B4BC started in honor of the tragic loss of my friend, Monica Steward, the co-founder of Bonfire snowboard clothing who lost her life to breast cancer at the age of 28. I had left Snowboarder Magazine after a few years, and launched my own magazine called W.i.g.—for Women In General—which covered women in action sports, music, and lifestyle. With my art director Dawn Kish, who was also a great friend of Monica’s we asked her if she would write about her journey with breast cancer and being misdiagnosed. At first she was reluctant and didn’t want to be portrayed as this being something negative. Her story, which she called “Both Feet On the Ground” was so inspiring to our readers, that as soon as it was published, we were flooded with mail, phone calls, and faxes!
We knew we had struck a nerve.
With Monica and her many friends, including Lisa Hudson and pro snowboarders Shannon Dunn and Tina Basich, we decided to do something that would attract the girls and guys in the tribe of winter sports, to shine much needed attention on young women with breast cancer. We decided to through a huge music festival in the hopes that it would increase awareness using a combination of fun, snowboarding, music, and athlete inspiration.
Unfortunately, Monica passed away 3 months before our inaugural event.
1996 was a rebellious time in snowboarding. We were very DIY; we listened to punk rock and hip-hop; and we were determined to do something about what had happened to Monica. And, as we found out, was happening to a lot of young women with breast cancer. The first Snowboard + Music Festival launched with a bang, more than 5,000 people, courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, and the Beastie Boys playing as Quasar!
We knew that to get the support of the snow industry, being a part of SIA was what we had to do. Fortunately, from the very beginning, SIA took us in and not only allowed B4BC to have an educational booth onsite, but they helped us host a 5K fun run for several years with the proceeds benefitting our organization.
This winter, as B4BC turns 20 years-old, we’re proud to say that we have re-established our connection and joined SIA, and we will be back at the to re-introduce ourselves, and talk about plans for the revival of the 5K fun run in 2017.
We’re also stoked to relay that in our 20 years, we have year-round outreach programs that reaches more than 100,000 people a year, with annual outreach impressions reaching 1,320,000 around the world!
Here are the other things we have planned for our 20th Anniversary to celebrate the outpouring of support, dedication, and fundraising from our growing group of supporters and partners, athletes and artists, musicians, and amazing volunteers.
The Snowboard + Music Festival: It’s back! The iconic B4BC Snowboard + Music Festival known for its line-up of musicians, including Beastie Boys, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, Moby, Luscious Jackson, and a roster of top riders and skiers who support the cause, the Snowboard + Music Festival will return to Sierra-at-Tahoe on April 2-3, 2016, including:
- Multiple music stages and artists
- Iconic Photo and Art Exhibition with Silent Auction, curated by NEMO Design
- Lap-a-thon and Tribute Ride
- Cause Marketing Partner Village
- Local Health Food Vendors
- Yoga Morning Sessions, Fundraising Style
- Mahfia Sessions with a Range of Women Riders
Retrospective Photo + Art Exhibition Tour: B4BC has teamed up with NEMO Design to curate a series of 3 Photo + Art Exhibitions. These exhibitions will include “The Most Iconic Images of Snowboarding of All Time,” plus a retrospective look into B4BC’s past. Each exhibition will include a silent auction of images, art, and commemorative pieces. Attendees will be treated to live music, raffles, and the opportunity to mingle with artists, musicians, and industry professionals.
Photo by Trevor Graves will be in the photo and art exhibition
- 1st Exhibition: January 27, 2016; Winter X Games Kickoff Party, Aspen, CO
- 2nd Exhibition: April 2, 2016; B4BC’s Snowboard + Music Festival, Sierra-at-Tahoe, CA
- 3rd Exhibition: October 2016; BeCore, downtown Los Angeles, CA
Shred the Love: To join in the movement to “Shred the Love” and stomp out breast cancer, mountain resorts, winter enthusiasts, and local communities across the nation host board-a-thons for B4BC. A percentage goes to local foundations, turning their mountains pink through awareness merchandise, and innovative ways to get out and shred in the name of prevention. In 2016, B4BC has seven Shred the Loves planned across the country.
