For the third consecutive year, BCC Rally in Ballantyne was recognized as the top fundraiser in the nation for Rally for the Cure, a grassroots fundraising division of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
BCC Rally raised $168,000 to be donated to the Charlotte affiliate of Susan G. Komen, which serves citizens of Mecklenburg and nine surrounding counties.
"We do this for the personal relationships," said Beth Freudenthal, the new chairwoman of BCC Rally. "It's the icing on the cake but it's not why we do it."
Co-chair Debra Dickson said the recognition has helped BCC Rally gain prospective sponsorship opportunities.
"Recognition of being the highest-grossing fundraiser in the country helped provide an additional avenue to increase our sponsorships dollars," she said. "With every sponsorship dollar we get, it increases the number of people we can provide for in the cancer community."
Sue Dockstadler, publicity coordinator for BCC Rally, added that the recognition has given BCC Rally a good name within the community.
"Being No. 1 shows that we are a viable charity and gives us standing within the Charlotte community, both with individuals and with businesses," she said.
The women believe the reason for their success has to do with the growth of the events and enthusiasm of the volunteers. When the nonprofit began eight years ago, it had one women's golf tournament and raised $1,100. In 2010, BCC Rally had five events and two awareness campaigns.
"That's part of why we are growing," said Freudenthal. "Everyone is so excited to be here and that helps make our events such a success. We try and come up with new ideas every year and expand those events we already have."
In 2010, BCC Rally launched their latest awareness campaign with the help of students of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America club at Ardrey Kell High School.
Heidi Eggles, a senior at Ardrey Kell, created the children's book "Ruthie and the Pink Fairy" with help of fellow club members, and BCC Rally aided in promotions and sales. Together, they sold 500 books and raised $2,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
"It was great to raise money for Komen but that wasn't our focus," said Dockstadler, who worked closely with the high school students. "We wanted to bring awareness into the schools, particularly to elementary students. If we can affect young children and have the word 'cancer' in their vocabulary, we have done well."
In 2011, BCC Rally's goal is to increase their book sales efforts and the efforts for the Pink Bow Campaign. The bow campaign, which began two years ago, is the BCC Rally's most popular awareness campaign.
In 2010, the group sold 6,800 bows and raised $37,500 for Susan G. Komen. Dockstadler said they plan on tripling their efforts by reaching out to the greater Charlotte community.
"We are trying to be more inclusive rather than exclusive," she said. "The name 'Ballantyne Country Club' has certain connotations that we are trying to move away from. We are not just women from the Ballantyne Country Club community but are from all over Charlotte."
Although the theme for the 2011 events will be kept secret until tickets sales begin, the women were excited about the upcoming year.
"Last year, we were in uncharted territory," said Dickson. "We had more people than ever attend our events, especially at the gala. And that's why we do this, to help celebrate those affected by cancer let them know we support them."