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ACS is now an official partner of Spartan Races

Participants of Spartan Races now have the opportunity to fundraise or donate in support of our cancer-fighting mission when registering for the more than 50 events across the U.S. in 2022 through June of 2023.

The partnership between ACS and Spartan Races includes integration on Spartan’s digital platforms and social media streams. In addition, ACS will be onsite serving as the Presenting Partner for the San Jose Spartan Race on November 12-13. Those who join Team DetermiNation will receive the following benefits:

  • Raise $300 and receive your choice of either a DetermiNation/ACS technical shirt or singlet
  • Raise $500 and receive a redemption code for (1) free entry to the 2023 Spartan Race season (must be redeemed by May 31, 2023) + your choice of technical shirt or singlet
  • Raise $1000 and receive a DetermiNation sport backpack + a redemption code for (1) free entry to the 2023 Spartan Race season (must be redeemed by May 31, 2023) + your choice of technical shirt or singlet

"The partnership with Spartan Races offers participants the chance to fundraise for a mission they care deeply about, and really push themselves during a transformational race experience," said Paul Purdy, strategic director, Endurance Events and Network Fundraising.

For more information about the Spartan Race partnership, contact Paul Purdy at directly.

  • ☀️ Making Strides Sunny Days Ahead Challenge 🕶️

    Raise $50 by end of August for a pair of pink sunglasses.

    The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer season kicks off every August and to encourage registration and fundraising, we will launch the Sunny Days Ahead Challenge -- an incentive-driven sign-up campaign during the month of August. 

    Anyone who is registered and has raised $50 online, or through the mobile app, by the end of August will receive a free pair of pink shades to rock all season long! The promotion will run through the end of month via social media, email, event websites and SMS. ACS team members and volunteers are encouraged to help spread the word and join forces with the nation’s nonprofit leader working tirelessly to end breast cancer as we know it. 

    This year, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer movement celebrates its 30th anniversary and will take place in more than 150 communities nationwide. Search and sign up for your local event today by visiting

  • BrightEdge to collaborate with Third Rock Ventures

    Collaboration to broaden the impact of innovative oncology-focused startups.

    BrightEdge LLC (BrightEdge), the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) impact venture capital arm, have announced a novel collaboration with Third Rock Ventures, LLC (TRV), a leading healthcare venture capital firm. The relationship connects a leading venture capital firm with a mission-driven strategic investment partner at the earliest stages of oncology company formation to broaden the impact of innovative oncology-focused startups. Read more about the news in the Wall Street Journal.

    Under the collaboration, BrightEdge will have the opportunity to participate in the Series A and follow-on financing rounds of oncology-focused companies launched by TRV. BrightEdge, in partnership with ACS, will leverage its knowledge networks and research communities to deepen the impact of investments made in connection with the TRV-BrightEdge collaboration. TRV will also provide technical know-how and other resources to support the education of scientific founders and entrepreneurs in the ACS ecosystem. 

    “This unique relationship opens up a whole new realm of possibilities in patient-centric innovation and investing as we leverage our combined expertise to build companies in areas of greatest need and impact,” said Alice Pomponio, BrightEdge’s managing director. “This partnership touches today’s patients by ensuring ACS can sustain life-saving patient services while paving the way for tomorrow’s innovative solutions. We fully expect to replicate this model with other mission-aligned VC firms to deepen our impact and accelerate our patient-centric mission in reducing cancer mortality, ending pain and suffering, and advancing health equity.”  

    By creating the potential for BrightEdge to generate returns to fund ACS research and services, TRV will expand its ability to positively impact the lives of patients and their families living with cancer and accelerate the pace of innovation in early and translational research in oncology. 

    “At TRV, we work with a singular mission – to bring biomedical innovation to patients living with significant unmet medical needs. This relationship with BrightEdge strengthens our impact across the oncology ecosystem by helping to facilitate ACS programs and initiatives which play critical roles in the patient care continuum,” said Reid Huber, Ph.D., partner at TRV. “As part of BrightEdge’s community of investors, TRV will also gain access to ACS’ programmatic efforts to foster scientific innovation and patient support, further expanding our efforts to push the boundaries of science and technology, and connecting us to one of the key patient communities we serve.” 

