As the start of 2016 kicked off a year of celebration for Susan G. Komen Orange County, the end of the year brought with it the culmination of a remarkable 25-year chapter in the book of this indomitable nonprofit. Thankfully, the Komen Orange County book has many more chapters still to come, and HKA is fortunate and proud to be supporting each page.
The year was 1991 when a group of likeminded individuals, with a shared vision for a world without breast cancer, established what would grow to become one of the most acclaimed nonprofits in Orange County. As the organization proudly commemorated its 25th year in 2016, it marked the milestone with nearly $40 million raised over a quarter century for breast health research and services. Komen Orange County keeps 75 percent of funds raised in the county, providing local no-cost mammograms and breast health and education materials in all major languages through various programs. The remaining 25 percent goes to fund global breast cancer research. Almost $40 million over 25 years – with three-quarters devoted to caring for county residents. The impressive math tells a powerful story.
In Orange County, Komen’s breast health programs and treatment services are made possible through year-round fundraising efforts, including the immensely popular Race for the Cure and rousing Pink Tie Ball. The Affiliate also remains visible and generates ample buzz thanks to the efforts of a growing list of recognized and admired Pink Tie Guys – male community leaders handpicked to carry the Komen message and honored as Komen brand ambassadors for a lifetime.
Perhaps most importantly, Susan G. Komen Orange County is bolstered by a network of dedicated volunteers who donate significant time and resources to help with fundraising, event planning, community events and initiatives, and the delivery of emotional support to those in treatment.
Since 2005, Susan G. Komen Orange County has been led by the steady hand and consummate wisdom of Lisa Wolter – a well-known nonprofit leader in Orange County who has effectively guided the Affiliate during times of expansion, economic challenge and policy disagreements. She truly has transformed the Affiliate. Under her leadership, Komen Orange County was named 2014/15 Komen Affiliate of the Year, the highest honor within the network of 120 Komen affiliates worldwide.
Wolter is more than an executive, she’s also a trailblazer, having brought significant research initiatives to Orange County, including the first-ever West Coast healthy breast tissue collection event, which received 200+ healthy breast and tissue samples from ethnically diverse women for use with national and global breast cancer research.
In 2015, Wolter was the only Orange County nonprofit executive director to receive a prestigious grant from The Fieldstone Foundation’s Clare Rose Sabbatical Program, which strengthens the longevity of high-performing leaders and the health of their nonprofits.