Bid for Hope Heads to Jergel’s Rhythm Grille!

By Rosemary Garrity

 The eleventh annual Bid for Hope event has found a new venue, Jergel’s Rhythm Grille located close to the I-79 Warrendale exit.  Jergel’s offers an expanded space for the more than 300 supporters of A Glimmer of Hope Foundation expected to attend this event on Monday, Oct. 29.  This 501-3c organization continues to fund breast cancer research, in particular, for the pre-menopausal population. In addition, Glimmer has purchased innovative, as well as, much needed equipment for hospitals in the Pittsburgh area. Over $1.6 million has been invested in Western Pennsylvania to fund pre-menopausal breast cancer research.

Jergel’s is the perfect site to host Bid for Hope.  This two-story building has several areas designed to accommodate a large crowd. One side of the main floor will house the fantastic auction items, while a private section is designated for the first hour, when attendees can have their footballs signed by a group of Steelers, who are a major attraction.  Heath Miller, the spokesperson for Glimmer, and his wife, Katie, are always there to demonstrate their support. Understanding that it is necessary to have a lot of funding for the research, Miller explains his and his wife’s willingness to help Glimmer. “A lot of women are faced with breast cancer and that struggle and there is not a lot of research on the pre-menopausal stage of it.  It’s neat to see where it goes. We are happy to help them out.”  Former Steeler Alan Faneca and his wife, Julie, will also be there.  Even though they now live in New Orleans, they travel the distance because of their commitment to the cause.  Julie said, “A Glimmer of Hope is a unique foundation where you know where your donation is being spent and is being used to save lives. We look forward to the event every year and will continue to be a part of A Glimmer of Hope  until there is a cure.”

 

The organization has been fortunate to have the support of the Steelers.  Each year at the event, a group of players takes the time to attend.  According to Michele Rosenthal, Community Relations Manager of the Steelers, “The Steelers organization is proud to work with Bid for Hope to support breast cancer research for pre-menopausal women. The players that attend

play an important role in making Bid for Hope a successful fundraiser, knowing that monies raised will be used for breast cancer research locally.”

Food stations, strategically placed throughout the first floor, will feature tasty items prepared by Jergel’s chefs. After having their footballs signed, attendees can bid on the spectacular auction items and “graze’ around the floor.  Ron Sofranko, managing partner at Jergel’s, has nearly 25 years in the hospitality field.  He is excited about the Glimmer event. “Jergel’s is thrilled to be chosen by A Glimmer of Hope to hold its annual event.  A Glimmer of Hope is an outstanding organization dedicated to such a worthwhile cause, and we are happy to support such a great cause!”

 Glimmer of Hope founder, Diana Napper, is grateful for all the support the organization has received. “Our foundation has been assisted by several groups; some have been with us for years, and some are new additions.  This has allowed us to expand our efforts in the constant battle to cure this disease.”  This past summer, the Treesdale Women’s Golf Organization sponsored Par-Tee for Hope, an outing that was co-chaired by Jocelyn Thompson and Diane Blakeney. Participants like the idea that the money that is raised stays in Pittsburgh.  The Home Depot hosted the third annual Clays for the Cure at Seven Springs in July.  Many of the shooters traveled from several states to participate.  Home Depot’s connection with Glimmer continues to grow, demonstrated by the $40,000 in  proceeds from the event that was given to Napper. In October, the Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford will once again partner with Glimmer. Participants will pay a $5.00 fee for a special Zumba class on Saturday, October 20, at 9:15  and all proceeds are designated to go to Glimmer of Hope.  A variety of baskets will be on display  at the club, and members can bid on them.  Winners will be selected on Wednesday, October 31.

 A connection with Warrendale based, rue21 is a very exciting and unique opportunity for Glimmer.  As many people know,  rue21 is a company that provides affordable and trendy fashion items and accessories for the young population. Since one of Glimmer’s goals is to educate young women about breast cancer, this relationship with rue21 will help to target this population. Presently, there are plans to feature a special lip-gloss in their stores in 46 states, with a portion of the  proceeds going to Glimmer. This is only one of several ways that rue21 plans to support the foundation.

Sometimes individuals like Bill Phillips become involved.  His wife died of breast cancer and he now makes trivets, made from wine corks, and sells them.  He recently gave the foundation $8,000 from his sales.  Every effort, from groups or individuals, is appreciated and provides financial assistance for various projects.

 Obviously, there are many factors involved in raising money for  breast cancer research.  Bid for Hope is the largest fundraiser of the year for Glimmer. It requires a lot of planning, many volunteers and the support of the Steelers, to name a few of the prerequisites for a successful function. In the end, it makes it possible for Napper to present checks to places like  Magee-Womens Research Institute.  This past summer  almost $140,000 was donated to MWRI.   People often ask, and want to know, how the money is spent.  In this case, over $80,000 will be used to purchase new  breast cancer information packets, resource books and DVDs and allow women to have access to education about breast cancer through the hospital’s website. Money will also fund a part-time genetic counselor and part-time navigator.  One particular innovation was to name the  navigator as “Glimmer Champion” to recognize the foundation and make it possible for this person to track activity and evaluate success in this endeavor. Another $50,000 will fund genetic testing for patients who have a  history of breast cancer in their families.  In many ways, this may enhance the image of  Magee/UPMC and make it recognized as a premier pre-menopausal breast cancer center.

 Napper has responded to requests from young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  They are a unique group because when breast cancer strikes them, it is different from when it afflicts older women.  First, it is usually more aggressive. Secondly, these women often have young children at home, and many are working.  They are frightened and need support as they fight their battles.  This is why a navigator is important.  She can lead them through the entire process and provide education, guidance and support along the way.  Until a cure is found, the foundation will continue to help these women in every way possible.

 A Glimmer of Hope foundation is a grass-roots, local organization that welcomes support.  Please visit symbolofthecure.com to find information about breast cancer and ways you can help.  Information about Bid for Hope on October 29 at Jergel’s is on the site. YOU can be a part of this huge effort to find a cure.

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