Chasing Sunshine Documentary: The documentary, created by B4BC, is directed by and stars B4BC wellness ambassador, Megan Pischke, as she shares her breast cancer journey, providing a rare and real life look at cancer, the rigors of treatments and alternative choices, integrative nutrition and health, and the beautiful side of survival.
- For the 20th Anniversary year, we invite people and organizations to host a viewing of Chasing Sunshine for your local community as a fundraiser for B4BC. The documentary is now available via digital download on iTunes. We welcome you to create press pieces promoting the film and are more than happy to facilitate communication and interviews with Megan.
Survivorship: Each year, B4BC hosts Mountain and Ocean Wellness Retreats for 20 breast cancer survivors in order to lend support on their path to healing. Retreat schedules are led by Megan Pischke, and center around snowboarding and skiing, or surfing and SUP, plus yoga, nutrition, massage, rejuvenation and life-skills coaching for breast cancer survivors in need of a wellness experience, as studies correlate the benefits of complementary care and long-term survivorship.
- In 2016, B4BC hopes to increase the number of women we can support by increasing the number of retreats hosted from 2 per year to 3. Your support can help supply breast cancer survivors with travel, accommodations, meals, equipment, and an experience of a lifetime.
Skate the Lake: Now in its 12th year, Skate the Lake is a one-of-a-kind skate-a-thon (bike and inline) that covers a 28-mile stretch in beautiful Lake Tahoe. The sister event, Skate the Coast, now in its 10th year, runs along an 18-mile portion of the Southern California Coastline from the Santa Monica Pier to the Redondo Beach Pier. The series attracts skaters young and old and of all abilities to push for prevention!
- Since their inception, these events have collectively had over 1,100 participants, fundraised over $205,000, and gained media coverage from national and local media. Funds raised support B4BC’s education, prevention and support programs, as well as local area non-profits. The Skate Series offers tons of ways to get involved:
- Be an event sponsor
- Create a team to join in on the skate
- Activate your brand at the post-skate celebration
- Donate product for goodie bags & raffle prizes
The Check One, Two Campus Tour: B4BC tours college campuses coast-to-coast to provide peer-to-peer communication and education on how to reduce your breast cancer risk and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
- In September and October, students receive “coaching” on methods of early detection and have an opportunity to experience what a lump feels like through the use of life-like jelly breast molds. Students also engage in learning about the environment and relationships in regards to health and global climate change.
- We need help from brands like yours to keep us on the road! By sponsoring the campus tour or donating product, you can help us educate and reward students across the nation.
Outreach Events: The B4BC educational outreach booth is on the road year-round bringing a unique educational approach to action sports events such as the U.S. Open of Surfing and Snowboarding, the X Games, and youth lifestyle events such as the Vans Warped Tour.
- Every year, we provide over 100,000 individuals with peer-to-peer communication and education on how to reduce your breast cancer risk, how to perform a breast self-exam and provide an opportunity to experience what a cancerous lump feels like through the use of life-like jelly breast molds.
- Our goal is to continue and expand our outreach program and we need your help. With your assistance we can add additional outreach dates, provide beautiful and informative educational materials, create a welcoming and exciting outreach booth, and expand the outreach tour as a whole.
B4BC Zero Waste Sustainability Program: The environment has always been an important aspect of B4BC and this year we will ramp-up our sustainability reach through our own events strategy, measuring and offsetting our carbon footprint. We will provide an annual report and create a plan that we hope other non-profits can use as a guideline in order to take responsibility for their impact on this planet. Help us support our eco-initiatives.
Membership Program: Join the B4BC Brigade and receive our informative newsletter, special tokens of our appreciation, opportunities to get involved and be a part of the movement.
A milestone like surviving for 20 years is an amazing accomplishment for any non-profit. We hope that by sharing the plans for B4BC in our 20th Anniversary at SIA trade show, others will see ways that they can support our goals, and ultimately reach more people than ever in 2016 and beyond!
For more information, or to get involved to support B4BC’s 20th Anniversary, please contact us at [email protected].