The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation Announces 30 Finalists in $1 Million Pink Well Challenge Benefiting Breast Cancer Organizations
HOUSTON, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation announced 30 finalists in the Pink Well Challenge, a fundraising effort offering $1 million in matching grants to organizations engaged in breast cancer research, prevention, treatment and patient support throughout the U.S. The foundation also announced the winner of the Ellen DeGeneres Pink Well Award, a one-time $25,000 award to the breast cancer charity that recently captured the most online votes at pinkwell.org among all 153 applicants.
Dreamed up by Texas oilman, philanthropist and two-time cancer survivor Lester H. Smith, the Pink Well Challenge is symbolized by an active pump jack in the heart of West Texas painted bright pink. Smith says it represents how he is using proceeds from his energy industry successes to “pay it forward” in supporting breast cancer research and patient care.
Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, located in Erie, PA, captured the Ellen DeGeneres Pink Well Award with 49,572 of over 538,000 votes cast in a three-day period, from Oct. 11 – 14. The special award was created when Lester Smith appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tues. Oct. 11, 2011 and wanted to recognize the well-known talk show host for her efforts to raise funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.
Originally the Pink Well Challenge had publicized that 20 finalists would be selected. After reviewing the applications from deserving breast cancer organizations around the country, the Smiths decided to expand the list to 30 finalists. “There were so many breast cancer organizations that touched our hearts with the important and selfless work they are doing, Sue and I decided we just had to make room for a few more,” Smith said.
The 30 Pink Well Challenge finalists are breast cancer organizations of all sizes, spanning 25 states and engaged in a wide range of worthwhile efforts to positively impact the disease. In alphabetical order, the finalists are:
All About Pink (IL) A Man's Pink (NY) Beyond Boobs (VA) Bikers Battling Breast Cancer (GA) Breast Impressions (OK) Cancer Support Community -Redondo Beach (CA) Casting for Recovery (VT) Cattleman's Day - Tough Enough to Wear Pink (CO) Every Woman Can Foundation (WA) Friends Fighting Breast Cancer (MA) Friends of Mel Foundation (MA) Gilda's Club South Florida (FL) Indy SurviveOars Dragon Boat Racing (IN) Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation (PA) Katie's Crusader (IA) Libby's Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation (FL) Lump to Laughter (NC) METAvivor Research and Support (MD) Pink Door (TX) Pink-4-Ever (IN) Pink Ribbon Girls - Dayton (OH) Pink Ribbon Riders (MI) Ribbon of Hope Foundation (WI) St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation- Breast Center (MD) The Seton Fund (TX) Sister's Journey (CT) Skaggs Regional Medical Center Foundation (MO) Susan G. Komen for the Cure (TX) United in Pink (GA) Women's Wellness (WY)
These finalists will now begin raising funds to be matched by The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation based on the goals they set in their initial applications, anywhere from $1,000 to $45,000.
All finalists will also create a short video about their organization that will appear on pinkwell.org in January, 2012. The public will be invited to vote on their favorite video from Jan. 1 – May 15, 2012. The organization whose video receives the most votes and the organization that raises the most funds will each receive $50,000 in additional grants from The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation. The winners will be announced on June 2, 2012 in a special ceremony honoring National Cancer Survivors Day.
Lester Smith’s book, You Gotta Dance Like No One’s Watching (Bright Sky Press, with Trish Morille), features lessons on “living, giving and never missing a beat.” In characteristic Smith style, the book is a new twist on philanthropy— all book proceeds benefit breast cancer and genomic research worldwide with a dollar-for-dollar match from The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation. The book contains 18 of Smith’s personal stories, many about the power and joy of “paying it forward” and his colorful exploits in pursuit of making a difference for others. Smith used the messages from his book as the basis for the Pink Well Challenge. To follow the Pink Well Challenge and the 30 finalists, please visit www.pinkwell.org.
About Lester and Sue Smith
The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation has donated in excess of $50 million dollars to support cancer research and treatment at many organizations including Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Harris County Hospital District. Lester Smith is an active board member and advocate of numerous worthy causes including Baylor College of Medicine, The Holocaust Museum Houston, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the National Prostate Cancer Foundation and Houston Museum of Natural Science. The foundation supports numerous non-profit organizations dedicated to medical science, education, arts and humanitarian causes. For more information visit www.pinkwell.org.
SOURCE The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation