Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund Grows Thanks to Multiple Alexandria Efforts

By Lori Cooper

“Twelve percent of Alexandria women are uninsured. We are proud of the community effort to provide free mammogram screenings to women through the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund.” – Monika L. Jones, Chair, Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund

Each year, hundreds of low-income women in Alexandria, in need of screening mammograms or other diagnostic tests to detect breast cancer, have difficulty obtaining the exams due to cost. Alexandria’s Commission for Women started The Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund to cover the expenses for eligible low-income women, with a doctor’s referral. Detecting breast cancer early can mean easier treatment.

Successful fundraising events for the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund included a fashion show, a walk, t-shirt sales, restaurant donations, and a per-gallon contribution with the purchase of gas. Around town, events like these were happening:

Hands with Heart

On October 6, as part of Del Ray’s annual Art on the Avenue, enthusiastic participants made pink handprints on the side of a DASH BUS, parked nearby. Aided by the Community Kids Club of Del Ray, attendees could place a pink handprint on the bus in memory or in support of a victim of breast cancer. Festival organizer Pat Miller commented, ”It’s very heartening to see the interplay of ideas. DASH and Art on the Avenue have found a new way to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund. The Kids Club of Del Ray was fantastic!”

Ripping the Runway

On October 4, volunteer breast cancer survivors, physicians, advocates, family and community members, with support from the Association of Alexandria Radiologists, PC, took to the stage at Springfield Town Center and modeled everything from fitness to funk to help support the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund.

Fired Up for the Cause

Many Alexandria Fire Department employees wore t-shirts as part of their uniform throughout the month of October to honor breast cancer survivors. Citizens supported the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund by purchasing a pink Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt from the Alexandria Fire Department and the Alexandria Commission for Women at the Del Ray and Old Town Farmers’ Markets. A limited supply of shirts is still available: Shirt sizes range from adult small to 3XL; short-sleeve shirts sell for $15, and long-sleeve shirts sell for $20. All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund. For more information or media inquiries, contact Raytevia Evans, Public Information Officer, at 703.746.5190 or raytevia.evans@alexandriava.gov.

Walking with Purpose

On October 13, energized members of the Oakland Baptist Church gathered for a short inspirational program, and then walked together three miles to the end of King Street. Walk It Out celebrated five years of partnership with the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund.