Every ZERO Summit kicks off with the Bold for Blue Awards Ceremony, a motivating and emotional event not to be missed. This special event offers a chance to meet, mingle, catch up, and engage with one another as a #ZEROStrong community. Together we honor and celebrate our boldest fundraisers and those who have the greatest impact on our shared mission to end prostate cancer.
Categories for the 2023 Bold for Blue awards include the Legacy Award, Impact Award, Hope Award, Individual Fundraising, and Team Fundraising. Winners were announced at the Bold for Blue Awards Ceremony on Sunday, February 24, 2023!
Jonathan Schwartz is ZERO’s former chair of the board 2010-2016 and ZERO’s longest-serving board member, but Schwartz and his family – which includes his father and founding CEO, William Schwartz – have been involved in the prostate cancer cause for more than 26 years.
As Chair, Schwartz led ZERO to its largest growth period as the organization tripled in size and increased the Run/Walk series from 13 events to 30 and provided more than $150M in co-pay support for patients in greatest need. During his tenure at ZERO, Schwartz has served on its executive committee and as its audit chair, improving the organization’s efficiency and operations model.
Schwartz is an operations management specialist and is the Director of SSA & Company. He has worked with Fortune 100 companies like Bank of America and Motorola, private equity portfolio companies, and startups to improve operations and implement sustainable transformations.
Quentin “Skip” Lockwood is a selfless and irreplaceable pioneer in the fight against prostate cancer and the creation of ZERO Prostate Cancer. During his 13 years at ZERO, including serving as CEO from 2008 to 2013, Lockwood led the organization from bankruptcy into an award-winning, multi-million, best-in-class organization while improving ZERO’s Charity Navigator standing from two to four stars. He later served as its chairman, giving the organization further guidance and expertise.
One of his many highlights at the organization was creating and operating the Drive Against Prostate Cancer, a national mobile testing program that provided more than 120,000 free tests for prostate cancer which undoubtedly saved countless lives through early detection.
Probably the most enduring legacy that Lockwood provided to ZERO was the vision to believe in the organization’s staff – inspiring them to do what inspires them. It’s this philosophy and Lockwood’s support that led to the rise of the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk and the expansion of the organization’s advocacy success in increasing research funding.
Lockwood is currently the principal and founder of QL3 Strategies – helping nonprofits when disaster strikes and supporting others that do good, do better.
Susie’s passion for ending prostate cancer is boundless, and she is fully committed to helping others find the resources they need to make educated and informed decisions about their care. Susie’s involvement in ZERO was spurred by her brother, Terry, and his battle against prostate cancer. During Terry’s prostate cancer journey, he inspired Susie and others to join the fight. Schlernitzauer helped Terry every day during his fight against prostate cancer, and she has carried that same commitment forward to fight for other patients and families.
As a Champion, ambassador, team captain, and advocate, Schlernitzauer is also the founder of the South Florida ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk where she recruits teams, fundraises, and organizes the event. She has worked in the medical profession for more than 40 years. On weekends, she’s active in her church and helps deliver and provide meals to those who need them most. It’s clear that helping patients and making the world a better place is in Schlernitzauer’s DNA.
Schlernitzauer is a mainstay at the ZERO Summit and has spoken several times about her brother’s story and demonstrated to other advocates how to have an effective and efficient meeting with members of Congress to encourage support for research funding and access to care.
U.S. Judge Ralph Burnett served as ZERO’s third chairman. As a prostate cancer patient, Judge Burnett championed public and private partnerships in the effort to end prostate cancer, supporting ZERO’s advocacy efforts to grow federal dollars and securing private dollars directed to meaningful research.
His leadership on the board of directors was supportive and encouraged us to be all that we could be in the fight and in our lives. It’s no surprise because Judge Burnett was also a combat veteran, serving as a U.S. Army Troop commander in Korea. He took that determined spirit to law school and then as a senior partner with Burnett, Eiswert & James, followed by a term as United States District Attorney in Garrett County, Maryland.
Burnett passed away from recurrent prostate cancer, but the very funding he fought for led to advances in treatment that very likely would have saved his life years later. He was a selfless and courageous hero.
John Willey was diagnosed at a time when the powerful connection of hereditary cancers was unknown. Although he lost his father to prostate cancer six years before his own diagnosis, his prostate cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock.
While in a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins, Willey discovered ZERO (then the National Prostate Cancer Coalition) and threw himself into the cause wholeheartedly. Willey said that two things really drew him in: how the organization leads the way in securing more federal research funding, and how it does a great job educating men and amplifying the patient voice in the media.
