The Bold for Blue Award Ceremony kicks off the Summit each year so that our prostate cancer community can come together for a night of celebration. As always, our 2022 event celebrated the boldest fundraisers and those who’ve made the greatest impact on our mission to end prostate cancer. Below are the winners who were featured in the virtual 2022 Bold for Blue Awards Show.
The Legacy Award recognizes an individual or group for having a deep and lasting commitment to the cause of ending prostate cancer. Legacy Award winners continue to push the envelope of advocacy by finding innovative ways to contribute to saving men’s lives.
Congratulations to Us TOO International for being the recipient of the 2022 Legacy Award. For more than 30 years, Us TOO has been committed to helping prostate cancer patients and their families.
ZERO is excited to honor three individuals with our Impact Awards. These winners have gone above and beyond the call of duty to raise awareness and funds in their communities.
Ryan’s passion for educating men about prostate cancer came after losing his dad to the disease. Along with his wife Anna, he founded Hops & Handlebars, an innovative fundraiser that brings together the Sacramento community – all in the name of prostate cancer awareness. The fundraiser has raised over $25,000 on behalf of ZERO.
Landi is a writer, director, and producer who has been diligently working creatively to advocate alongside ZERO since 2017. She created the documentary The Silent Killer: Prostate Cancer in the African American Community, which sheds light on the racial disparities of prostate cancer within the black community. Shortly after production began, Landi’s father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, making her even more passionate about this disease.
Don is a superstar ZERO champion that’s never said ‘no’ to an opportunity to talk about prostate cancer. Just weeks after losing his father to prostate cancer, Don was diagnosed with the disease himself. He’s been on a mission to raise awareness ever since. As a committee member for the ZERO Prostate Cancer Tee-Off, he personally called more than 100 patients and caregivers to raise nearly $55,000.
The Edward C. Kaps Hope Award was first given in 2008 and it’s named for one of Us TOO’s original founders from 33 years ago. Recipients of this award are true examples of dedication, service, and giving hope to prostate cancer survivors and their families. Below are the winners of the 2022 Hope Awards:
Kathie and her husband Dave have been part of the Us TOO family for over 20 years. Together, they’re an inspiring example of being the “wind beneath each other’s wings”. Kathie works tirelessly with caregivers to connect women from across the U.S. who have partners with prostate cancer.
A former Us TOO board member, Jerry Deans has battled prostate cancer for over two decades, but he shares that he wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t attended an Us TOO support group. Jerry has dedicated his life to helping men living with prostate cancer, even as his personal cancer battle rages on.
Anthony Pizzoferrato brings a personal style and passion to his monthly support group – A Prostate Cancer Forum for Gay Men and Their Partners. All those that attend, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, understand this support group is a safe space for open discussions. Those who know Anthony in the Us TOO community say his support group has been a true gift to them.
The Caesar Blevins Warrior Award is inspired by and named after a prostate cancer super-advocate. After Caesar was told he had advanced prostate cancer in 2011, he sprung into action. He co-founded a prostate cancer support group in the Kansas City area and took every opportunity to raise awareness. After a ten year battle with prostate cancer, Caesar passed away on April 7, 2021. His warrior spirit lives on in this award.
The first recipient of the Caesar Blevins’ Warrior Award is Jim Wilhelmsen. Sadly, we lost Jim just weeks ago after his courageous battle with the disease for nearly a decade. Just like Caesar, he was a valiant and tireless fighter who thought about others throughout his cancer journey.
Jim was one of ZERO’s most fearless and devoted Champions. After losing his father and grandfather to prostate cancer, Jim was diagnosed in 2013. A loving husband and father, Jim and his wife Venetia, along with their four children, have been Champions and advocates for ZERO for over eight years. So passionate about raising awareness, Jim took virtual Capitol Hill meetings while receiving his chemotherapy treatment during the 2021 ZERO Summit. After nine years of fighting for himself, his family and for all men – Jim passed away in January. His devotion and his passion to end prostate cancer live on in the many lives he touched along his journey.
ZERO’s Megaphone Award goes to individuals who’ve raised their voices to create awareness around prostate cancer. By bravely sharing their stories, these individuals have shone a light on the disease, and made others feel less alone in their fight.
ZERO’s 2022 Megaphone Award goes to Jay Jay French. As a founding member of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, the rock icon was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. He’s been urging men to turn up the volume in the fight to end prostate cancer ever since. In 2021, Jay Jay partnered with ZERO and Bayer to create the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” campaign, which reached more than 11 million people online, and over 2 million people on the radio and TV.
AutoNation joined forces with ZERO in April 2021 for Minority Health Month as part of its charity checkout campaign. This team raised a record-breaking $95,000, including $25,000 in matching funds, to build awareness about health disparities and to get more men screened.
In 2021, Pfizer employees raised nearly $41,000 to end prostate cancer. They brought more than 300 employees with them to our Run/Walks, laced up running shoes, supported Grow & Give – and encouraged others to join in the fundraising.
Team Bayer set a massive employee fundraising goal in 2021, and they delivered! Joining us again for the Run/Walk, Bayer brought in more than $36,000 with the help of over 100 Bayer colleagues.
Team Tito’s Homemade Vodka shattered their previous Grow & Give fundraising goals. Thanks to distributors, restaurants and die-hard fundraisers, they raised 32-thousand dollars last year to join in the fight.
For 12 years, Baird associates have been raising money and awareness about men’s health by growing out facial hair and fundraising. During Grow & Give 2021, this deeply committed company raised over $1,000 a day for ZERO.
