Article written by Joe Doherty
With the recent presentation of a check for $10,000 to the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) the Point Pleasant Boro Rotary Club achieved its initial goal to donate $50,000 to fight the disease.
Tim Turnham, Executive Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation, traveled from Washington, D. C. to accept the check for $10,000 from the Club on Wednesday, October 28th at Graziano’s Italian Restaurant in Point Boro.
The contribution represents a portion of the proceeds realized from the Club’s 8th Annual Kevin A. Brue Melanoma Awareness Father’s Day 5K and Fun Run held last June.
The MRF, the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma, the most serious of skin cancers in the United States, has been guided by Mr. Turnham since January 2009. It was founded in 1996 and regularly achieves the highest rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most utilized independent charity evaluator.
Mr. Turnham, Executive Director since 2009, updated the Club on some advances in treatment approved recently by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He noted that an injection can be used to treat melanoma lesions that cannot be removed completely by surgery and it causes the cancer cells to rupture and die. There is now a first time approved therapy of combining two cancer drugs to unleash the body’s immune system against tumors. The FDA expanded the use of a drug to include therapy for patients with stage III melanoma, to lower the risk that the melanoma will return following surgery.
“This Club made a commitment five years ago to use the race proceeds to help in the battle against melanoma,” remarked Club President Tom Santoro, Jr. “and in each of the last five years the Club was able to donate $10,000 to help the Melanoma Research Foundation. We are proud to be part of this campaign to fight one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States.”
The race is named for Kevin Brue, an avid runner and former Point Boro High School athlete, who passed away after a brave struggle with melanoma. His father John Brue, Sr. and his brother, John Brue, Jr. have served as Rotary Club president.
Mr. Turnham thanked the Club for its commitment to helping defeat melanoma. He stated that “Every step taken in the fight builds on a foundation to provide amazing hope. The life expectancy for a person stricken with melanoma has increased considerably since my first visit to the Point Pleasant Boro Rotary Club five years ago.”
Melanoma can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 137,000 Americans are likely to have a positive diagnosis this year. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25 to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15 to 29-years-old.
The MRF is committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. It educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF's website, www.melanoma.org/learn-more/about-us, is the premier source for melanoma information seekers.
The Point Boro Club also aids St. Gregory’s Pantry; sponsors a youth water safety program; continues a dictionary donation for each third grade student at Nellie Bennett and Ocean Road schools; and, awards scholarships to local high school graduates. The Club is a primary partner with the Boro Police Department in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in our Point Pleasant’s elementary and middle schools and underwrites a related self-esteem poster contest. Additionally, club works toward Rotary International’s goal to eradicate polio and provide clean water in underdeveloped areas of the world. It also supports Face of America, a program that honors the men and women who were wounded or disabled while in service to our nation.
The 9th annual 5K is slated to be held on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Jim Higgins, Race Director, indicated that “The energetic spirit demonstrated in the past by the borough administration and several of its departments, the school system, the running community, local businesses, our fellow residents and our Club members, points to this race continuing its goal to generate assistance to many charitable and community-based groups.”
Rotary International was founded in 1905. The Point Pleasant Boro Club was established in 1971. There are 34,200 clubs worldwide with 1.2 million members who live the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”
More information about the Point Pleasant Boro Rotary Club’s activities can be obtained by visiting www.ptbororotary.com
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