On Thursday, the non-profit breast cancer prevention and education organization Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC) announced a revamped athlete ambassador program and its new roster of pro athlete partners, including surfers Courtney Conlogue, Liz Clark, Sage Erickson, and Malia Manuel; skateboarders Mimi Knoop and Allysha Bergado; snowboarders Elena Hight, Kimmy Fasani, and Hana Beaman; and wakeboarder Tarah Mikacich.
"I've been involved with B4BC for many years and I'm honored that they've invited me to be an ambassador for them now," says Mimi Knoop, owner of Hoopla Skateboards and a five-time X Games medalist in Women's Skateboard Vert. "I've had a couple family members who've battled breast cancer and I've lost friends and family members through other kinds of cancer, so it's something I take really personally."
The pro athletes will help represent the organization at upcoming events like the X Games, the Vans Warped Tour, and the US Open of Surfing, where the B4BC outreach team distributes information about preventing breast cancer, including shower cards demonstrating breast self-examination techniques for early detection. Several of the athlete ambassadors and their sponsors also develop signature "cause-marketing" apparel, like the Volcom B4BC Iconic jacket snowboarder Elena Hight wore in competition last season, to help raise awareness and funds for the organization.
"Volcom does a B4BC collab every year and there will be a new jacket out this year as well as some other really cool products I'll be wearing throughout the season to help get the message out there," says Hight, who made news this month as the first female snowboarder ever to land a double-cork spin in a halfpipe. "I'm really stoked to continue to be a part of the ambassadors program for Boarding for Breast Cancer."
Knoop, Hight and other B4BC athletes met last week at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu, Calif. to shoot "Be Healthy. Get Active. Ride!", B4BC's October 2012 Breast Cancer Prevention Month campaign.
"We're really honored to have such wonderful women representing us now as we grow," says Boarding for Breast Cancer executive director Erika Seward. "These girls are a really great fit for our programs moving forward: The way they live their lives is nothing short of inspiring and we're looking forward to collaborating with them."
B4BC was founded in 1996 by pro snowboarders Tina Basich and Shannon Dunn, along with Kathy Gasperini and Lisa Hudson, after their friend Monica Steward was diagnosed with and later died from breast cancer. The organization, now based in Redondo Beach, Calif., celebrated its 15th anniversary last year , and expanded its operations last month, opening new offices in New York City and Toronto.