As reported by the New Britain Herald, March 13, 2009.

Local Group Passes $1 Million Milestone

By James Craven

NEW BRITAIN — The locally based Connecticut Breast Health Initiative is reporting it has awarded more than $1 million in grants to Connecticut researchers in the fight against breast cancer.

Initiative President Joyce Bray said being able to pass the $1 million landmark comes as a result of the thousands of Connecticut residents who have supported the cause of ending breast cancer.

“Their generosity has allowed us to support local researchers who are often unable to secure federal funding,” Bray said. “CTBHI’s mission is to help plant those seeds in Connecticut so that they can grow and contribute to the global fight against breast cancer.”

Since 2005 the group has made more than 35 individual grants totaling nearly $1.2 million. The largest grant was for $300,000 in the form of a three-year partnership with the University of Connecticut Health Center to fund a professorship for clinical research dedicated to breast cancer prevention, treatment and research. The group has issued grants to the YMCA of New Britain, Hartford Hospital, Yale Cancer Center, the Hospital of Central Connecticut, the Hispanic Health Center and dozens of other research facilities.

Dr. Lori Wilson, director of breast surgical oncology, filled the UConn professorship.

“The work that Connecticut Breast Initiative does is crucial to putting promising, cutting-edge research on the fast track to directly benefiting breast cancer patients,” Wilson said. “I’m thrilled to be putting that grant to work.”

Bray, a marketing consultant, volunteers her time with the initiative because of her deep desire to defeat breast cancer.

“The work continues,” she said. “This year we received requests for more than $600,000 but were unable to meet all the requests.”

The group is preparing for its largest annual event and fundraiser — the Connecticut Race in the Park.

The combination walking and running event is held in New Britain’s Walnut Hill Park Mother’s Day weekend. In 2008, more than 5,000 participants came to fight against breast cancer.