    Third Rock Ventures is a leading healthcare venture firm focused on advancing disruptive areas of science and medicine to deliver breakthroughs to patients. By starting with big ideas and fostering collaboration among people with expertise in science, medicine, business and strategy, TRV aims to discover, launch and build innovative companies that can transform the lives of patients. Its mission is to be the preferred partner for entrepreneurs, investors, employees and industry to build great companies that discover and develop products that make a difference for the patients it serves.

    Since 2007, TRV has built a portfolio of 60 life sciences companies working on delivering breakthroughs to patients. In June, the firm announced the closing of its $1.1 billion sixth fund, which will continue Third Rock’s core strategy to discover, launch and build new groundbreaking companies. 

    The American Cancer Society created BrightEdge in 2019 to diversify its income base, build financial resilience and accelerate its mission through entrepreneurial approaches. BrightEdge invests in for-profit, early-stage companies developing cancer-focused therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and technologies. As an evergreen fund, investment gains are fully reinvested in the fund’s portfolio companies and ACS research and programs.  Read more about recent news of two new members of its exclusive Founders Circle, a group comprised of donors who contribute $500,000 or more.

    Additionally, BrightEdge invests in companies working on solutions across the cancer patient-care continuum and product value chain -- from prevention and disease awareness and cutting-edge treatments, diagnostics, and solutions to patient access. Since 2019, BrightEdge has made 15 mission-aligned investments, two of which have gone public. BrightEdge is stage-agnostic but particularly active in Seed and Series A funding rounds.

    BrightEdge oversees a fund with a net asset value of $77 million that’s on track to reach the $100 million-mark next year, fueled by “investment donations” and fund returns. The fund invests alongside the country’s most prominent venture capital firms – serving as a value-add syndicate partner to validate the unmet need and deepen impact through market awareness and patient-centric innovation capabilities. Read more about BrightEdge’s recent annual report.

    Like and share this news on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Volunteers across five states lauded for dedication

    Area boards recognize volunteers who exemplify ACS core values.

    ACS team members in the Northeast Region recently recognized several New England residents with this year’s Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award. The award is the most honored accolade presented by ACS in New England. It recognizes their remarkable accomplishments in support of our mission to celebrate lives, to save lives, and to lead the fight for a world without cancer.

    The award is imbued with special meaning. It is named in honor of the late Sandra C. Labaree, a longtime ACS volunteer from Maine. Despite her death from breast cancer in 2000, Labaree’s spirit and values live on through this award. Each year, local area Boards select the most inspired and passionate individuals to receive this prestigious honor whose service best exemplifies our organizational values of mission, stewardship, diversity, data-driven, and respect. Presentation ceremonies are typically held in person, usually during the volunteer’s event.

    “Just over one-hundred years ago, the American Cancer Society was started by visionary volunteers. Today, volunteers like these are still changing the course of cancer,” said Louise Santosuosso, vice president of the New England Area.

    This year’s winners are:

    • Michelle Ackroyd and Christine Sylvian, from Relay For Life of Rockingham County (NH,) submitted by Shawna Zechman and Chelsea Paradore
    • Sabrina Chow, Co-Lead Northeast Regional Campus Leadership Team (MA,) submitted by Jordan Furstenberg
    • Cyndney Dodge, from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of New Hampshire (NH,) submitted by Nancy Mathias
    • Rose Flynn, from Relay For Life of Greater Haverhill (MA,) submitted by Allison Mannette
    • Jim Foster, from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Boston (MA,) submitted by Lisa Labadini
    • Julie Giano, from Relay For Life of Plainville Bristol (CT,) submitted by Alexis Maliga
    • Kerrin Gullison, from Relay For Life of Greater Concord-Manchester (NH,) submitted by Shawna Zechman and Chelsea Paradore
    • Kim Lalli, from Relay For Life of Maynard (MA,) submitted by Brianna Apruzzese
    • Brian Meehan, from Relay For Life of Quaboag Valley (MA,) submitted by Anne Colacarro
    • Steve Peljovich, from Relay For Life of Charles River (MA,) submitted by Brittney Toth
    • DA Jonathan Sahrbeck, from Real Men Wear Pink of Maine and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Greater Portland Maine (ME,) submitted by submitted by Maitri Chittidi
    • Meave Smart, from Relay For Life of Northeastern University (MA,) submitted by Hilary Casillas
    • John Spain, from Real Men Wear Pink of Maine (ME,) submitted by Maitri Chittidi
    • Roberta Tyska, from of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Connecticut (CT,) submitted by Lynn Kipphut

  • Fifty years of swimming for cancer

    Greensboro, NC, swimmers have raised $5 million.

