March 24, 2000
Delores Springer is a cheerful, persistent, and successful golfer. Unlike other players, however, her achievements in golf benefit hundreds of women.
Springer directs the Cape Region’s annual Pink Ribbon Golf Classic, a popular charity tournament now in its fifth year. The Pink Ribbon raises money for breast cancer screening, detection, and support services.
The outing raised over $42,000 in net proceeds in its first four years. Last year’s event at Sussex Pines Country Club netted over $14,700. The fundraising trend is clearly going in the right direction.
“I’m a survivor myself,” Springer explained recently. “I was first diagnosed in November 1990, and had a mastectomy that same month. After the surgery, I had follow-up chemotherapy treatment until June 1991. After that, I started playing golf,” she grinned.
A Sussex County native, Springer previously worked for AT&T in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She was a volunteer in the company’s Pioneers service program, and helped with senior services at two nursing homes. Springer retired and moved back to Sussex County in March 1990.
After her own cancer experience, Springer wanted to help others, especially women who didn’t qualify for assistance under other programs.
“Our Pink Ribbon tournament primarily benefits women under 40 whose medical history cause their doctors to suggest a mammography or ultrasound. Some women are uninsured, and others are underinsured. We make up the difference,” Springer said.
Mammography of Delaware (MOD) receives all of the event’s net proceeds. No Pink Ribbon funds are used for administrative costs. MOD is a cooperative program funded by the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Breast Health Institute, the Christiana Care Health System, and its Junior Board.
The MOD van travels throughout Delaware, and gives many women easier access to mammogram services. Pink Ribbon funds pay for diagnostic testing, breast health programs, and clinical breast exams performed in the van, at Beebe Hospital in Lewes, and at Christiana Care near Wilmington.
The 1998 tournament proceeds paid the printing costs for a resource guide for Delaware women. Doctors give the guide to their patients during the initial stages of diagnosis and treatment for the disease.
The guide deals with the important social impacts of the disease and the effects of treatment. For example, it details how and where to obtain wigs and prosthetic devices.
This year’s tournament will be played on May 5, 2000 at Seaford Golf and Country Club. AstraZeneca is a primary sponsor again this year, and Springer is grateful for the pharmaceutical company’s significant support.
The Pink Ribbon’s luncheon, silent auction, and raffle are open and available to all women (and men, too), although the tournament field of 136 players is already sold out. Luncheon tickets are $15.00. For reservations, call Springer at 302-945-8652.
The auction and raffles are very popular. For example, golf courses throughout Delmarva and southern New Jersey donate rounds for foursomes. The bidding is brisk. Sporting goods stores, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses also contribute, such as The Rose and Crown Pub in Lewes and Betsy’s Apparel in Rehoboth.
Cape Region resident Gordon Reid and others help Springer obtain the certificates, door prizes, and auction items from area businesses and individuals.
Plenty of opportunity remains to donate toward the auction and raffles or provide other assistance. Springer and Reid appreciate the past support given by the Cape Region business community. Call Springer for details, or Reid at 302-227-6279.
Breast cancer is far too prevalent. As Springer says, however, “We’re fortunate to live in a state where the public and private sectors can work together to fight this disease.”
Many women are also fortunate that Delores Springer wanted to help.