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Cancer Charity Reaches Milestone

The Brad Kaminsky Foundation hosts sixth annual Heroes of Hope Golf Tournament.

Saturday night was a big night for The Brad Kaminsky Foundation.

With the presentation of a $32,000 check, the foundation crossed the quarter of a million mark in money raised for cancer research.

"That’s really an amazing thing," Lisa Millar, founder of the foundation, said. "It’s huge."

More than 140 golfers came out to the Lansdowne Resort to participate in The Brad Kaminsky Foundation’s sixth annual Heroes of Hope golf tournament Saturday, April 28, to raise money for Duke University’s Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.

Millar’s brother, Brad Kaminsky, died Feb. 10, 2001, from a brain tumor. Millar started the foundation in his memory and is determined to help find a cure for brain cancer.

"I felt I needed to bring a change," she said. "And that change is helping to find a cure for this disease. The most deadly cancer for children and men under the age of 39."

"Miracles are being performed every day," Jennifer Alves, a 26-year brain cancer survivor who was diagnosed when she was 7 months old, said. "That’s what we are here to support."

MILLAR’S GOAL for the golf tournament was to raise more money than the $30,000 raised in 2006 and she met it easily.

"I knew we would be equal or better than that," she said. "It’s always really great. It’s a real gift to have such amazing people."

"People really are giving people," Carleigh Ghent, who helped Millar organize this year's event, said. "People are really excited about helping."

With each golfer paying $190 to participate, silent auction items ranging from $10 to several hundred and cancer awareness items available for $5 to $15, attendees could give as much or as little as they wished.

"It’s just bigger and better every year, MaryJo Robinson, volunteer coordinator for the event, said. "Every year there is a greater response from the community."

MANY OF THE people in attendance Saturday night were there because of a loved one fighting a brain tumor or who had died from the cancer. Manassas resident Kelly Kuhn was playing for his friend Bob Carte Jr. Robinson became involved because of her own struggle with Hodgkin's disease. Brian Burns, the owner of Visual Ventures Videography, one of the sponsors of the event, was there because of his friend Lisa Lewis-Gibson, who helped start the tournament.

"This is a great cause to get involved in," Burns said. "I wanted to help raise money to fund cancer research."

"I think this type of event has a lot of personal connection," Robinson said. "Unfortunately."

So, surrounded by family, friends and people who have seen their own family and friends affected by brain tumors, Millar and her father, Alan Kaminsky, presented Dr. Gary Archer, assistant research professor at Duke University, with a check for $30,000 Saturday night.

The money raised will go into a general fund, to be used where it is needed at the university.

"Our grants are being cut," Archer said. "When we fall short, these kinds of funds can fill in with what we need. Clinical research is very expensive."

"Duke is doing a lot of great things and it’s up to us to keep that momentum going," Millar said.

THIS YEAR’S EVENT had a special section set up to benefit 22-month-old Taylor Love of Ashburn, who is suffering from neuroblastoma, a cancer that occurs in the sympathetic nervous system.

When Taylor was diagnosed, Lara Bryson and Jennifer Hubacker, family friends who designed jewelry, stepped up to create a special bracelet for Taylor.

"Instead of just copying one of the breast cancer awareness styles, we wanted to tailor something special to Taylor," Bryson said.

According to the women, the bracelets are made with blue sapphire crystals to "match Taylor's eyes," green crystals "to represent hope in renewed life and tranquillity," gold beads "representing awareness of childhood cancers" and crystal beads "to represent God's righteousness and mercy surrounding Taylor." Some bracelets are available with Taylor's name spelled out.

Since Taylor’s diagnosis at 18 months old, the two have been selling the bracelets to raise money for Taylor’s treatment. Before the tournament began a table was set up for the two women to sell their bracelets and a section of the silent auction was set aside as "Taylor's Corner."

All of the money raised in the special section will go specifically to Taylor’s treatment.

"Lisa came up with the idea of having a spot in the silent auction for her," Bryson said. "Which is great."

JUST LIKE the years before, Millar ended the evening by reading those people who had died from brain tumors and who had people playing in their memory.

"I promised my brother I would never stop fighting until there was a cure," she said.

For more information on The Brad Kaminsky Foundation visit www.tbkf.org or email Lisa Millar at DNL1231@aol.com.