10th Annual Take a Hike for BAG IT
BAG IT celebrates its 10th anniversary and annual Take a Hike fundraiser to benefit cancer patients in Arizona on Sunday, November 3. The event is scheduled from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and takes place at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. Participants have the option of a 3-mile hike or a meditation walk. The $85 registration fee includes a gourmet brunch with entertainment and a silent auction/raffle. Sponsorship packages range from $500 to $20,000.
BAG IT, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in Tucson, provides information and support materials to recently diagnosed cancer patients and their families. Since 2003 more than 50,000 people have received bags containing a patient navigation binder and publications from the National Cancer Institute. BAG IT partners with the Beacon Group, which assembles and mails materials. More than 3,700 BAG IT bags are distributed in Tucson and Southern Arizona each year.
Cancer survivors Sherri Romanoski and Maureen Hatten with the help of oncologist, Dr. Donald Brooks, conceptualized BAG IT in 2001. By 2003 the women established a 501(c)3, developed an organizational plan, and delivered the first BAG IT. That year 750 cancer patients and their families were given a BAG IT bag.
BAG IT was a kitchen enterprise from 2003 until 2007. Family, friends, and volunteers ordered publications and gathered monthly in Sherri’s kitchen to assemble BAG IT resource.
Sherri and her husband Joe distributed bags throughout Tucson — Joe during his work hours, and Sherri before and after her teaching job. As the Romanoski home transformed into a warehouse of BAG IT materials, day-to-day operations became impractical. Demand for BAG IT expanded statewide in 2007. The board of directors hired part-time help and then Sherri resigned from teaching and became a full-time employee. In 2012 BAG IT partnered with the Beacon Group to inventory, assemble, and distribute its resources. BAG IT continues to be free-of-charge to patients.
In 2010 BAG IT, launched ESCAPE (Encouraging and Sustaining Cancer Advocacy Programs and Efforts). The annual national leadership conference for community cancer advocates impacts hundreds of cancer patients in their communities throughout the United States.
To fulfill its mission to empower patients, BAG IT has helped 50,000 cancer patients and their families in Arizona during the past 10 years. The organization is dedicated to Fight the Fear of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment.
“It is so rewarding to know that over the last 10 years we have reached over 50,000 cancer patients and their families in Arizona in a significant way,” said Sherri Romanoski. “Evaluations over the years consistently show that BAG IT helps patients communicate with their medical teams, cope with treatment, and feel more able to deal with their cancers. This ultimately has a positive effect on the treatment experience and journey.”
Contact: Dana Adler
Telephone: 520 241-4381