2013 Pinnacle Going the Distance Awards

The second annual Pinnacle Going the Distance Awards celebrate and honor 10 remarkable members of the golfing community who are making a difference in the fight against breast cancer. A judging panel made up of representatives from the breast cancer and golf communities will select honorees based on four key criteria – a strong tie to breast cancer; personal dedication to the fight against breast cancer; impact on others’ lives or the community; and a connection to, and passion for, golf.

A $10,000 donation will be made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in each of the 10 honoree’s names. Along with the donation, each honoree will receive a prize package including Pinnacle Gold Ribbon White and Pink golf balls, a Pinnacle hat, a pair of custom MyJoys shoes and a FootJoy jacket. Additionally, each individual who nominates an honoree will receive a pack of Pinnacle golf balls and a personalized apparel prize package.

Pinnacle has a long history of supporting charitable organizations that are aligned with the game of golf and has been committed to battling breast cancer and funding research toward a cure since 1995. Pinnacle’s donations to Komen for the Cure go toward life-saving breast cancer research at the national level which address the most difficult questions in breast cancer, and bring results from the laboratories to women in the shortest period of time.

Honorees

Connie Burns

Connie Burns

East Rockaway, NY

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Susan Gaston

Susan Gaston

Fort Worth, TX

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Gregg Gerken

Gregg Gerken

Denville, NJ

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Diane Greenfield

Diane Greenfield

West Hartford, CT

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Shelley King-D’Souza

Shelley King-D’Souza

El Paso, TX

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Tina McDonough

Tina McDonough

Ravensdale, WA

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Kathy Neighbour

Kathy Neighbour

Avon by the Sea, NJ

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Carol Rabinovitz

Carol Rabinovitz

Boston, MA
Palm Coast, FL

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Vivian Semian

Vivian Semian

Ballston Lake, NY

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Cindy Thomsen

Cindy Thomsen

Houston, TX

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Carol Rabinovitz

Carol Rabinovitz

Boston, MA

Palm Coast, FL

Carol Rabinovitz is Chairman of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Rally for the Cure golf event in Hammock Dunes, Fl.   She has been asked to chair the event every year since 2003, and every year, without hesitation and without exception, she has accepted. Carol has surrounded herself with dedicated volunteers who, year after year, have helped her stage more than 30 Rally events.

A few years ago, Carol, a breast cancer survivor herself, discovered that the disease had returned in her other, originally unaffected breast. This diagnosis did not prevent her from continuing on with the Komen Rally for the Cure Chairmanship. If anything, her passion and desire to spread the message grew stronger.  This resolve is evident in her efforts to expand the Rally tournament beyond golf, reaching more women by including other sports such as tennis and croquet. It’s also evident in her will to consistently meet or exceed previous year donation totals.  Because of Carol’s personal struggle with breast cancer, her message as Chairman carries more meaning and weight, driving the research funding that is so critical to eradicating this horrible disease.

Carol is also actively involved with The Breast Centre at Faulkner Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.   Carol received treatments for her breast cancer at The Breast Centre and brings the same enthusiasm and dedication to their efforts that she commits in Hammock Dunes.

Carol enjoys getting out on the golf course a few times a week. It is not just the love of golf and the beautiful golf courses that she embraces, but also the friendships she has developed through the game. Not surprisingly, the golf course has become for Carol just one more opportunity to spread the word about the importance of mammograms and early detection. Her courage and positive attitude is infectious and admired by everyone she comes in contact with in the Hammock Dunes community.

 

Cindy Thomsen

Cindy Thomsen

Houston, TX

Philanthropist, volunteer and two-time breast cancer survivor, Cindy Thomsen believes in Susan G. Komen’s vision: A World without Breast Cancer. As a volunteer, Cindy utilized her personal resources and professional and community contacts to engage golfers, survivors and corporate leaders in support of her highly successful golf and wine event: The Reds, Whites & Greens Charity Golf Classic. Every year, for the past 10 years, she has led a very small committee to produce the event, ultimately donating more than $1.3 million for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen.

Cindy was recognized and honored at the annual 2006 LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer event where she was given the LIFE Hero Award for her outstanding efforts in the fight against the disease. She credits Komen’s research advances and emphasis on annual mammography for helping to save her life.

Cindy frequently speaks in public about her personal journey as a young woman who twice battled breast cancer.  She has spoken at a variety of Orange County Komen events including the Pink Tie Ball, breast health conferences and Race for the Cure. She has taken the time to speak with other young women in treatment and stood as an example of “giving back” in the fight to defeat breast cancer.

