Two Worlds, One Vision



Photography provided by The Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund

A country music celebrity, a rising star, a former Bengal, and 1,600 Pink Fighters celebrated the 15th Annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon hosted by the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund (CCPF). CCPF is now switching gears and making its way across town to Paul Brown Stadium in preparation for the 16th Annual Queen City Classic Chess Tournament. This winning formula of breast health and chess have enabled the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund to have a positive and lasting impact on families both locally and around the globe. 

CCPF Mission Statement: To fight breast cancer by providing education, support and early detection services, including free mammograms, to the community and to empower children by fostering self-esteem, sportsmanship, and critical thinking through the game of chess. 

The first Pink Ribbon Luncheon, held in the fall of 2002, drew 600 guests. The proceeds were used to fund the Pink Ribbon bags, which contain inspirational books, educational materials and other items of comfort and are distributed to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Since then, the event has grown to more than 1,600 people and has enabled CCPF to broaden the scope of Pink Ribbon Programs.

The first Pink Ribbon Center on Red Bank Road was opened in 2005 with the goal of making breast health more accessible for women of all backgrounds. CCPF expanded to include two more imaging centers in Greater Cincinnati. Services aren’t just limited to women. “We serve men as well,” says Maggie Fennell, Executive Director of the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund. “Typically we see men for general ultrasound and DEXA scans but we have also given free mammograms to men through our Mammogram Match Program.” 

The centers are all non-profit and by getting any service at one of the Pink Ribbon Centers, patients are helping to support the Pink Ribbon Programs. Today, the Pink Ribbon Programs have grown and provided: 

  • Over 3,600 free mammograms through the Mammogram Match Program
  • Over 2,000 rides to and from appointments in the Cruisin’ for a Cure vans
  • Breast health education to thousands of women through the Pink Ribbon Empowerment Program 
  • Over 4,300 Pink Ribbon Bags for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Support for “survivors and thrivers” through the Survivor Circle

The chess program has also continued to grow through the years. The first Queen City Classic Chess tournament was expected to draw about 100 participants, but more than 300 students participated. Today, between 650 and 700 players aged 5 to 18 from as many as 10 states compete in the event. 

Like the Pink Ribbon, the chess programs have evolved beyond a yearly event. Launched in 2013, the Queen City Classic Chess in Schools Program teaches chess to students at lower income schools where students might not be able to afford lessons. With 14 schools participating in its inaugural year, the program has grown to include 31 schools across Greater Cincinnati. The program will enable 1,500 students to learn the game this year.

 “We would really like for every child in Cincinnati to be able to play chess,” says Fennell. Studies show that chess improves concentration, academic discipline, patience, critical thinking and sportsmanship. CCPF is even performing their own studies to evaluate the increase in test scores of students participating in the Chess in Schools Program.”  

So what is the key to successfully managing two initiatives under one umbrella? “We are very fortunate to have a strong board of directors,” says Fennell. She points out that all of the members, whether they were originally drawn to serve the Pink Ribbon or the chess program, are now involved in both aspects of CCPF. “Our board members all attend and support both events. Although we serve two different audiences, the board’s passion for both initiatives is the driving force behind our success.”

One might think breast cancer and chess have nothing in common, but for CCPF these two worlds overlap every day. “With a strong hands-on presence from our board, hundreds of loyal volunteers and the love and passion of the community, we are able to make a difference in the lives we touch. We are looking forward to continued growth and launching some new programs in the near future,” Fennell said. 

 

The Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund is located at 5400 Kennedy Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45213. For more information, call 513.924.5038, email ccpfevents@proscan.com or visit www.ccpf.org.