On February 28, the Sugar Mill Country Club (SMCC) hosted a fundraiser for The DONNA Foundation, a registered charity founded in 2003 by three-time breast cancer survivor, Donna Deegan. It is dedicated to caring for families living with breast cancer. Again this year the “Swings for DONNA” fundraiser earned exceptional results, raising over $50,000.
Open since 1970, Sugar Mill Country Club is a distinctive part of the New Smyrna Beach community. It is member-owned with Club amenities that are second to none, including a 27-hole championship golf course, clay tennis facility, pickle ball courts, fitness and swim center along with a clubhouse featuring three distinct dining venues.
For the past 24 years, the women golfers of Sugar Mill Country Club have run an annual charity drive to help fund breast cancer care and research. SMCC partnered again with The DONNA Foundation, and Halifax Health as title sponsor, to help families in New Smyrna Beach and surrounding region living with breast cancer. As of December 2019, 69 patients in Volusia and Flagler counties have received nearly$25,000 in debt relief. These patients ranged in age from 35-65, with the majority coming from families who earn less than $24,000 per year in total income.
The “Pink out” day touched golfers and mahjong players of the club. A number of outside teams also paid to play golf and join the evening party for a live auction and raffle. Sugar Mill Country Club has many local businesses and club members to thank for major sponsorships and donation of gifts to the silent auction and raffles.
Donna Deegan spoke at the cocktail reception saying, ”Thank you for your continued support and efforts to make Swings for DONNA a success each year. Your hard work will make a difference for breast cancer patients and their families through the DONNA CareLine.” Deegan then shared the inspiring story of DONNA CareLine recipient, Glorita, who thanks to the support of the DONNA CareLine is able to receive treatment for her advanced breast cancer and is now inspiring other women to ask for help, and be in your life again.
Amanda Napolitano, Executive Director for the Foundation added, “This past year the DONNA CareLine was able to help 984 families manage the financial toxicity that occurs as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis. Our team secured nearly $500,000 in financial services and debt relief. We experienced a 50% increase in call volume to the DONNA CareLine over the last year. The DONNA’s Foundation ability to meet the increasing demand is helped tremendously because of the efforts of Sugar Mill Country Club and their presenting sponsor Halifax Health, through the Swings for DONNA charity event. Our heartfelt thanks to the community that supports this event and to all who work tirelessly to produce the event. Together we can achieve monumental goals. Together we will finish breast cancer.”
Thanks are due to Sharlene Blynt, Chair, and her event committee who planned and organized the initiative for Sugar Mill Country Club. Sharlene said in talking about the success of the event ”When you have an excellent team, and receive donations coming from people’s hearts with such generosity that never ceases to amaze me, you just can’t help but be successful !”