He became the organization’s treasurer, creating a political action committee to help the organization protect and grow research funding and mentoring other patients to become more involved. He got involved in a local Washington, D.C.-based support group where he told patients, “Whatever you do, you should become active with an organization or group that you feel comfortable with whether it’s ZERO or another local support group. It is beneficial to all men and their families that have the talent and resources to get involved and work to eliminate prostate cancer death.”
Willey was a passionate soul and fought for ZERO and against prostate cancer with all he had.
While working in Manhattan, Bob Samuels broke racial barriers as a Black banking executive. He exerted an ironclad focus and deft social instincts to help achieve his goals. As a self-described outsider who grew up in poverty, he excelled at organizing, and his New York City Urban Bankers Association let other African-American professionals know they were not alone, even when only white faces surrounded them.
After retiring to Tampa and receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, Samuels continued to let other Black men know they were not alone in the fight. Samuels vowed to at least make a dent in the fight against the disease. He emerged as a national leader, shaking up audiences with scores of motivational speeches, and became one of the founders and the first chair of the board at ZERO (then the National Prostate Cancer Coalition). With Samuels as the chair, ZERO worked across both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill to forge the Prostate Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense and later organize the March on Washington to fight prostate cancer. In his book, Samuels recounted that he bombarded U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young with phone calls and emails until the Congressman agreed to champion the movement on Capitol Hill.
Samuels also was a torch bearer as part of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, founded the Florida Prostate Cancer Network, and served as a support group leader at Moffitt Cancer Center, where he was always ready to talk to someone about prostate cancer and routinely answered 300 emails a week from other patients.
Donna Hollister saw the need for patient support and advocacy as a sign to start a prostate cancer support group in 1993. This group continues to grow and has been meeting for 30 years. Hollister is an extremely knowledgeable urology-certified registered nurse and is always the first to lend a hand when needed. She has coordinated the Blue Ribbon prostate cancer walks/runs in Traverse City, MI for the past 12 years, and her event will now be part of the ZERO Run/Walk series. Hollister serves her support group as a knowledge bank of new break-throughs in prostate cancer treatment, a supportive friend and healthcare provider, and someone just to listen, because sometimes the members just need to talk. Her spirit and positivity are contagious! Read an article about Donna’s achievements here.
With more than 20 years of service and ten years as President & CEO, Jamie Bearse has been a transformational leader and beloved champion for ZERO and the prostate cancer community. Over the course of his remarkable tenure, Bearse has raised awareness of the disease and has doubled the number of free, accessible PSA tests helping to save lives through early detection. He has established ZERO360, ZERO’s patient resource and disease navigation program, and built a vibrant and diverse chapter and Champions program, helping reach patients and families in local communities nationwide. Bearse leaves a lasting legacy of helping elevate prostate cancer from a hushed conversation to a national dialogue, building and galvanizing a passionate and engaged community. He has been a staunch advocate for health equity during his tenure, and he has started ZERO’s renewed efforts toward achieving health equity for all patients while never faltering in his role as a consistent beacon of hope, comfort, and inspiration for patients, families, and all who have been impacted by the disease.
Ted Healy is an Oregon-based prostate cancer patient with advanced-stage prostate cancer, but that hasn’t stopped him from dedicating himself to boldly making an impact in the fight against prostate cancer. Ted shares his prostate cancer story regularly and was featured as the face of ZERO’s 2022 spring campaign, vulnerably sharing his experience with treatment, side effects, and personal benefits from the ZERO360 program. Additionally, he passionately recruited teammates for his Run/Walk team (PDX Champions), sat on the Portland Run/Walk committee, and was this year’s Top Fundraiser for the event. Despite the countless hours dedicated to ZERO, Ted always asks how he can do more. Ted is a shining example of a selfless and passionate Champion, constantly looking for new ways to raise the bar and put ZERO on the map.
Len Scarcalossi Sierra
Len Scarcalossi Sierra was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2014 after a new job provided a routine screening for employees. He leads the ZERO, Us TOO Danbury Support Group and is the co-leader of the Sarasota, FL group. Scarcalossi Sierra shares that all of his relationships improved following his diagnosis. He’s much less focused on his own ego and more focused on being considerate to others. “It’s going to sound bizarre, but I’m almost glad it happened; it was an awakening – I like to think that some goodness has come out of the experience in bringing me closer to friends and family.” Scarcalossi Sierra’s motto in life now is, be kind to each other, find happiness in service to others.
