Thank You for Your Part in an Incredible Year: A Recap of 2011

We introduced a new 5K event…

Head for the Cure 5K – North Texas debuted May 14, 2011, in Frisco, Tex. The outpouring of support from that community was overwhelming. More than 2,200 participants and 62 teams showed up in force for our inaugural event, and combined with several generous sponsorships, they raised nearly $150,000 (gross) for the foundation.

A Frisco woman, Stevie Patrick, was the inspiration behind this event. Stevie was diagnosed in May 2010 with a stage 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, and underwent treatment at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A co-owner with her husband of a fitness program with locations across Texas, Stevie possesses a physical and mental toughness that no doubt impacted her ability to fight this disease. When the vast support network that surrounds her introduced her story to Head for the Cure, a new event was inevitable. And in its first year, Head for the Cure 5K – North Texas can lay claim as the second-largest 5K in Frisco!

All of the key members of the local race committee are back and ready to make the 2012 event bigger and better when the second installment of Head for the Cure 5K – North Texas takes place Saturday, May, 12, 2012.

Participation and fundraising records were surpassed at every one of our 2011 events…

In April, Head for the Cure 5K – Columbia more than doubled participation from 2010 and raised more than $13,000 (gross) for brain cancer research. Fourteen teams in support of someone affected by brain cancer participated, a dramatic increase from the inaugural event. In only its second year, the event has become a mainstay charity event in Columbia.

A few weeks later, the inaugural Head for the Cure 5K – North Texas surpassed all expectations. With a goal of 800 participants and $50,000 in fundraising, the incredible support of the Frisco community showed us we had underestimated the passion and commitment there!  More than 2,200 participants and 62 teams showed up in force race day, and combined with several generous sponsorships, they raised just under $150,000 (gross) for the foundation.

In early July, the third annual Head for the Cure at the K! event also broke attendance (and temperature!) records at Kauffman Stadium as the Head for the Cure Foundation had a prominent presence at a Sunday afternoon game between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers. The Head for the Cure tent in the Outfield Experience served complimentary hot dogs and bottled water and provided free Outfield Experience Play Passes to our supporters. We held a pre-game rally with Nancy Howser, wife of former Royals Manager Dick Howser who lost his battle with brain cancer in 1987. In addition to educating an entire stadium full of Royals fans about Head for the Cure, the event raised nearly $2,000 for the foundation, with $5 from each ticket sale made through Head for the Cure credited back to the foundation. The team responsible for the most ticket sales, Monceret Mafia, was awarded with an air-conditioned suite to watch the game.

The flagship event, Head for the Cure – Metro KC, did not disappoint with a new layout and more record-breaking support in terms of participation, volunteers, sponsorship and fundraising. More than 4,500 participants, volunteers and sponsors were responsible for raising more than $385,000 (gross) for the foundation! An astounding 126 teams were a part of the 2011 event. An enhanced Team Village provided areas for the teams to gather on the perimeter, surrounding the event site with personal tributes to those for whom Head for the Cure exists. This year’s event was our best ever and sets the bar high for our 10-year anniversary event in 2012.

Then in October, the Head for the Cure 5K – Lawrence had its third installment in a brand-new location near downtown Lawrence. The new location (and a group of committed volunteers from the Lawrence community) helped the event more than double in size. More than 525 participants, 21 teams and several generous local sponsors were responsible for raising over $34,000 (gross), more than a four-fold increase from the previous year.

HFTC presented donation checks to the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC) TWICE…

Our main beneficiary, the BTTC, has grown accustomed to receiving annual donations from the Head for the Cure Foundation at the end of each year since we provided the seed money to help the unique organization launch in 2007. In 2011, we were able to provide grants to the BTTC at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston not once but twice!

In late August, HFTC Founder and Chairman of the Board Matt Anthony presented a check for $184,078 to BTTC Chairman Mark Gilbert, M.D. The Head for the Cure Foundation was able to make this mid-year donation thanks to the success of the inaugural Head for the Cure 5K – North Texas event and the generous donation by Meryl Engle, who awarded Head for the Cure $57,365 after convincing her uncle, Jim Engle of James Engle Custom Homes, to build a house and donate the profits to Head for the Cure. Meryl convinced the 47 subcontractors to donate their time or provide a significant discount for their work, and the end result was the largest single donation Head for the Cure has ever received from an individual.

Then later in the year, Head for the Cure was able to present a second check to the BTTC, thanks to the record fundraising from the Columbia, Metro KC and Lawrence events. A check in the amount of $200,000 was presented Nov. 30, 2011, by Matt Anthony on behalf of the Head for the Cure Foundation.

HFTC also supports other organizations…

While the BTTC is the primary beneficiary of Head for the Cure Foundation, we also provide financial support to organizations that complement our cause.

Our flagship event has provided an annual donation to Solace House, a Kansas City organization that provides support for grieving families and children, since the beginning. After Chris Anthony lost his battle with brain cancer, the Anthony family found great comfort in the services offered by Solace House, especially for his children. This year, HFTC was able to donate $10,000 to Solace House.

In 2010, HFTC demonstrated its support of the quest for NCI accreditation by the University of Kansas Cancer Center (NCI accreditation is a requirement to be a member of the BTTC). In 2010, the HFTC Board of Directors committed to support the University of Kansas Cancer Center in its effort with $100,000 over the next five years. A $25,000 check was presented by Matt Anthony in 2011 to the KU Cancer Center.

The North Texas event brought to our attention an organization that provides support for those in the midst of their battles with brain cancer. The Legacy Brain Foundation was founded by brain tumor patients, their family members, and their physicians who saw a need in North Texas for an organization dedicated to raising awareness of brain and spinal cord (neurological) tumors as well as how the diagnosis of one of these tumors affects the patient and their family. One of the Keeping the Faith award recipients from the North Texas event, Deborah Brown, is a member of The Legacy Brain Foundation board of directors. In August, the Head for the Cure Foundation granted $10,000 to The Legacy Brain Foundation, and in 2012 the organization will become a secondary beneficiary for Head for the Cure 5K – North Texas.

Expanding Head for the Cure 5K events: How you can help

Anyone who has experienced a Head for the Cure 5K event knows that it is something special. Not only are the 5K events successful fundraisers, but they serve as unique tributes to those fighting brain cancer and those who have lost their battles.

Teams formed around those affected by brain cancer are the heart and soul of the Head for the Cure 5K events. Legions of friends and family participate in solidarity of loved ones undergoing their journeys with a brain tumor. And the teams who have lost their loved one return year after year to celebrate their loved ones legacies.

As the Head for the Cure movement grows, more people become aware of the impacts of brain cancer and more money is raised to help eradicate it. And of course, more people affected with brain cancer can have a place to come be celebrated as we join together to defeat brain cancer step by step.

Over the next 18 months, we are targeting Austin, Tex., Denver, Co., Des Moines, Iowa, and Wichita, Kan. for expansion. If you have connections in any of these locations or other cities through friends, family or work who would be interested in helping organize a Head for the Cure 5K event, please email Executive Director Juli Watkins at

Head for the Cure 5K Events:
2012 Calendar


April 21
Columbia, MO
June 30
Wichita, KS*
May 12
Plano, TX
Date TBA
Des Moines, IA*
August 26
Overland Park, KS
September (Date TBA)
Denver, CO*
September 30
Lawrence, KS
Early 2013 (Date TBA)
Austin, TX*
* New event