 

 

Connie Burns

Connie Burns

East Rockaway, NY

Connie has been actively involved in raising awareness, participating in events, and fundraising for breast cancer for over twenty years. Connie first started out walking with her mom in New York City in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure walk, and she has walked in countless three-days since. Her mom was a survivor at the time and after her mom passed away in 1997, Connie founded her team called “Pat’s Pals.” She has been walking every year since and her team has grown in support. She has raised thousands and thousands of dollars to further research for the cause in hopes of one day finding a cure for breast cancer.

Connie is extremely proactive about educating women on the importance of mammography. She has been instrumental in getting women to take the actual step of making an appointment. It is often that Connie will volunteer to go to appointments with her friends and family members to support them and ensure their health is cared for. She has changed careers in her own life and has become a Certified Health Counselor.

Connie’s first experience in golf was joining friends at the First Women’s Day in Golf in 1999, a Rally for the Cure event in support of breast cancer. She has been playing ever since and immediately joined her club’s committee to run Women’s Day in Golf promoting education and funding research each year. She currently belongs to multiple clubs and has taken on several leadership roles as the Rules Chairperson, Handicap Chairperson, and Tournament Chairperson. Connie feels strongly about promoting the game and being in a position to positively impact the clubs with which she is affiliated. She regularly competes in amateur events and represents her clubs in MGA events.

 

Kathy Neighbour

Kathy Neighbour

Avon by the Sea, NJ

For the last 13 years, Kathy Neighbour has committed herself to volunteer work, fundraising and participation in various events to support the fight against breast cancer. In 2006 and 2007, she collected nearly $44,000 in donations when she participated in the Avon Walk for the Cure. From 2006 to 2009, she organized and led the Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament at Eagle Oaks Country Club, resulting in donations of nearly $150,000 for Susan G. Komen Foundation. From 2010 to the present, Kathy has assisted the club pro at Colts Neck Golf Club to make their Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament a yearly, lucrative and fun event, and the number of participants and donations continue to rise.

In June of 2000, Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy. Like anyone facing such a diagnosis, she was afraid and assumed her life was ending, but 13 years later, she is a strong and healthy survivor. She lives a healthy life and playing golf is a big part of it. Kathy never misses an opportunity to hit the golf course, help a new player or make new friends. She has combined her passion for golf with her dedication to the fight against breast cancer and worked tirelessly to make each Rally for the Cure Tournament a bigger success than the event that preceded it.

 

Shelley King Souza

Shelley King-D’Souza

El Paso, TX

Shelley King D’Souza launched her first major fundraising event in El Paso, TX last year. This fundraiser, called "Party in the Pink,” generated more than $65,000 in donations in 2012 and a new goal of breaking the $100,000 barrier has been set for 2013. Besides sitting on the board as Vice President of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Shelley also serves as Race Captain for the AT&T Race for the Cure corporate team and enlisted 135 fellow employees and family members to participate and support the race. This past year alone, she put in more than 254 volunteer hours for her Susan G Komen El Paso affiliate, earning her the Presidential Volunteer Award from AT&T, her present employer.

Being an avid golfer with numerous charity and fundraising tournament and golf events under her belt, Shelley also organized and ran a Rally for the Cure weekend at the Butterfield Trail Golf Club in El Paso.

Shelley King-D’Souza’s passion and commitment to helping others truly has no end. Her journey to make the world breast cancer free was not born from a personal battle with the horrible disease but rather, it sprang from the intuition and confidence within her to know she can make a difference in the lives of others - millions of others that she may never meet, but is dedicated to help. Being a seasoned athlete most of her life and an avid golfer now, she channels her competitive spirit into the events and activities she volunteers for and creates so that they will achieve enduring sustainability. Shelley’s passion to make sure these events are successful ensures they will go the distance until cures are found, lives are saved and families are kept together.

 

Susan Gaston

Susan Gaston

Fort Worth, TX

Susan Gaston started volunteering at Race for the Cure in 1997.  Her contributions ranged from site cleanup to chairing the race several years later. In 2006, Susan chaired the largest Race for the Cure in Fort Worth history with more than 18,000 participants, and donations totaling over $1.5 million. That year, Susan developed and implemented some innovative online registration techniques and promoted stronger relationships that substantially increased corporate and foundation sponsor contributions.

Susan has also served on the Board of Directors for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for five years. She remains active with Race for the Cure and has headed up on off-site registration efforts for the last two years. Susan has spent the last 16 years involved with Komen, has seen many close friends diagnosed with breast cancer, and hopes in some small way she has helped those friends realize the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Through Susan's work with Komen and her love for golf, she has been able to combine her passions to make a difference. Susan has chaired four "Golf Rally for the Cure" events at Colonial and Ridglea Country Clubs in Fort Worth and has assisted with a dozen more at these clubs and others. Combined contributions for these events have generated more than $10,000 for Komen Greater Fort Worth. Susan understands the importance of fundraising, logistics and being as efficient as possible to generate the most for Komen and to find a cure for breast cancer.

