FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Vera Bradley Classic wrapped up its 28th year Monday with a check for $1.127 million to fuel the fight against breast cancer.
The slate of events started on Friday with mixed doubles pickleball tournaments and wrapped up Monday after the golf tournaments with a celebration party at Fort Wayne County Club and this year’s check presentation.
The money raised from the Vera Bradley Classic will go toward research at the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. To date, $37.5 million has been raised. Earlier this year the foundation made another pledge of $12.5 million, bringing the total commitment to over $50 million.
Jenny Brown’s battle with breast cancer started in 2016. She had a rare, hard-to-treat cell type. Jenny went through all the standard treatments. She lost her hair. Twice. The mother of two young girls was fighting. But the cancer was fighting too.
In 2019, doctors told Jenny they were out of options. Her aggressive cancer was winning and she had 12-18 months to live.
But then came a Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer clinical trial. Her body responded to the new treatments and she’s now been cancer-free for three years. In 2022, Jenny will celebrate her daughters’ 16th and 21st birthdays – thanks to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.
The research is developing new treatments and saving lives across the country and around the world. Dr. Anna Maria Storniolo, one of the Foundation’s researchers and the Executive Director of the Normal Tissue Bank at the Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, said another new development just a few months ago will give hope to one of her patients who was out of options before this treatment was discovered.
Several events throughout the year help raise money for the Foundation, but the Classic is the largest one.
New this year to the Classic was the first men’s doubles pickleball tournament.
There was also a women’s doubles pickleball tournament Saturday.
The weekend concluded on Monday with the 18-hole golf tournament at Fort Wayne Country Club and the 9-hole tournaments at Pine Valley Country Club.
Many people are involved with putting on this event. Executive Director Stephanie Scheele had this to say about the help they recieved:
“500 participants were involved in this weekend’s events. And The Foundation relies on more than 350 community volunteers for the Classic and other events throughout the year, so we can’t thank them enough for their help.”Stephanie Scheele
After taking a year off due to COVID, the Vera Bradley Classic will look to continue its support for years to come. If you would like to register for next years event, donate, or volunteer, you can visit the website.