Steve Abbott gives true meaning to the word “warrior.” Abbott is a ZERO Champion and prostate cancer survivor who passionately spearheaded this year’s Cincinnati Run/Walk. Through his work with the 2022 Run/Walk, Abbott emphasized the importance of having a community event that can truly unite the prostate cancer community and outlined all of the positive benefits it has. In addition to supporting the Cincinnati Run/Walk, Abbott also hosts a podcast and blog detailing and sharing his prostate cancer treatment journey as an avenue to raise awareness, break down stigma, and assist other advanced-stage patients during their treatment.. Even after his diagnosis and while undergoing treatment, Abbott has never hesitated to be someone to rely on.
A game-changer in his community, Darrell Sabbs has been a leader in the South Georgia community, helping to bring awareness to early detection and the racial disparities with Black men and prostate cancer. Sabbs has created a group, the Elevation Project, where he brings the local healthcare system, Black churches, and barbershops together to address early detection and break down barriers. Sabb and the Elevation Project address the mistrust of the healthcare system and the lack of primary care providers through events like “Haircuts & Hams” and the Father’s Day “Shop Talk”. In 2022, through the work of Sabbs and his group, more than 800 men were tested in the South Georgia community, and he believes the work he is doing can be replicated in other communities.
Critically acclaimed and renowned New York-based fashion designer, Frederick Anderson, has been dedicated to raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer through his signature Blue Jacket Fashion Show. In 2022, ZERO was selected to be the beneficiary of this wildly successful event. This star-studded fashion show brought ZERO into the limelight in several publications such as Vogue, People Magazine, Variety, and the New York Times. The celebrated event featured celebrities such as Al Roker and Don Lemon. Anderson’s dedication to raising awareness has taken our mission to ZERO out prostate cancer to an unrivaled level.
Bunch O Nuts
Al Hosack leads the Bunch O Nuts Run/Walk team in Hampton Roads, Virginia, along with Geoff Klein and Rochelle Heron. Hosack and Klein are both prostate cancer survivors thanks to Chaz Heron sharing the importance of early detection at church after his own diagnosis. The team still runs in memory of Chaz and in honor of the growing number of survivors on the Bunch O Nuts team. You can find them tabling events spreading the importance of screening and early detection throughout the year in the Hampton Roads area.
Anna and Ryan Pessah
Anna and Ryan Pessah enjoy being outside, spending time with family, and drinking beer – preferably all at once. Hops & Handlebars, organized by Anna and Ryan Pessah, was created in memory of Ryan’s father, Dr. Benjamin Pessah. Dr. Pessah was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in February 2014 and passed away in April 2016. Hops & Handlebars started in 2018 and is focused on engaging, uniting, and educating the Sacramento community through partnerships with local businesses and organizations. Hops & Handlebars regularly hosts local events to raise money, spread awareness, and increase education about prostate cancer prevention, treatment, and support. The Pessah family is passionate about educating people about prostate cancer.
Bill Miller, a prostate cancer survivor and patient, is a true ZERO Champion.After his diagnosis in 2015 and initial treatment, Miller wanted to take action and began working with the Des Moines Run/Walk. After witnessing ZERO’s work, he asked a group of guys to try something fun for a good cause; a golf outing! Five years later, the Des Moines Tee-Off event continues to grow, with the 2022 event hosting over 140 golfers and raising more than $30k with much thanks to Miller and his efforts to make this event bigger and better than ever. Miller continues to be an advocate for ZERO’s patient programs and the importance of getting tested early and often.
Catherine Hawley Chapman
Catherine Hawley Chapman is a passionate Champion and fundraiser for the Lehigh Valley Run/Walk. Along with her family, Chapman has turned pain into purpose after losing her father to prostate cancer at age 59. Chapman and her six siblings started Team Chemosabes to remind her father that he had the support of his loved ones during his fight against the disease Her incredible energy leading Team Chemosabes has made an enormous impact locally in the Lehigh Valley community and fundraising efforts for ZERO’s programs
Ed Varney is an outstanding ZERO Champion dedicated to ending prostate cancer. He is one of three executives in the Propane Gas Industry who aided in the formation of Pros4Care. Over the last 15 years, Pros4Care has held an annual golf tournament and raised over $250,000 to support awareness and provide critical information about prostate cancer. The industry’s demographics coupled with the loss of a dear colleague, from prostate cancer, led to the formation of Pros4Care. In 2022, Pros4Care joined ZERO to help continue national outreach and provide resources to patients and anyone affected by prostate cancer. Varney continues to be very involved with ZERO as an advocate and volunteer.
Dr. Jackie Crowell
Jackie Cromwell created a Kan Jam tournament to help bring awareness and raise funds towards the fight against prostate cancer. She dedicates her efforts to the ZERO mission after relatives fight against this disease. Cromwell also supports prostate cancer patients in her everyday life as a licensed physical therapist, helping patients who struggle with urinary incontinence after prostate removal.
Team Miles for Mike was created in support of Mike Brocato, loving husband, dad, and grandpa who was lost to prostate cancer in 2017. Led by team captain and daughter of Mike Brocato, Kristin Boehm, Team Miles for Mike raised over $9,000 for the 2022 Kansas City Run/Walk. Every year this team shows up strong with a positive attitude and passion for the cause, with members of all ages ready to make a difference. Boehm and the team continue to inspire patients, survivors, and their families with the impact they are making. We are honored to have Kristin and her team as part of the ZERO family!
Megan Robertson – Team El Jefe
Five years ago Megan Robertson started Team El Jefe in support of the Harrisburg Run/Walk. Robertson wanted a way to raise awareness of the importance of early detection as her father Gene endured his prostate cancer journey. Gene is now a five-year cancer survivor. Each year, Roberstson is very creative in how her team fundraises. This year was no different with creative signs and a pre-party at a local brewery, Lovedraft’s Brewing Co., where they unveiled a new beer El Jefe-Weizen!
Michael Dunne is a ZERO Champion and prostate cancer survivor dedicated to raising awareness for the disease. When Dunne was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2021, he would go on long walks with his wife, during which he said, “when we get through this, I want to help others and become more involved with raising awareness.” Dunne did just that by diving right into the 2021 ZERO Grow & Give Campaign that November. He has continued to be one of the Top Grow & Give Individual Fundraisers, raising nearly $20,000 over the last two years for ZERO’s programs, and he continues to share his story and the importance of getting tested early.
As a prostate cancer survivor and passionate supporter, Pat Forsburg uses his network to make a big impact by fundraising for the Harrisburg Run/Walk. Forsburg leads the team, The Forsburg 40, that now has far more than 40 team members. Throughout the country, there were over 280 people registered for The Forsburg 40 team in 2022 during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, raising over $21,000 last year and over $110,000 cumulatively over the last five years. Forsburg and The Forsburg 40 are an incredible force for good in the mission to end prostate cancer.
Sandy Maxey, a new addition to the ZERO Board of Directors, is truly a cause hero. After losing her father to prostate cancer in 1993, Maxey’s goal has been to help ensure others don’t experience the pain of losing a loved one, as she has. Thanks to Maxey’s leadership and support from her employer, Harrity & Harrity, LLP, ZERO hosted our first-ever quadruple match giving day for a total impact of more than $140,000 raised to fuel ZERO’s programs.
Susan Blackney’s husband, Tom, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer on May 29, 2014. Team Blackney was created soon after for the San Francisco Run/Walk.. The team has participated every year since Tom’s diagnosis and has spread the word to as many men as possible about the disease. Tom received new treatments throughout his almost 8-year fight, and we know this wouldn’t have been possible without the support and advancements for prostate cancer. Tom sadly passed away on March 31, 2022. One of his favorite phrases was “Dig Deep”. Susan and the team continue to wish everyone fighting prostate cancer all the energy to “Dig Deep”.
Trevor Cohen and Alex Parker
Trevor Cohen and Alex Parker are the creators of the Mustachio Bashio in Chicago, Illinois. Cohen and Parker met in college at Indiana University and, through their fraternity, became active in fundraising and giving back. Cohen and Parker celebrated a successful 4th Annual Mustachio Bashio, raising over $10,000 for prostate cancer patients. They are committed to helping ZERO #EndProstateCancer.
Andrew Zweig Ripple Runners
Wendy Zweig is a ZERO Champion, passionate about raising awareness and support for the prostate cancer community. In 2017, Zweig lost her husband, Andrew, to prostate cancer. Andrew was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, coach, and mentor. Wendy helped start the Andrew Zweig Ripple Run, in her husband’s memory, which has now been adopted into the ZERO National Run/Walk Series and has raised over $250,000 throughout the last five years. In addition to starting this event, Zweig is also the fierce leader of the Andrew Zweig Ripple Runners team, raising over $10,000 annually. Zweig continues to make a tremendous impact in the local Rockland County community in raising awareness and support for those affected by the disease.
Zachary S. Collins, MD
Fulfilling his dream of participating in the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii has been a long time coming for Zach Collins. After Collins signed up with Team ZERO in 2020, the IRONMAN was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Collins was finally able to compete in October of 2022. As an Interventional Radiologist at the University of Kansas Hospital, Collins spends his days helping patients fight cancer and other medical issues. With Team ZERO, he took that passion for assisting patients one step further by raising over $50,000 for the cause.