    For the last 50 years, youth in Guilford County, NC, have been swimming laps and raising money for the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society's longest running fundraiser, Swim For Cancer, began in 1973 to honor a dedicated young man and swimmer, John Dewey, who inspired the community before passing away from the disease as a senior in high school. 

    To this day, more than 2,000 young swimmers in and around Greensboro gather at their pools each summer, as they did this July, to raise money in memory of John and in honor of their loved ones who have been impacted by cancer. From generation to generation, these young swimmers have raised more than $5 million for ACS.

    “I grew up participating in the Swim For Cancer every year, and now have a 14-year-old daughter who has done the same every year since she was 6 years old,” said Susan Skipper, a parent volunteer with the Friendly Swim team, the top fundraising team the last two years, pictured here with their trophies. “At Friendly Pool, we are very active in our Swim For Cancer fundraising campaign. We offer a variety of events to raise money along with the children getting sponsors for their laps, including a nice sit-down dinner at the pool, a silent auction, raffle baskets, merchandise sales and a pancake breakfast for the kids the morning of the actual Swim For Cancer.”

    Susan’s daughter, Rachael, has been active in Swim For Cancer for eight years, but it is now more personal than ever. Susan has colorectal cancer, and the long-time head Friendly swim coach, Erin Harris, has breast cancer. (Coach Erin is pictured in the photo at the top of this story, teaching the Friendly swimmers facts about cancer between laps on the morning of Friendly’s Swim For Cancer event.) Both Rachael and Erin have participated in Swim For Cancer as young swimmers themselves and have been involved in the cause for decades.

    “My mom has cancer. My swim coach has cancer. My relatives have had cancer. Both of my great grandmothers died from cancer. A lot of my mom's close friends have had cancer. Cancer has invited itself into my life and I would like for it to leave,” said Rachael, who raised $7,500 and was the top individual fundraiser for the event this year. “This Swim For Cancer every summer gives me a chance to help fight cancer.”

    The passion for Swim For Cancer has been around for 50 years, and it is not slowing down. This year, 20 Guilford County swim teams raised more than $197,000! And, they will continue swimming toward a world without cancer.

  • BrightEdge Founders Circle gets two new members

    Lydia Hill Philanthropies, Resonance Philanthropies join exclusive $500K+ group

    The American Cancer Society’s venture capital fund, BrightEdge, LLC, announced this week two new members of its exclusive Founders Circle, a group comprised of donors who contribute $500,000 or more.

    BrightEdge is working to rapidly expand its Founders Circle. “Through such generosity and our portfolio performance, we expect to grow the BrightEdge fund to $100 million in the near future,” BrightEdge Managing Director Alice Pomponio said in a press release Wednesday.

    Lydia Hill Philanthropies invests in cutting-edge projects in scientific and medical discovery. Resonance Philanthropies is a donor-advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which invests primarily in innovation in health care and sustainability.

  • Allan Shedlin Memorial Golf Classic raises $1.1M

    Twentieth annual event surpasses fundraising milestone.

    It was a spectacular day of golf, networking, and fundraising for the Allan Shedlin Memorial Golf Classic at Fenway Golf Club in Scarsdale, NY. More than 116 golfers turned out for the 20th annual event, including our CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen. Watch this new sizzle reel for an insight look!

    Organized by longtime volunteer and board member, Gary Shedlin, pictured above on the far right with this year's honorees, the golf tournament raised an astounding $1.1 million. The event has hit a major milestone accomplishment raising more than $10 million since its inception in 2008.

    The Classic was created in memory of Gary's grandfather, Allan Shedlin, who was a dedicated volunteer for 32 years.

    “I am very proud – and my grandfather Allan would have been so proud – that the companies and individuals involved with the Allan Shedlin Memorial Golf Classic have raised all this money to change the course of this disease”, Gary said. “That’s an incredible feat, and I am so grateful to all of you."

