there is a family history of breast cancer.

BBC’s Snowboard and Music Festival depends on ticket sales, rider registration fees, on-site raffle and product sales, sponsors, volunteers, and public donations. A grand total of over 500,000 dollars has been raised in the past five years. A portion of this year’s proceeds has been donated to the festival’s beneficiary, The Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, and will also go toward furthering BBC Foundation’s youth-focused educational programs.

For more information visit BBC’s official Web site at http://bbc.chickclick.com.

Titty Trivia

*One in every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer.

-In 1999, 214,000 women and 1,000 men were diagnosed with the disease, and approximately 43,000 women died from it.

-By the end of the decade, approximately 1.8-million women and 12,000 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

-Approximately 44,000 women and 400 men will die of this disease each year.

-Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer among American women and is second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths. For women ages 35 to 54, breast cancer is the leading cause of death.

-Breast cancer accounts for 30 percent of all new cancer cases in women.

-There is no cure for breast cancer.

-Men are susceptible, too–1,000 men were diagnosed with the disease in 1999.