Local CRE women toast to cure cancer

Committee members Lu Hoffman, Andrea Lafayette, Lisa Osborne, Debbie Schulte, Joanna Shawver, Kathy Lapp, Marty Schach. Photo Courtesy of Phoenix Photography. 

Today, the Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City Chapter is made up of 200 active volunteers who help the organization generate $19 million in support of the fight to end breast cancer.

But what many don't know is that the group found its roots within the commercial real estate scene.

Paula Porsch, a former Kessinger/Hunter property manager, founded the chapter's first Race for the Cure in 1994. With thepassion to make a difference, Porsch spearheaded a grassroots effort to mobilize the community behind the cause. Today, Kansas City has benefited directly from the more than $8.9 million in research grants that have come back to the community.

Now, a local commercial real estate broker is carrying the torch to the next generation of supporters.

Debbie Schulte is an office broker with Kessinger/Hunter. Motivated by her friends who lost their mother to breast cancer, she ran her first Race for the Cure in 1994. Schulte’s involvement continued to grow, but she found special meaning in 2002 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother was diagnosed shortly thereafter in 2005.

Click here for more information on attending the 2016 Toast to Pink happy hour.

Click here for more information on attending the 2016 Toast to Pink happy hour.

“One in eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime,” Schulte said. “That’s too large of a number.”

Schulte brought Kessinger/Hunter on board as an annual sponsor. By 2012, the founding committee members -- including Marty Schach, Joanna Shawver, Lisa Osborne, and Kessinger/Hunter office brokers Kathy Lapp, and Schulte -- introduced the first annual Toast to Pink.

The Toast to Pink happy hour includes a champagne toast as a way to celebrate everyone’s efforts to end breast cancer forever. 

After raising over $9,000 at their first event, Schulte and Lapp, along with their dedicated committee, have continued to grow the Toast to Pink every year by continuing to increase event sponsors, exposure, attendance and earnings. In just four years, Toast to Pink has raised over $60,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Toast to Pink will take place on September 8th, from 5-7 p.m. at Valencia on the Plaza. Find tickets and more information here.