Through Run/Walks, Grow & Give, DIY events and individual fundraising efforts – so many amazing champions and businesses have raised money for ZERO and our joint mission to end prostate cancer.
Sandy Maxey is a longtime CHAMPION of ZERO. From Run/Walks to Giving Tuesday, Sandy is always willing to share her story. In 2020 and 2021, she and the law firm where she works – Harrity & Harrity LLP – have led Champion Triple Match days to raise thousands for men battling prostate cancer. Their most recent campaign raised over $125,000. Sandy does it all in honor of her dad, who died of prostate cancer in 1993.
Bill Miller was diagnosed with prostate cancer on his birthday in 2015. Following his initial treatment, he decided to take action. He started off by joining ZERO’s Run/Walk in Des Moines. After a few years, he convinced a group of guys to try a golf outing. Four years later, the Des Moines Tee-Off continues to grow, with the 2021 event hosting 144 golfers and raising more than $38K.
Team “This One’s for Terry”, led by Susie Schlernitzauer, is one of the largest teams of our South Florida Run/Walk. After her brother Terry’s diagnosis, Susie promised him she’d do everything she could to fight the disease. In 2021, Susie raised over $26,000. She’s also been active on ZERO’s Patient & Caregiver Advisory Board, our annual Summit and Tee Off. Recently Susie recruited her nephew’s police department to participate in ZERO’s Grow & Give.
Karen Jauregui became involved with ZERO after losing her husband Peter to prostate cancer in 2017. Her team “Soaring Eagle” participates in ZERO’s Boston Run/Walk and has been a top fundraiser since 2019. Karen started attending ZERO’s Summit in 2020 and in November of that same year, was elected to ZERO’s Board of Directors. In 2021, Karen and her team raised over $25,000.
The Forsburg 40 continues to be ZERO’s largest Run/Walk team. In 2020 they had over 400 members take part in the Harrisburg event. In 2021 they had over 350 members on their Team. Eliza and Finleigh (grandchildren of Team Captain Pat Forsburg) helped raise over $18,000 in 2021. Pat, who’s a prostate cancer survivor, gives all recognition to his grandchildren who’ve been the key to his fundraising success.
Team Nikituk is rockin’ it again! For over 15 years, in honor of Paul Nikituk, daughters Meghan and Tara, alongside their mom Cheryl, have been fighting and fundraising since the passing of their father and husband. They’ve been with ZERO since our first Capital Area Run/Walk. In 2021, these ZERO Champions raised nearly $16,000.
For the second year, Jack Porter, captain of Team Papa Hat, has been the top fundraiser for the Chicago SEA Blue Run/Walk, bringing in over $13,000. Jack took over the reins as captain from his Nana, Myrna Porter who was one of the original founders of the SEA Blue event. Team Papa Hat has walked over 17 years in remembrance of Jack’s grandfather and Myrna’s husband, Stuart Porter who died of prostate cancer.
Ryan & Anna Pessah decided more needed to be done in their Sacramento community when it comes to prostate cancer education and support. Together they organized Hops & Handlebars, inspired by Ryan’s memories of growing mustaches with his dad, along with Anna’s love of great beer. In 2021, they raised over $13,000. You may recognize Ryan as one of their year’s Impact Award winners.
Team Angus is led by Mark Hagenbuch, a stage IV Prostate cancer Survivor, and champion. Since 2016, Mark and his team have been one of our top fundraisers for Harrisburg’s Run/Walk, and in 2021 they raised over $12,000. Mark continues to work alongside ZERO, fighting for more treatments for advanced prostate cancer, because as he shares, it’s what’s keeping him alive.
Robert Ferrari was once quoted “There’s nothing like a cancer diagnosis to make you rearrange your priorities” after completing his 4-thousand mile, cross-country bike trip to raise awareness and funds for ZERO. Robert was diagnosed and treated in 2020. While cycling from Washington State to Maine, he kept the ZERO community updated and even overcame COVID – in all, raising $12,000.
Sue and Nancy started Ripple Run back in 2018 in memory of their friend Andrew Zweig who passed away from prostate cancer. Even during the pandemic, they encouraged their Rockland County community to join virtually and raised over $12,000. To date, they have raised over $160,000!
Dan Perkins, a member of ZERO’s Board of Directors, has been connected with the cause since 2011 when three of his friends were all diagnosed with prostate cancer. Year after year, Dan has been a top fundraiser and has raised thousands of dollars for ZERO through creative fundraising. In 2021 Dan raised almost $12,000.
Catherine Hawley lost her father to prostate cancer, and both her grandfathers battled the disease. In 2015, Catherine and her siblings started Team Chemosabes to show their dad just how much love and support was behind him in his fight. He passed away before the first event, but Catherine and her family continue to run and walk in his memory every year. 2021 was a record setter for Team Chemosabes, raising over $11,000 total.
Michael Bachmann was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after his 50th birthday. The following year, he was introduced to ZERO and formed Team Bach Around The Clock. The team has participated in our Chicago Run/Walk ever since, ranked in the top three every year and in 2021 they raised over $11,000!
At 48, Darik Pearson was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer.
This husband and father of two set up a Facebook birthday fundraiser and raised over $11,000 – setting a record amount raised by a Facebook birthday fundraiser at ZERO!
So many have made a significant impact in the fight against prostate cancer with incredible fundraising efforts. We’d like to honor those that have raised over $10,000 this past year.
To learn more about all of our Bold for Blue winners, please watch the 2022 Bold for Blue Awards below. The awards aired on March 4, 2022.