…And offer help he did.
In January 2005, after meeting with Eisenhower leadership and Foundation Vice President Betty Wolf,Hubbard suggested that he and his wife Joan Dale hold an elaborate fundraising dinner at BIGHORN. In the two short months between the meeting and when the spectacular event was held,Hubbard raised an astonishing $7 million from BIGHORN members. To honor this extraordinary level of giving, in 2007 Eisenhower renamed its state-of-the-art radiation oncology center at the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, the BIGHORN Radiation Oncology Center.
As R.D.Hubbard was forging a philanthropic partnership between BIGHORN and Eisenhower, however, one of the members of his Club was embarking on a poignantly personal relationship with Eisenhower. In February 2005, Selby Dunham, then 48, was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. She immediately underwent chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, then a modified radical mastectomy followed by six weeks of radiation therapy — the nationally recognized standard of care for her type and stage of breast cancer.“
I first met Selby at the BIGHORN fundraiser that R.D. and Joan Dale initiated,” recalls Betty Wolf.“She was undergoing chemotherapy at the time, and her expressive face was framed by a colorful scarf to camouflage the loss of her hair.Her spirit and determination to beat her disease were unmistakable.”
That indelible first impression was solidified three years later when Selby contacted Betty about structuring a women’s golf tournament fundraiser to help breast cancer patients in the Valley, with the proceeds going to Eisenhower.An avid golfer,Dunham not only was back on her game — having come through cancer treatment with flying colors — but also she had acquired a deep appreciation for how grueling treatment can be, especially for women of lesser means.
“I was so moved by the support I received from the people at Eisenhower that I really wanted to do something to help other women get the same quality care I did, and make the path to wellness a little gentler,” Selby says.
The BIGHORN Behind A Miracle (BAM) Golf Tournament was born, with its inaugural event held in April 2008. In typical BIGHORN fashion, this was no ordinary golf tournament. It included an elegant launch party with a silent auction held a month before the tournament, and an over-the-top, ladies-only “Cash for Caddies” auction, conceived by Joan Dale Hubbard and held at the Hubbard residence the night before the tournament.
More than 100 players and big-hearted Club members rallied for the first BAM tournament, raising $316,000 for the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center in 2008. Since then, the highly spirited and always-fun event has raised a total of $1,045,000, including $20,000 from a special Buon Natale Holiday Wrap party held at The Gardens on El Paseo last January.
BAM proceeds have enabled the Eisenhower Schnitzer/Novack Breast Center to purchase cutting-edge ultrasound equipment to aid in early detection, a Whole-breast 3-D Ultrasound System and a compact disc burner that provides breast cancer patients with digital copies of their mammogram images. In addition, the BIGHORN Radiation Oncology Center used funds from BAM to acquire new breast-specific MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) diagnostic imaging and biopsy equipment.
Plus, Eisenhower has provided 1,650 round-trip, door-to-door transports to patients in need who are undergoing daily radiation treatments, often for five to six weeks. This service is something Selby felt strongly about since she understood how draining this process can be.
“All of the funds we raise stay in the Coachella Valley to support breast cancer patients who live and work locally,” stresses Selby, who serves as the BIGHORN BAM chair.
“I’m just so excited to be able to give back,” says Selby.“The people and the doctors at Eisenhower saved my life.Quite simply, I would not be here today without them.
“Even in this economy, philanthropy remains threaded in the cultural fabric of our Valley, and the Hubbards’ and Selby’s impact is a meaningful example of this,” shares Betty Wolf.“There are some undeniably big hearts at BIGHORN.”