A Holiday Message from Jeanne Capurro, Board President

Jeanne Capurro
It's difficult to believe that we have nearly another year of fundraising behind us as we approach this very special holiday season - our eighteenth year! While there are so many worthwhile organizations that sponsor necessary research, we are privileged to continue our mission of aiding people who have breast health issues - here (throughout the Bay Area) and now (during the 2013/14 grants cycle).

In April we granted $238,000 to fourteen qualifying nonprofit programs and have just completed our mid-year site visits to those nonprofits. The work this Foundation's grants makes possible encourages us to continue with our vision that No One Should Face Breast Cancer Alone. To be able to furnish the means for underserved populations to receive direct emergency services such as diagnostics, navigation through the medical system and much more, is an honor.

We are so grateful for the work of our volunteers, and the generosity of our donors, event sponsors and in-kind donors. Together we have enriched our Grants Pool for 2014 and look forward to the process that will see those new grants awarded next April.

During this holiday season, we hope you will celebrate with us the many blessings that life brings and be proud of the blessings that your work and dollars make possible for so many others. Sending you wishes for peace, joy and best of health in the New Year.

With gratitude,

Jeanne Capurro
President, Board of Directors

Save the Date!
To Celebrate Life
Volunteer Kickoff Party
January 27, 2014
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Acqua Hotel
Mill Valley 

Make Your
Year-End Donation Now!

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October Community Events Benefit  

To Celebrate Life 

Warmest thanks to these generous community organizations and retailers who supported To Celebrate Life during October's Breast Cancer Awareness:

  • Wine, Women and Song / Harbor Point Charitable Foundation Rock - N- Roll Breastival
  • The Laser Center of Marin
  • The Dailey Method Exercise Studio
  • Sport and Spine Center of Marin
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes - Corte Madera
  • Los Guitarras Restaurant - Novato
  • Nutrivie- firstNutrients - Marin
  • Pink Persole
  • Mollie Stone
For more information on how your business can support our work, contact our Community Events Chair.
Wine, Women and Song Producer Susan Zelinsky at 2013 Rock -N-Roll Breastival.



Wine, Women and Song 


Guests rocked and danced for the fight against breast cancer at Marin General Hospital's 15th annual Wine, Women and Song Rock-N-Roll Breastival. The benefit concert held October 26th at Osher Jewish Community Center in San Rafael raised funds benefiting To Celebrate Life and Zero Breast Cancer.    


The event hosted by actor, director and narrator Peter Coyote featured music by artists who have battled breast cancer performed by some of the Bay Area's finest singers and musicians. Produced by Susan Zelinsky and the Harbor Point Charitable Foundation, the evening included a special martini bar and a buffet catered by Piazza D'Angelo.   





In Memory


To Celebrate Life remembers Ray Kaliski, Sr., who passed on peacefully in his 100th year on Thanksgiving Day, "Papa" Kaliski was the patriarch of the Kaliski Family and father of Ray and Bob Kaliski, who formed the Harbor Point Charitable Foundation - a To Celebrate Life presenting partner.




Stepping Out To Celebrate Life Viva Las Vegas

Showgirl with singer Vaughn Suponatime

A spectacular evening celebrated glamorous,  

amorous Las Vegas of the 1950's and 60's.

Emotions ran high as 38 breast cancer survivor models, 36 women and 2 men, made their inspirational runway debut at the 18th annual Stepping Out To Celebrate Life gala on September 28th at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall in San Rafael.


Guests sipped Luck Be A Lady martinis and I Did it My Way

Stepping Out Model Miriam Edelman. 
gimlets from the Rat Pack Martini Bar while bidding at silent auction tables and enjoying classic Vegas entertainment - singers, showgirls and gambling in the Lady Luck Casino Lounge.    


While dining on a gourmet dinner catered by McCalls, guests raised their paddles to generously support the Foundation's Fund A Need for emergency services. After bidding on fabulous live and silent auction items, everyone danced the night away to the music of the Richard Olson Orchestra. 


