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Nonprofit needs help with annual fall fundraiser

July 25, 2014

At Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance’s 2013 5K/10K fun run fundraiser last year, walkers of all ages turned out at $35 per person in support ESBCA’s efforts to offer financial support to local cancer patients in need. Photo courtesy Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance

In an effort to continue supporting local cancer patients, Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance is currently seeking matching funds for its upcoming 14th Annual 5K Walk/10K Fun Run fundraising event.
Money raised at the family-friendly fun run, which will be held on Oct. 18 and start and end at Bishop City Park, assists Inyo and Mono ESBCA clients who have been diagnosed with any kind of cancer and who apply to ESBCA for assistance.
“Although the majority of our clients come from Bishop, there’s been a huge increase in our clients from Southern Inyo County – Independence, Lone Pine and Olancha,” ESBCA founder and board member Pat Ramirez said.
“Some of the letters are heartbreaking; they are people who definitely need our help.”
Fun run participants will be asked to donate the usual $35 per person entry fee and ESBCA usually raises $21,000-$23,000 at each fun run, Ramirez explained. “It would be awesome if ESBCA were to receive a gift of matching funds.” Increased funds would mean increased monthly financial awards to ESCBA clients, an improved and well-maintained website and “a resource center that has its doors opened more frequently than just twice a week.”
Ramirez explained that many community members participate in out-of-town as well as local large corporation-sponsored cancer-related fundraisers, some of which ask for entry fees in the thousands of dollars. Most of those fundraisers do not directly benefit local cancer patients. “These large corporate events are unique in many ways but the ESBCA event is unique because the money received goes back to our community of family and friends battling cancer.
“Basically, we give all (the funds raised in the fun run and other minor events) back to people with cancer.” After administrative costs, ESBCA’s goal is to empty its coffers every year, she explained.  If individuals, organizations and businesses would donate money to match the sums raised, it would double ESBCA resources, which translates into more clients being helped. “A lot of our clients don’t have family members that can help them financially. Many are retired with fixed income and many don’t have jobs that offer sick leave,” Ramirez added.
ESBCA is non-profit 501c3 organization so all donations are tax deductible. To get more information and to donate matching funds, contact ESBCA at (760) 872-3811, or ESBCA Resource Center, 2357 Grandview Dr., Bishop, CA 93514. ESBCA Treasurer Andrea Shallcross is available to meet with people who are interested in providing matching funds for the current year.
“Over the past 14 years, we have helped many individuals (who are) financially struggling after receiving a diagnosis of cancer,” Ramirez said. Every month, 10-14 local cancer patients are awarded between $175, and $250 to help them with expenses such as prescription co-pays and travel to out-of-area oncologist visits, Ramirez explained.  “Gas prices have not decreased and many individuals that we assist have a difficult time” with that. Also, many individuals have loss of income and need help with rent, food, insurance co-pays.
This assistance is gratefully accepted, Ramirez said and throughout the years, many ESBCA assistance recipients have given verbal and handwritten thank yous, Ramirez said, “They express their gratitude to our community for raising the funds to help them.” 
In addition to fundraising, ESBCA has striven to limit expenses, being extremely careful with its spending in order to divert nearly all of funds raised to easing clients’ burdens, Ramirez said. For example, ESBCA reduces spending on items such as advertising. “Alex Printing has been very kind to us” and donates many printed items.
“Please keep your money here in Inyo and Mono county to help our residents that are dealing with cancer and their expenses incurred when dealing with cancer,” Ramirez said.

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