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Treviso Bay's Week of Giving hopes to raise money for breast cancer

Andrew Atkins
Naples Daily News
Treviso Bay's 2021 Week of Giving event runs Feb. 27-March 4.

Naples’ Treviso Bay community has raised more than $300,000 to support breast cancer research and those undergoing breast cancer treatment since its first event in 2015.

Treviso Bay’s 7th Annual Week of Giving supports the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer effort. What started as a two-day event comprising a men and women’s pink golf day eventually grew into the Feb. 27-March 4 affair it is today. The Week of Giving includes a pickleball tournament, basket raffles and a pink pet parade, among others.

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Most of the Week of Giving is limited to the community — like a 5K run — but others, like an online auction and a peloton/bike challenge, are open to the wider community. 

Kathleen Christiansen, who chairs the Week of Giving, said one focus is bringing the community together. 

“There’s so much strength and knowledge within our community,” she said. 

The cause is near to her heart: as a breast cancer survivor, Christiansen wants to give back.

“These are the people, in their way, who are helping the treatment of men and women and their breast cancer in their dark days,” she said.

Natalia Armstrong, who is chairperson of sponsorships, said the community has raised $311,000 since 2015. As part of the fundraising process, a percentage of the money goes toward research, but the rest is reinvested locally.

In action, that looks like outreach programs in oncology offices, copay coverages or meeting other specific needs, Armstrong said.

“Everyone has been touched by this awful disease. So they can relate to the stories and to the conversations that we’ve had,” she said. “You never know who you’re touching.”

Armstrong recalled that during the event two years ago, her team ran out of raffle tickets. On a quick outing to a nearby store, they explained to the cashier what they were looking for and why. The cashier began crying, Armstrong said, because she herself had received a diagnosis.

“That’s the moment we say ‘Yep, we’re doing the right thing,’” Armstrong said.

The event is especially important during the pandemic, Christiansen said, as those with a diagnosis may be worried about that  and other problems COVID-19 brings, like concerns for family members and financial limitations.

“Some of what we do might help relieve them,” she said. “They need support like everybody else.”

She noted the week's events are outdoors and will follow CDC-recommended guidelines

Like Christiansen, Armstrong feels gratitude.

“I just feel grateful that I’m able and that I have a support system around me that can do this kind of thing,” she said.

For more information on getting involved, visit facebook.com/trevisobaybreastcancerweekofgiving.

Andrew Atkins writes about food and features for the Naples Daily News. Contact him via email at andrew.atkins@naplesnews.com. To support work like Andrew's, please consider subscribing: https://cm.naplesnews.com/specialoffer/