Lewiston resident wins award for service to breast cancer survivors
Susan G. Komen Upstate New York has announced the 2017 winner of the Nora McGuire Volunteer Award is Anne Marie Ziske.
The Nora McGuire Volunteer Award, named for founder and longtime volunteer leader of the Komen Western New York Race for the Cure, is awarded for "extraordinary effort, outstanding leadership and dedicated commitment to the breast cancer cause."
Ziske, a breast cancer survivor from Lewiston, has been volunteering for the Race for the Cure since 2002. She is the longtime co-chair of the Survivor Breakfast, which is a free pre-race breakfast and activities for breast cancer survivors.
The 17th annual WNY Race for the Cure begins at 10 a.m. June 10, at Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St.
"I became involved on my third anniversary of survivorship. I was impressed by the many people committed to ending this dreadful disease," Ziske said. "I stay involved because of the community Komen creates to support those fighting, and the inspiration that is brought to them, their families and friends."
"Ann Marie spends countless hours in the months leading up to the Race for the Cure planning to make sure the experience for the hundreds of breast cancer survivors is spectacular, and she pulls it off year after year" said Liz Kahn, executive director. "We're so lucky to have her, and she is very deserving of this special award."
Ziske is vice president of Kraftwerks Storage & Materials Handling Products in Tonawanda. She is a wife and mother of two.
"I still run the race, 15 years later," she said. "It's the one gift I give myself every year to celebrate life."
McGuire, who continues as a volunteer leader of operations of the WNY Race for the Cure, said Ziske has been integral to the success of the event.
"We are so lucky to have Ann Marie on our team, and I am honored to have her name added to this award," McGuire said. "She has given so much of herself and it shows in the amazing time had by all the breast cancer survivors.
Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds of the race goes to grants to life-saving programs in Western New York that provide breast health education and breast cancer screening, treatment and support programs - all aimed at under-served individuals. The remaining 25 percent of money raised supports the Komen National Research Grants Program.
Komen Upstate New York is a newly formed affiliate of the Susan G. Komen organization, awaiting legal approval from New York state to combine the Western, Central, Northeastern and Twin Tiers regions of the state. It supports breast health and breast cancer screening, support, and survivorship programs, and serves 49 counties, including three in Pennsylvania. Komen Upstate New York maintains offices in Elmira, Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse.
In April of this year, Komen awarded over $200,000 in grants to five local organizations.
Susan G. Komen is the world's largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a "Bold Goal" to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.
Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, she would end the disease that claimed Suzy's life. Komen Upstate New York is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in communities across the upstate New York Region. For more information, call 716-714-4114
or visit www.komenwny.org