Congratulations to Stepping Out Gala Chairs, Judie Belmont, Kathy Lemke and Virginia Mylenki, who with Julie Ballard, coordinated this extravagant event. Thank you to the many local businesses and supporters who generously donated and underwrote event expenses. Finally, very special thanks to our many dedicated volunteers who donated thousands of hours this past year to make this amazing evening possible!


Stepping Out models Julianna Kleppe, Ellen Seebold, Johanna Kleppe and Jane Machado.

Comments from our  

Stepping Out guests


"Who would ever imagine a breast cancer fundraiser would be so joyful and uplifting!"


"I have attended many fundraisers and have never seen anything like this. The fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors was absolutely inspirational. I'm blown away."


"Everything about this event is so professional and first rate. It is a true celebration of the models moving forward after breast cancer."


"I am absolutely blown away by you and the people who organized the event- kind, patient and humane - and a wonderful team. Really, really special!"        - 2013 Stepping Out Model 


VIEW Stepping Out Event Photos at Marin Magazine 

2013 Stepping Out To Celebrate Life model Donna Eng.


2013 Stepping Out Model sponsorships raise funds for emergency services

This year 348 donors showed their love and support by sponsoring the 2013 models as they made their inspirational walk down the runway, raising $19,240!


All proceeds support To Celebrate Life's Grants Fund which provides emergency and direct services to Bay Area women and men living with breast health issues.


It's not too late to honor a 2013 model and help reach their [collective] sponsorship goal of $20,000.



Face of the Foundation - Erika Arnold

Like so many of our volunteers, Erika started as a model in Stepping Out. While she was still in treatment in 2011 she saw a flyer about modeling in the event. She knew she wasn't ready yet but signed on for 2012.


"I thought of 2012 as my year of healing, and the show was a super-significant part of that," she says. "I knew going in that Stepping Out would be fun but I was unprepared for how helpful and meaningful it would be."


Why she volunteers


Erika was moved by the sense of community and the sense of belonging she felt from participating in Stepping Out. "I want to support other women in having the healing experience that I did," she says.


And so, in 2013, Erika joined the model committee and took on the responsibility of model luncheon coordinator along with her runway pal, Jill Anderson.


"I feel very passionate about To Celebrate Life's mission of supporting people who have breast cancer today," says Erika. "Finding a cure is a great goal but there's a lot in between now and then, and I love that the Foundation supports that in a tangible way."


"As a volunteer, I continue to experience the sense of community I experienced as a model.  

I love it! "


Erika also loves that "Everyone [in the Foundation] is so darn positive." She says volunteering brings more meaningful work to her life and also provides her with a safety net. "I know that if I went to the doctor and got bad news there's always someone I can have a conversation with who would 'get it'."


Model luncheon role


Erika chose the job of luncheon coordinator because she felt very pampered as a model and wanted to help make that happen for others. Along with Jill, she solicited food donations, arranged for rentals, flowers, favors...everything right down to the stickers for the name tags. "A lot of people helped, managing the invitation list and RSVP list," she adds.


On the night of the event, Erika helped check in the volunteers - "a great way to put faces to names. "


Will she volunteer for the luncheon again? The answer is a resounding yes! "My mother says, it's always easier the second time," she laughs, adding, "we were mentored along the way. Next time we'll be able to handle it on our own."


The Foundation is grateful to Erika and all the models who are eager to give back and help others have the healing experience they had in Stepping Out. 



Just Say YES! - And become a To Celebrate Life Volunteer

2013 Stepping Out To Celebrate Life Fashion Show Producer, Yvonne Robinson

As an all-volunteer organization, we are always looking for people to join our Foundation family. Whatever your talent, skills and interests, there are so many opportunities and ways you can help make a difference and help us support women and men living with breast cancer in the Bay Area. Volunteering is fun, and so rewarding!



Do you have skills in any of these areas?

