We turn play into serious support
To speed advances in breast cancer detection, treatment, and survivorship, Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) supports thousands of volunteers nationwide as they raise funds for research through sporting and lifestyle events. Their efforts raise $5.75 million annually — and 100% of that goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
When Laura Lassman learned that a friend and fellow golfer had been diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to take action. To show her support as her friend underwent treatment, Laura organized a golf tournament fundraiser at Alpine Country Club in New Jersey to raise money for breast cancer research. What was intended to be a one-time event turned into an annual fundraiser at the club. Laura did not stop there. After seeing powerful potential in how the community rallied to support breast cancer research, she was energized by everyone’s eagerness to help.
Laura founded Play for P.I.N.K. (PFP) in 1990 and encouraged friends and supporters to hold similar golf tournaments at neighboring clubs. By 1995, six local country clubs were hosting PFP events, with all money being donated to Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center. However, donating funds to a large medical center, such as MSK, made it difficult to ensure that PFP’s contribution would be channeled directly to support research. So, Laura began to search for a larger charity with a similar cause that PFP could thrive under.
In 1996, her contacts at MSK introduced Laura to Evelyn Lauder, Founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) – marking a pivotal moment in PFP’s history. PFP soon named BCRF as their sole beneficiary, allowing 100% of Play for P.I.N.K.’s proceeds to go directly to breast cancer research.
In October 2023, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation awarded Play for P.I.N.K. with its Champions of Progress Award for “extraordinary and enduring dedication” that leads to “game-changing breakthroughs in the field of breast cancer research.”
Today, Play for P.I.N.K. supports events in 30 states across the country, with more than 30,000 annual participants turning their passion for golf, tennis, and other sports and lifestyle pursuits into substantial support for research. To date, Play for P.I.N.K. has raised over $80 million and currently supports 23 scientists at leading academic medical institutions around the world.
Play for P.I.N.K. began as an act of friendship. In 1990, a fellow member and good friend at Alpine Country Club was diagnosed with breast cancer. I mobilized members and put together a golf tournament that would direct the money towards funding breast cancer research. I never imagined that one decision would have such a significant impact on so many lives.