    Each year the Classic partners with financial corporations to honor a top philanthropist in the industry. This year’s honorees pictured above with Gary were Rob and Helene Sorin. Rob is a real estate partner at Fried Frank in New York City. Helene is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at the age of 40 and learned she had the BRCA1 mutation. The Sorin family is committed to raising awareness about prevention and detection and funding cancer research.

  • Relay For Life team celebrates 2021 successes

    NC retirement community has raised more than $2M during the last 25 years.

    The fight against cancer has long been important to the residents of the St. James Plantation who have raised more than $2 million for ACS during the last 25 years. With their commitment to the cause, they were not going to let a pandemic slow them down. The Relay For Life team from the sprawling, active retirement community in Southport, NC, raised more than $210,000 last year for the Relay For Life of the Cape Fear Area – easily eclipsing the necessary $165,000 to qualify for ACS’ prestigious Hero of Research award.

    On June 15 team members, pictured below, celebrated with food, a band and guest speakers at the Pavilion at St. James Planation their success of finishing in the top three fundraising teams out of 19,345 Relay For Life teams nationwide last year. Mike’s Garage Band, which played a benefit concert for the Relay For Life last year, provided the entertainment. The celebration also featured guest speakers Jon Evans, anchor for WECT News in Wilmington, and his wife Sheila, a breast cancer survivor.

    The Hero of Research Award allowed the St. James Plantation team to name an existing post-doctoral fellowship research grant in honor of a loved one or their team. They chose to name a research project by Jess Hebert, PhD, at Stanford University, the St. James Community Research Project. The three-year grant studies the genetic determinants of immune evasion by metastatic lung cancer.

    “The American Cancer Society was founded on a small group of people committed to saving lives,” said Rachel Urban, executive director in central and eastern North Carolina. “One hundred and eight years later, St. James is proof that, despite many obstacles, cancer caregivers and families are the most powerful force. Nothing is off limits for this group. We are so grateful for this team, this community and this group of individuals.”

    “The St. James team had several team members lose their battle with cancer during 2020 and 2021,” said Liz Knapp, who has served as chair of the team for the last two years. “Their passing heightened our desire to have meaningful impact. When we learned of the Hero of Research grant award, we knew immediately it was something we wanted to strive for. Cancer has affected too many in our community.”

    The St. James Plantation team of 46 community residents got creative – partnering with local businesses to host virtual wine tastings and dinners, two 5K events, a golf tournament, and a concert among their many fundraising activities. During a wine tasting with wine provided at a discounted price and sold as a fundraiser. The residents then logged on to their computers at a designated time and enjoyed their wine tasting “together” to enjoy a sense of community during a time of COVID-related isolation for many. They hosted a similar Italian dinner night in which a local restaurant provided dinner at a discounted cost, paired it with wine, and residents were able to dine “together” and enjoy a sense of community while raising money. Struggling local businesses benefited, as did the fight against cancer. 

    “We live in a very, very giving community,” said Liz. “COVID, I think, pushed us to think out of the box and realize we couldn’t just do the same four or five things, and hope for the same results when people were not, at that time, holding gatherings. We had to think virtually, what else could we do to keep the fundraising alive without expecting 200 people to show up at an in-person event? Considering the fact that a lot of the local businesses were suffering, part of the conversation was ‘How do we support them while they’re supporting us at the same time? What’s a win-win?’ We tried to do things that would benefit the businesses while still making some money for us.”

  • Making Strides offers free survivor and thriver shirts

    Shirts are part of recruitment campaign to celebrate National Cancer Survivor’s Month.

    Our message to survivors and metastatic breast cancer thrivers? The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer movement invites you to join us! As part of a targeted recruitment campaign celebrating Cancer Survivors Month (June,) breast cancer survivors and thrivers who sign up for a 2022 Making Strides event are now eligible to receive a free, branded survivor or thriver T-shirt.

    “We are excited to bring back this incentive for our courageous survivors and thrivers during the 2022 season,” said Vicky Green, strategic director, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “We have made several proactive changes to create a more inclusive community and event for participants who are currently living with metastatic breast cancer, and the thriver T-shirt option is just one example of that progress.”

    Though the campaign launched earlier this month, the shirts will be available for redemption throughout the season. Everyone can help support the recruitment effort by inviting survivors and thrivers to join your local Making Strides event to be recognized. 

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