*           Event planning/production

*           Fundraising

*           Silent auction soliciting

*           Videography/video-editing

*           Database skills

*           Writing - proof reading

*           Photography

*           Graphic design
*           General Foundation administration assistance Social media


Just say YES!
Join us at our January 27, 2014 Volunteer Kickoff Party and learn how you can make a difference. Email our  Volunteer Coordinator for further information or sign up to VOLUNTEER 

Latinas Contra Cancer - a 2013 Grantee

This year, Latinas Contra Cancer celebrated 10 years of
Latinas Contra Cancer Founder and Executive Director Ysabel Duron.
survivorship. The nonprofit was founded by its CEO Ysabel Duron to address - and find ways to fill -- gaps in the system for the underserved, Spanish speaking and immigrant population in Santa Clara County.

"We make the connection, gain their trust, open them up to learning and hope to dampen down the fear and lead them through the process," says Ysabel.


LCC started a model education program in the form of a bingo game which features cancer facts instead of numbers. "We address a multiplicity of issues," says Ysabel, "including fear, shame and blame."


According to Ysabel, Latinas are getting cancer younger and tumors are bigger, which makes outreach so important.


"We recognized that with women in our communities, sometimes the barrier is themselves. So we created Casa a Casa, and ask women to host a bingo in their home, like a Tupperware party. When they are huddled around a kitchen table there's a sense of safety," explains Ysabel. "It's women talking to each other...not us lecturing at them."
Latinas Contra Cancer Patient navigator Claudia Colindres helps a patient diagnosed with breast cancer navigate the cancer maze in her own language.

The grant from To Celebrate Life supports the Casa a Casa program and detection services.

Latinas Contra Cancer partners with other agencies to provide clinical breast exams, mammograms and additional diagnostic services when needed. "Thirty women were targeted for this program and we expect to be finished by February," says Ysabel.


Ysabel says "Thanks to To Celebrate Life and all the community that makes this kind of up close and personal outreach possible."
Learn more about Latinas Contra Cancer  

Help us make a difference in someone's life!

Donate Today


Viral Video: Flash Mob Before Double 

Mastectomy in UCSF Operating Room


Moments before undergoing a double mastectomy, UCSF OB/GYN Deborah Cohan transformed a San Francisco operating room into her own personal night club.


The mother of two, along with her UCSF Mt. Zion medical team and surgeon Dr.Cheryl Ewing, turned up Beyonce's bass-heavy dance hit "Get Me Bodied" and broke into a dance.   
WATCH this inspiring video and READ Deb's story



The facts behind the claim that Marin County is the breast cancer capital in the Nation.  


 READ the article in Marin Magazine.

A Different One Percent: Local men push for increased awareness and acknowledgement of male breast cancer.

To say Eric van Gestel has taken his breast cancer diagnosis in stride is a tremendous understatement. As a middle-aged male, thrust into dealings with a disease that predominantly affects women, he has emerged as the mouthpiece for an under-represented population. A pioneer in the making, van Gestel is leading the charge and changing the way the world views breast cancer, all with a witty line and a smile.

READ 2013 Stepping Out model Eric van Gestel's story

Marin Voice: Men can get breast cancer, too.

By Gerard J. Bourguignon, To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation Board Member. Guest op-ed column

About four years ago, I felt a small lump in my right breast. Since I was experiencing only slight discomfort, I thought it must be due to a bruise or something that would soon go away. I was wrong.

 READ the story in Marin IJ

A Model For Survival

"We have turned our lives upside down to deal with this disease. I did not have financial hardship while battling breast cancer but I really appreciate an organization that underwrites programs for those who need help"

Make a Lasting Gift

Help ensure that future patients struggling with breast cancer receive the help they need.
You can help fulfill our dream that
no one should face breast cancer alone . . .
now, and in the future by:


  • Joining our Celebration Circle and including a planned gift to the Foundation as part of your estate plan

  • Creating a Legacy Fund honoring or in memory of a loved one 

For years to come, your generous gift will help ensure the continuation of To Celebrate Life's mission of providing support to Bay Area women and men living with breast cancer. As an all-volunteer breast cancer organization, we put your dollars to work in our community, not in our overhead.

If you have Foundation updates or meeting information to submit for consideration for the next issue, send to in the LOOP