Stay A-Breast

A 12-year-old’s 4-H project continues to raise funds for breast cancer

-Messenger file photos
Alyson Chambers, of Des Moines, swims laps during the 2017 Stay A-Breast breast cancer fundraiser at the Fort Dodge Senior High pool. This year’s event is on May 4.

A fundraiser that started as a 4-H citizenship project by a then 12-year-old sixth-grader has generated more than $50,000 for breast cancer patients since it began five years ago.

And Fort Dodgers who want to add to that total can do so once again this year by swimming laps during the annual Stay A-Breast event at the Fort Dodge Senior High swimming pool. The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon on May 4.

Morgan Border, now 17, of Fort Dodge, was that sixth-grader who started Stay A-Breast.

She’s a junior at St. Edmond Hgh School.

Border is humbled by the impacts the fundraiser has had.

-Messenger file photos
Morgan Border, who is now 17, started Stay A-Breast as a 4-H project when she was 12. In the ensuing years, her annual fundraiser has raised tens of thousands of dollars in the fight against breast cancer. In March, she was honored as a Hometown Hero for her fundraising work.

“It is important to me because I’ve learned how helping others can make such a big difference,” Border said. “Two people have found lumps in their breast through being reminded at Stay A-Breast. Raising the money always helps someone, but showing people that you care has such a huge impact, too.”

At the event, swimmers can make flat donations, collect per lap pledges, or swim to show their support.

“Breast cancer survivors count the laps and it’s very encouraging for them to see everyone swim for the cause,” Border said.

People are encouraged to register individually or as a team to swim in one of four 30 minute non-competitive sessions.

Lifeguards will be on hand. Kick boards and life jackets will be available.

It’s free to register and to attend.

“If people are unable to attend that day, laps can be recorded and swam in other pools to participate,” Border said.

Border said volunteers are needed to help direct people to the pool, sell t-shirts, and supervise.

Funds raised from the event are split evenly between the American Cancer Society for research and patient treatment and the Trinity Cancer Center for treatment travel expenses, medicines, co-pays and things not covered by insurance for cancer patients.

Area athletes from the Dodger boys and girls swim team and Iowa Central Community College Triton teams are anticipated to attend.

“I look forward to seeing the volunteers, survivors and swimmers come together on event day to work towards a common goal and support each other,” Border said.