AutoNation’s employees came out in force at this year’s Dr. Sanford J. Siegel Prostate Cancer Run/Walk raising funds to support ZERO’s programs. For the second year in a row, ZERO was a charity checkout campaign partner for April, May, and June in AutoNation stores, fueling our mission to end prostate cancer
For 13 years, Baird associates have been one of ZERO’s long-standing Grow & Give partners. Baird has made an impressive impact on ZERO’s mission to end prostate cancer. In November of 2022, Baird employees battled it out to raise critically needed funds for patients and families, by growing facial hair and rocking boldly blue styles.
From putting the “fun” in fundraising with a Bayer “Karaoke Legend” contest for donations to making a life-saving impact as a Run/Walk team, Bayer has been a valuable partner in the fight against prostate cancer. Team Bayer set a big fundraising goal in 2022 and went above and beyond to meet it!
Team Pfizer, a longtime corporate fundraising partner, is once again in our top five with strong participation in the Run/Walk series and Grow & Give. Pfizer colleagues from around the country came together in 2022 to help make a life-saving difference for patients and their families.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is a philanthropic company that just happens to sell vodka. Distributors, restaurants, and die-hard fundraisers joined forces for their fifth year and made a life-saving impact on prostate cancer patients across the nation, by participating in Grow & Give. Cheers!
Dr. Lester Raff
Dr. Lester Raff has been a supporter of the Chicago ZERO SEA Blue Run/Walk event for many years. Most recently, he served as a member of the Us TOO Board of Directors and, with the merger of Us TOO and ZERO, served on the ZERO Medical Advisory Board. He recently retired as the lead pathologist of UroPartners, LLC, but his commitment to ZERO, the Chicago ZERO SEA Blue event, and the prostate cancer community will continue.
Days before Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, at the age of 42, Jeff Fortson was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Fortson then penned a two-part essay for Ebony Magazine. Leaning into vulnerability, he detailed the challenges he experienced navigating this silent disease at a young age. Fortson vowed to be a vocal advocate, writing, “I no longer wanted to keep this close to the vest as other Black men walk around suffering, not knowing how to cope with prostate cancer.” More than ten years later, and in remission, Fortson has kept his promise. He continues to raise awareness both in Atlanta and nationally using his voice, partnerships, and media platform to encourage men to be screened annually and know their PSA score.
Representative LaShawn Ford, Illinois General Assembly
Representative La Shawn K. Ford, represents the 8th District in the Illinois General Assembly, where he has served since 2007. As a prostate cancer survivor, Representative Ford championed legislation (HB5318) in Illinois to increase access to prostate cancer screening without cost-sharing. llinois HB5318 provides coverage without imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement on insurance benefits. This legislation provides coverage for an annual prostate cancer screening for male insureds in Illinois.
Prostate Cancer Education Network (PHEN)
The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) was started in 2003 by Mr. Thomas Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor. PHEN’s mission is to eliminate the disparity that Black men experience in prostate cancer. PHEN implements its impactful mission through activities such as support groups for Black men diagnosed with prostate cancer, Disparity Rallies to raise awareness about racial disparities in prostate cancer, and since 2005 an Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit.
Congressman Bobby Rush
Congressman Bobby L. Rush has represented the 1st Congressional District of Illinois since 1993. He has consistently focused on helping the most vulnerable throughout his career. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army and an ordained minister with a Master’s Degree in Theology. Congressman Rush is also the pastor of the Beloved Community Christian Church of God in Christ in Chicago. In the 116th and 117th Congress, Congressman Rush was the lead sponsor for the PSA Screening for HIM Act, legislation focused on eliminating cost-sharing requirements for prostate-specific antigen screenings.
Paul Taylor has made an indelible mark on ZERO and its mission. Taylor served on ZERO’s Board of Directors for six years, in addition to serving as chairman of ZERO’s Veterans Prostate Cancer Working Group, leading efforts to convene stakeholders and advance policy priorities that will improve veterans’ prostate cancer care. No cancer journey is easy, but he turned his experience with prostate cancer into action that will measurably improve the lives of others impacted by the disease. Each day, Taylor consistently demonstrates a commitment to ending prostate cancer, especially in the veteran community.
The 2022 ZERO Summit recognized more than 25 Bold for Blue Award winners and Legacy Award winners. Watch a replay of last year’s ceremony, or see the full listing of these inspirational members of ZERO’s community!
The most impactful event in the movement to ZERO out prostate cancer is back in 2024! Just like our past ZERO Prostate Cancer Summits, we’ll bring our prostate cancer community together to education, celebrate and advocate. Watch this space for details about virtual education opportunities and in-person advocacy efforts planned for Washington, D.C.
February 24-27, 2024
The Westin Hotel in Alexandria, VA