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Playing Games and Making a Difference


10.07.2018

With support from the community, three women have raised $34,000 in three years to help save countless lives in east Alabama and west Georgia. And it’s all from an entertaining event with a critical message: Bingo for Boobies.

“Bingo for Boobies is a fundraiser to provide free mammograms for underserved individuals whose insurance does not provide it, or they can’t financially afford it,” said Donna Maner, one of the organizers of Bingo for Boobies.

The event has been held annually since 2015 at Randolph County High School in Wedowee, Alabama, with funds raised from participant donations to play bingo, concessions, auctions and T-shirt sales. Tanner’s mobile mammography unit, Mammography on the Move, is also on-site at each event to provide screening mammograms.

Proceeds from Bingo for Boobies benefit Tanner Foundation’s Mammogram Assistance Fund. This year alone, the event raised $12,000. For attendees, it’s all about having a good time.

“Fun is No. 1,” Maner said. She and high school friends Carol Ann Traylor and Pat Laney lead an army of volunteers and sponsors to make the event a huge success. With Jerry Hall, a master bingo caller, it is a festive atmosphere with an important — and personal — mission: Maner’s sister and sister-in-law are both breast cancer survivors.

“I think that’s the best thing about when you start fundraising for something like breast cancer — there’s not a single family that has not been touched,” Maner said.

For that reason, each of the Bingo for Boobies organizers is a strong advocate of having a mammogram. They felt privileged to know that a 70-year-old woman received her very first mammogram at this year’s event.

“It was just priceless to know that you have helped somebody that’s never had a mammogram to go and be able to have one,” said Laney. “There’s really no words to explain it.”

“That’s the heartwarming part,” Maner agreed.

Rallying the community together to take a stand against breast cancer means a lot to them, especially Sharon Easter.

Last year, Easter stopped in and had a mammogram at Mammography on the Move at Woodland Family Healthcare in Woodland, Alabama.

“Ten minutes, I was in and out. Never thought about it again,” she said.

Then she received a call from her doctor’s office. Easter was ultimately diagnosed with Stage 1 HER2-positive breast cancer. Easter credits that 10-minute pit stop with saving her life.

“I probably would not have found the mass without the mobile mammogram,” Easter said. “If not for that, it would have been a lot worse.”

Easter’s treatment included chemotherapy from November through March, and radiation that was completed in June. Having local access to quality care throughout her treatment made her breast cancer diagnosis a little easier to manage.

Before the opening of Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama in 2017, many in the community wondered where they would go if they became critically ill. Having the hospital has brought hope. “It assures me that any of my friends and relatives who remain in Randolph County will have a place for emergencies,” said Maner. “People can stay local and get the health care that they need.”

Easter’s story was celebrated at the 2018 Bingo for Boobies event and her courage was honored. She expressed gratitude for the dedication shown by Maner, Laney and Traylor in putting the benefit event together each year.

“When they work on this, they could be at home with their families,” she said. “Instead they’re choosing to make a sacrifice to help somebody else. They are my heroes.”

“All three of us feel humbled by the support this has gotten,” Traylor said.

“This is just one way that we have found that we can give back to our community,” Laney added.

Maner, Laney and Traylor are not resting on their past success. Plans are already underway for the 2019 Bingo for Boobies to be held once again at Randolph County High School in Wedowee on Saturday, March 2. The event will again include Mammography on the Move, making it convenient to get a mammogram.

“It couldn’t be easier,” Laney added. “All you have to do is step out the door and get your mammogram.”

Follow Bingo For Boobies 2019 on Facebook for updates. Donations to Tanner Foundation’s Mammogram Assistance Fund are gratefully accepted at 770.812.GIFT (4438) or by secure online donation at www.TannerMedicalFoundation.org.

 

Caption:

Outstanding community support for the third annual Bingo for Boobies at Randolph County High School in Wedowee, Alabama, raised more than $12,000 to provide mammograms to local women who could not otherwise afford one. Organizers Pat Laney, Donna Maner and Carol Ann Traylor are working on the 2019 event to be held on Saturday, March 2. (Photographed left to right, back:) Brian Dill, executive director, Tanner Foundation; Carla Duncan, development specialist, Tanner Foundation; Loy Howard, president and CEO, Tanner Health System; Jerry Morris, administrator of Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama and Higgins General Hospital; (front:) Nicole Lee, RN, BSN, Tanner Breast Health; Donna Maner, Carol Ann Traylor, Pat Laney, Nicolle Rooks, RN, MSN, Tanner Breast Health Nurse Navigator; and Susan Fleck, chair Tanner Foundation Board of Trustees.



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