 

Diane Greenfield

Diane Greenfield

West Hartford, CT

Diane Greenfield was inspired to get involved in the fight against breast cancer when two of her close friends for many years were stricken by the disease.

Diane’s infectious passion and tireless leadership convinced the management and members of her club, Tumble Brook Country Club, to support the Play for a Cure Golf & Tennis Tournament.  Diane is the driving force behind the event every year, mentoring the club’s volunteer committee while maintaining a strong presence and empowering other women to take the reins.  She rarely takes any credit for the event’s success.  Instead, thanking donors, supporters and the club’s members are Diane’s top priority.

Play for a Cure was started at Tumble Brook Country Club in 1997 with the purpose of helping to find a cure for breast cancer and to support women’s health in Connecticut. In 2007, Tumble Brook Country Club was named as the recipient of the Komen Connecticut Million Dollar Cure Finder Award.  In 2012, Diane was thrilled to receive the Komen Connecticut Promise of One Award and noted that the event had raised more than $1.33 million for Komen Connecticut. 

Diane’s commitment extends far beyond Komen Connecticut and Tumble Brook Country Club. She is committed to helping uninsured women obtain the breast health services that they need and to finding a cure for breast cancer. She demonstrates that philanthropy extends far beyond a specific cause or helping those in need; rather, philanthropy is a way of living for Diane, expressed in a variety of ways. 

 

Tina McDonough

Tina McDonough

Ravensdale, WA

Several years ago, Tina lost her best friend to breast cancer, propelling her to start what is now the largest fundraising team in the nation for Susan G. Komen. Her team, called Valley Girls and Guys, has raised over $1.3 million dollars for this incredible cause. Tina walks 60 miles in Seattle and San Diego in honor of her friend and the countless others that have been affected by the disease. She helps others who have been diagnosed, supports others in their charitable efforts for the cause and is a pink beacon in her community.

Tina is constantly looking for ways to help ease the pain and fear that people are forced to face when they have been diagnosed with cancer. In addition to the money she raises for Susan G. Komen, she has started a scholarship fund to help local cancer patients among the friends and family of her entire team.

Tina is an ardent supporter of our community and one of the ways she shows it best is through golf. Tina has used golf as a means of raising funds for others struggling with breast cancer, sending all proceeds to Susan G. Komen. She loves golf and has been involved with the Wacky and Wild Golf Challenge, sponsored by the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce, since the event kick-off over four years ago. Tina served as a volunteer in that first year.  She later participated as a sponsor and plays in the event, as well.

 

Tina also participates in the local Maple Valley Rotary golf tournament and the Vine Maple Place tournament , where all the funds that are raised help homeless families and their children.

 

Vivian Semian

Vivian Semian

Ballston Lake, NY

A well-known member of her community, Vivian Semian is no stranger to lending a hand. The eight-year breast cancer survivor and her husband were instrumental in starting a golf tournament 35 years ago with the goal of making a difference in the breast cancer space.  They started this tournament not knowing that Vivian would come to face the battle herself. The tournament sold out year after year and included golf games, contests and a dinner dance with all funds raised going directly to The American Cancer Society. Now, Vivian is in charge of coordinating all the volunteer efforts at the event, which raises more than $35,000 annually.

In addition, nine years ago Vivian and her friend started Rally for the Cure golf tournament through her golf league.  The tournament has grown into a great event due to her dedication and passion to finding a cure for breast cancer. This tournament raised more than $1,500 last year with a total of more than $9,000 raised since inception.

Thirty-five years ago, Vivian became involved because she wanted to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.  She definitely has, within her community and in the lives of the people she has helped.   

 

Gregg Gerken

Gregg Gerken

New York, NY

Gregg Gerken is going the distance to fight breast cancer in honor of four very special women in his life. Gregg’s wife, Cathy, was diagnosed in her 30’s and passed away, leaving him to raise three young daughters on his own. His family knows all too well the pain and heartache of a breast cancer diagnosis. Wanting a different life for his daughters, and their children, he works tirelessly to support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure vision of a world without breast cancer. Gregg was instrumental in starting the Komen New Jersey Golf for the Cure in 1999 and has served as event chair for the past eight years raising more than $1 million, which has provided local women access to life-saving mammograms and breast cancer education, as well as funding innovative research projects to help find a cure.

Golf has become more than just his favorite way to spend time with friends and keep fit. Komen New Jersey Golf for the Cure gives him an opportunity to honor his wife and support an organization committed to having a profound impact on underserved women in the local community. Golf for the Cure is always a priority as he recruits new golfers and solicits prizes and auction items throughout the year when hitting the links with friends and colleagues. Gregg’s commitment to Komen is unparalleled and is deeply personal. He is driven by the hope that no other family is left without their mother.