Pictured from left to right: Lucy Spears, Susan G. Komen South Carolina; Dr. Amy Murrell, McLeod Health; Rob Hill, Tournament Director; Taffy Tamblyn, Susan G. Komen South Carolina; and Mary Jane Weir, Komen South Carolina Board Member.
On May 16, 2018, the McLeod for Health Florence Open Tennis Tournament presented its 2017 profits — a total of $16,000 — to Susan G. Komen South Carolina to help fight breast cancer in the northeastern region of South Carolina.
City of Florence Director of Tennis and McLeod Open Tournament Director Rob Hill welcomed guests on behalf of the Tournament Committee, and McLeod Breast Surgeon Dr. Amy Murrell thanked everyone involved for their commitment to breast cancer prevention. Hill also expressed his appreciation to McLeod Health for another successful event benefitting Komen South Carolina and women at risk for breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen South Carolina Executive Director Taffy Tamblyn and Lucy Spears, the non-profit’s Director of Mission Programs, accepted the gift with Mary Jane Weir of Florence who serves on the Komen South Carolina Board of Directors. Spears noted that over the years Susan G. Komen South Carolina has provided significant funding to Pee Dee area programs, including grants totaling more than $436,000 dollars to support breast cancer programs and patients at McLeod Health. Among other things, these grants have been used for mammograms, follow-up diagnostic procedures, patient navigation services, and survivor support services, including transportation.
Spears added, “Our goal is to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026 which is a pretty daunting goal, and it is partnerships and support like this that are going to make that happen.”
Dr. Murrell also announced that McLeod Health will remain the title sponsor for the 2018 McLeod Open, which will be held at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center October 14-21, and that Susan G. Komen South Carolina will once again receive the net proceeds. The week-long USTA Pro Circuit women’s event, now going into its seventh year, draws some of the best young professional players from around the world to compete for $25,000 in prize money and higher rankings.
Dr. Murrell added that the partnership between McLeod, the Florence Open, and Komen is a perfect arrangement. “McLeod Health is deeply committed to the early identification and treatment of cancer in all its forms, and Susan G. Komen South Carolina provides very generous grant funding to help us with breast cancer awareness and early detection. Our support for this event also helps us stress the important health benefits that come from regular physical activity. We see this as another opportunity to contribute directly to the health of the people we serve.”
Over the last four years, the McLeod for Health Florence Open has raised approximately $43,000 for Susan G. Komen South Carolina.
With more than 90 tournaments held annually throughout the country, the United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit is the pathway to the U.S. Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, it draws more than 1,000 men and women each year from more than 70 countries to compete in cities nationwide. Virtually all of the best known pros began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit as well as some of the sport’s top new players including former McLeod for Health Florence Open players Taylor Townsend, Danielle Collins, and CiCi Bellis.
Florence, one of the smallest cities on the circuit, was selected to host an event because of its world-class courts, its strong volunteer base, and the generosity of its sponsors. This nine-day tournament puts Florence on the world tennis map and generates significant tourism revenues for our community.