Beyond Boobs! is one big happy family, but it is also a business. In addition to a host of amazing volunteers, BB! has been blessed with a group of talented, hardworking staff members who are truly the backbone of the organization. Because of their love and dedication, we are able to continue our mission of providing encouragement and support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Staff members work behind the scenes to make sure all of our events run smoothly, and they take care of the millions of not-so-sexy, but just as valuable, details of running a business. Most important, they are there for our Boobers!, helping them live life with an exclamation point!
We share so much of our lives with our staff. Spending time with these amazing women and getting to know them and their families is a joy. And now it is our great privilege to introduce them to you. In the coming weeks, the blog will feature profiles of our staff members – the women behind the boobs.
Vicki Vawter, Events and Community Relations Manager for Beyond Boobs!, discovered the group back in 2007. One of her friends, a breast cancer survivor, showed her a copy of BB’s annual A Calendar to Live By. Vicki was intrigued by the calendar, which does double duty as a health and wellness guide.
Back then, Vicki walked to raise funds for a national breast cancer foundation, and she was also putting together a golf tournament to raise money for that group. After seeing the calendar, Vicki invited BB! to be part of the tournament. By the time the third year rolled around, the fundraiser was all about BB!
In 2010, Vicki and Beyond Boobs! cofounder Mary Beth Gibson were sitting in the bleachers, watching their kids play baseball, when Mary Beth turned to Vicki and said, “You’re already ‘working’ for us. Let’s make it official.”
“It was the perfect time in my life for me to take on full-time work,” Vicki explained. “Why wouldn’t I help if I could?”
Vicki was one of the first full-time BB! staff members, second only to Managing Director Chris Schwab. “It is amazing to have been there from the beginning and to know you are helping to build something,” Vicki said.
In addition to organizing the “Breast” Ball Golf Tournament every year, Vicki works with the BB! team to put together all of the group’s signature events, including the Pink Carpet Gala, Run for the Hills, Mr. Breast Fest, and Starlets of Dance. She also communicates with everyone who raises funds for BB! and makes sure they have the promotional materials and information they need.
“Every day after work I know I have made a difference,” Vicki said. “I can see the difference in people’s lives when they connect with others at events, choose a healthier lifestyle, or get a mammogram. You can’t do that at just any job.”
The golf tournament, which celebrated its ninth year in April, is still Vicki’s favorite BB! event. This year, 343 golfers participated in the tournament. The parking lot was a sea of golf carts bearing familiar faces, as well as golfers new to the event. Vicki and her husband high-fived each golfer as they passed on their way to the course. Over the past nine years, the tournament has raised nearly $200,000 for BB!
This summer Vicki and Lenny will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. The couple lives in Williamsburg with their two children, 17-year-old Karsen and 14-year-old Ryan.