Cameron Mitchell has helped put breast cancer on the spot.
This weekend, June 12 and 13, more than 150 archers – experienced and amateur alike – will participate in the Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer tournament, an original idea from Mitchell.
The mission is personal for many archers who will participate in the event at Cullman Community Archery Park, co-hosted by members of Heritage Archery Club. Indeed, some patients find liberation by shooting a bow to “attack” their breast cancer with arrows. Some find a calming balm when sharing stories about a loved one’s health battle with those who can relate to them.
“Obtain volunteers for Alabama Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Alabama Bow Hunters has created a powerful team to raise money for research, âsaid Mitchell, a longtime archery hunter who noted that after nine years the tournament is aâ well-oiled machine, thanks to all the incredible volunteers â.
On Saturday and Sunday, competitors will begin to meet at the registration desk at 7 a.m. Participants bring their own equipment. Moving on a course with animal targets in 3D, it takes about 2 hours to film the course. The last scorecard comes out at 2 p.m. The event attracted over 200 spectators.
The cost to play is $ 25 for adults and $ 15 for youth. Participants can bid for bows donated by Nichols Outfitter in Pelham, which will be auctioned off by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA).
Event aims to save lives in Alabama and beyond
The event is all about good sport. Over the past nine years, Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer has helped BCRFA donate over $ 190,000 for research in Yellowhammer State. The event attracted up to 250 archers. Most importantly, BCRFA-funded treatments help save the lives of breast cancer patients in Alabama and beyond.
Children love competition. (BCRFA)
An archer tackles breast cancer at the family event at Cullman Community Archery Park. (BCRFA)
Families help support loved ones by attending the annual archery competition. (BCRFA)
âIt’s a big event and it’s family friendly,â said Beth bradner davis, Executive Director of BCRFA since 2014. âThe funds we raise stay in Alabama. This is our 25e anniversary, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama has invested $ 10.8 million in the research.
Mitchell, who works for an international hunting and conservation organization, put the deadly disease in his sights about 11 years ago.
âA few years ago my boss said that one of his biggest pet peeves was people who come up with great ideas but don’t have enough lead in the pencil to make them happen,â said Mitchell. âI got the idea, and everyone with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, as well as the Bow Hunters of Alabama, made plans for the event.
âIn the first year, a BCRFA representative asked, ‘What is your goal? Mitchell replied that he hoped to raise at least $ 20,000.
The woman told Mitchell, “I don’t want to burst your bubble, but we never raised that amount for an inaugural event.” That year, the group raised $ 23,000 for BCRFA.
âIt was a blast. From the first year, it has remained one of the largest archery tournaments in the state,â said Mitchell.
As people saw the success of the event, Mitchell said, it was easier to attract more suppliers and sponsorships. The big tournaments have attracted more competitors, as well as spectators unfamiliar with the sport. Because Alabama’s archery season opens in October, the BCRFA is hosting their tournament in June.
About four years ago, Mitchell was forced to give up hosting the tournaments because his wife had health problems.
âBut I knew the tournament was in very good hands and that the success of the event would continue for a long time into the future,â he said.
Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer Supports Research in Alabama
While many attendees look forward to Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer year after year, Bradner Davis said the foundation sponsors several fundraising events. Each year in October, the BCRFA joins with approximately 25 fire stations to support the Pink Ribbon Project. On September 18, the BCRFA will make a foray into competitions at the disc golf courses at Oliver Park in Shelby County and at the George W. Roy Amusement Park in Calera.
âDue to the pandemic, we were unable to organize some events this year,â Bradner Davis said. “I’m really excited that we can expand with some events this summer that we weren’t able to do last year, like our Pink Palace Casino Night on July 24th.”
Alabama Breast Cancer Research Label continues to be a huge fundraiser in the fight against breast cancer. The BCRFA receives $ 41.25 for each specialty license plate, which is framed with a pink ribbon on a gray background. Alabama drivers can customize their breast cancer research label.
âWe’re on track for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama to invest $ 1.1 million in research in 2021,â said Bradner Davis. âWe are very excited about the Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer tournament and helping patients in Alabama. “