Hitting the bull’s-eye is never so satisfying as when the arrow’s aim is to defeat breast cancer.
So said Beth Bradner of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA). On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23, about 200 archers will compete in the Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer Tournament at Cullman Community Archery Park.
“We have lots of breast cancer survivors who come out to support this event each year,” said Bradner, BCRFA executive director.
Archers will converge at the park to compete in BCRFA’s ninth annual fundraiser. Since 2012, the tournament has earned more than $182,000 to fight breast cancer, the disease that affects one in every eight women and one in 1,000 men.
This year’s event allows archers to compete while maintaining social distancing. Archers can compete from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the contest continuing until dusk.
“This is the first event we’ve held since COVID-19 hit,” Bradner said. “The great thing is that we can have a family or group compete together at Hole 1 without having other people converge at the same area. This is a wonderful family activity.”
Numerous 3D animal targets are set for adults and youngsters at 15 to 50 yards and 5 to 20 yards, respectively.
On Aug. 14, the BCRFA gave an initial gift of $160,000 to UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund two grants for breast cancer research projects during 2020-2021. The foundation’s support of the research projects will total $320,000 over the next two years, with some funds earned during BCRFA’s two-day tournament earmarked for research at UAB.
The annual BCRFA archery competition allows families to support loved ones who have survived breast cancer. (BCRFA)
“We are blessed to have UAB and great researchers in Alabama who have saved the lives of so many people in our state,” Bradner said.
Since 1991, BCRFA has given nearly $10 million to breast cancer research in Alabama. The foundation has supported research studies conducted by UAB, Southern Research and CerFlux Inc. in Birmingham, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville and the Mitchell Cancer Institute of the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Throughout the years, this family event has brought joy to many participants, said Bradner, who will assist at the tournament along with BCRFA volunteers. Supporters include families affected by breast cancer, members of the Heritage Archery Club of Hanceville and Nichols Outfitters, an archery and sports supplier in Pelham.
“You see how strong a community can rally to support this cause that they believe in,” Bradner said. “It’s a very powerful and moving experience to see so many people who come out to make a difference. It’s beautiful to see.”
Spectators are welcome to come out for a fun day of archery. Cullman Community Archery Park is at 2604 County Road 490 in Hanceville, Alabama 35077. Take Exit 299 SR-69 from I-65 and head east for about 4 miles. The park is on the left.