At its fifth annual Cherry Blossom Champion Awards May 19, a Fauquier County school, a Loudoun County school, and two individuals were honored for their inspirational efforts in 2015 in support of local women.

Middleburg’s Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation, entering its eleventh year and granting almost $750,000 to help local women fight breast cancer, conducts the Champion Award program to recognize individuals who, and organizations that, have significantly contributed the previous year to the Foundation’s objectives of Detection, Treatment, Education, and Elimination of breast cancer.

Steve LewisFor 2015, Steven M. Lewis of Warrenton, Dr. Sage Bolte of Inova Health System’s Life With Cancer program, Middleburg’s Foxcroft School, and Catlett’s H.M. Pearson Elementary School were selected.

Mr. Lewis, a retired Allergan sales executive, committed to donate $500 for fifty half-marathon races he would run, one in each state. He also recruits his friends and family to join his donations, with him matching all donations over $1000. He currently has run twenty races and has raised $14,800 for Cherry Blossom. When completed, he will have raised at least $30,000 for local women.

Dr. Sage Bolte, Inova’s Life with CancerDr. Sage Bolte, Director of Inova’s Life With Cancer program in Fairfax, has a doctorate in social work and has established the program as a nationally recognized psychosocial support and education service for local breast cancer patients, whether served by Inova Health or not. In her remarks about Dr. Bolte, Cherry Blossom board member, Mary Jo Jackson, said “She has really made life better for women with breast cancer.”

Foxcroft SchoolFoxcroft School, for girls in grades 9-12, was selected because of its increased commitment to the Foundation’s mission with local women. Since its first selection as a Champion in 2011, the students and staff have hosted and supported the annual Middleburg Cherry Blossom Walk, Run, and Pooch Prance for Breast Cancer; committed the proceeds of the school’s annual Think Pink Basketball Tournament to Cherry Blossom; integrated breast care self-advocacy into its educational curriculum; accepted the Foundation’s invitation to place two students and a faculty member on its Board of Directors; and promoted that Board participation to the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools as model for other schools.

Catlett H. M. Pearson Elementary SchoolH.M. Pearson Elementary of Fauquier County Schools in Catlett, received its recognition because its leadership decided in September 2015 to raise funds to support local women and recognized Cherry Blossom as the best local non-profit beneficiary. Teacher, Louise Summers, and Principal, Wendy Wilcox, accepted the award as the crowd was told that students, faculty and staff organized as “Pearson Pandas Paws for the Cause” then sold pink t-shirts and the right for teachers to wear jeans to school, and walked the school grounds during that October National Breast Cancer Month.

Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation, a 501(C)(3), was created in late 2006 to specifically assist local women and is a totally volunteer organization of fifteen board directors and an Advisory Board of more than thirty other volunteers. Its principal fundraisers are two simultaneous Cherry Blossom Walks, Fun Runs, and Pooch Prances for Breast Cancer, one in Ashburn and the other in Middleburg, this year on Sunday, Oct.16. Register at cherryblossombreastcancerfoundation.org. Donate there or at Box 1051, Middleburg, VA 20118.

For more info: James Atkins 703.447.2302 or jamesatkins100@gmail.com