No one should face breast cancer (or any type) alone. Here are five ways you can support organizations and local businesses that are raising money and awareness for support services, research and—most of all—for loved ones who may be dealing with a world of challenges unique to this disease. This fall, we urge you to take someone’s hand, get involved and meet and honor some of the amazing people involved in this cause.

14th Annual Catwalk for a Cure
“Catwalk for a Cure is an absolutely fun fashion show held on the first Friday of every October at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. It’s an event where you will cry, laugh, smile—and you will celebrate life,” said Sukie Gill, Sutter Health event manager, who initiated the event to benefit breast cancer in 2002. Since then, the event has expanded to benefit all types of cancer.
The event includes a raffle, sparkling wine reception, luncheon, live auction and fashion show. “Wild for a Cure” is this year’s theme. From firemen strutting their stuff to Sutter doctors and nurses celebrating survivors, the finale features about 40 survivors talking about their journey.

Funds raised benefit Sutter cancer screening and support services. “Our focus here is to provide services to anyone in our local community that is enduring the challenges of cancer,” Gill said.
The event has sold out for 12 consecutive years, raising millions of dollars. If you are interested in participating, sponsoring or modeling as a survivor, contact Sukie at gills@sutterhealth.org or 707-576-4000. sutterpacific.org/catwalk/

Thumbprint Cellars ‘Leave Your Mark’
October marks the second month of Thumbprint Cellars’ “Leave Your Mark” campaign. This month the focus is women’s health and breast cancer awareness.

“For October we will give 10 percent off of our Four Play Rosé to breast cancer survivors, and we offer complimentary tastings to women who have battled or who have had breast cancer, so people can bring a friend, mom or sister and come in and have a fun tasting,” said Tasting Lounge Manager Tammy Toth. “Just drop in and let us know you’re participating in the campaign. Last year I was surprised to see how many people came in and shared their stories. We feel really honored, and there’s nothing better than connecting with our community.”

As the winery’s website points out: “Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, which means a life has been changed forever in about the same amount of time it takes to enjoy a taste of wine.” The Healdsburg winery will be selling raffle tickets to win various prizes as well as tickets to its November Laughing Matters comedy night at the Raven Performing Arts Theater. Proceeds will be donated to both local men’s and women’s health organizations that help those battling cancer. thumbprintcellars.com

Taylor Maid Farms ‘Save the Cans’
With more than 1,000 of the organic coffee company’s steel coffee cans being refilled each month by its customers, Taylor Maid Farms wanted to find a way to give back to the community—so the Sebastopol-based coffee company decided to run a “Save the Cans” promotion for breast cancer awareness month during October. Again this year, one percent of can refill sales will benefit the nonprofit To Celebrate Life, which provides direct services to underserved breast cancer patients and donates to organizations such as Ceres Community Project. In October, bring your empty cans to the coffee bar at The Barlow in Sebastopol.

“Breast cancer has affected the lives of many of us who work here at Taylor Maid Farms, and we thought it was an important and worthy cause to raise money for,” said Natalie Fry, head of marketing. “It’s incredibly gratifying to be able to support To Celebrate Life and the important work they are doing—and the customers’ reception has been great.” taylormaidfarms.com

Russian River Brewing Company’s
‘Framboise for a Cure’
As part of its month-long fundraiser in October to support local breast cancer screening and services, Russian River Brewing Company will be releasing its ‘Framboise for a Cure’ on Oct. 1. The bottles are sold for about $25 at the brewpub’s downtown Santa Rosa location.

“Breast cancer is a cause near and dear to our hearts,” said Russian River Brewing Company Co-Owner/President Natalie Cilurzo. “We chose to donate all of our funds to the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation right here in Santa Rosa. It means more to us to be able to help people battling cancer here in our own community, rather than sending the money out of the area.”

The brewery started the fundraiser a few years ago. “Over the years we have been able to continue to make the beer, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to Sutter. All of our labor and other costs are also donated. Last year our final donation to Sutter was over $143,000!” said Cilurzo. russianriverbrewing.com

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
“I Am Here Because of You” – The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk – is a powerful event to raise awareness and funds to end breast cancer,” said Susan Korcz, Relay for Life’s senior community manager.

The event takes place Oct. 8 at Sonoma Mountain Village. This year’s goal is to get 350 people walking the 5K loop and to raise $35,000.

“Join us to celebrate breast cancer survivors, pay tribute to loved ones lost, and raise funds to help finish the fight. When you walk with us, you are joining the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting nearly 300 communities to finish the fight,” said Korcz.

Funds raised go exclusively to breast cancer services and research. The American Cancer Society wants patients to know they can contact them day or night for help: 800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org. MakingStridesWalk.org/SonomaCounty