As we reflect on 2020, our hearts are full of joy and gratitude. We saw an increase in grant requests from local breast cancer survivors needing additional support during the pandemic and we were able to say “YES”. With the continued support of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers we were able to increase our financial assistance to our Survivors Grants Fund to serve more survivors than any other year.
It has been a challenging year for many nonprofits in our community and we are grateful we were able to have our 8th Annual Run Jen Run 5K and Festival and celebrate 13 of our survivors in person before everyone’s world changed. That day reminded our supporters and our community of our mission, our purpose, and how we continue to carry Jen’s Legacy. As Karen, a Go Jen Go grant recipient shared at the awards ceremony, “ Go Jen Go was able to help us cover some monthly bills and even helped support my daughters going to summer camp. The first time we saw them smile in quite some time.”
In 2020, we have served over 240 survivors and increased our financial assistance by 15 percent. We celebrated 13 survivors at our race, 19 meals were donated to survivors through Cheers Jen Cheers, and 15 survivors were supported through Operation Spread the Joy. The numbers speak for themselves, but what truly shows the impact and what keeps us working hard are the notes from our survivors letting us know how Go Jen Go is helping them through their fight against cancer. Your support and donations are helping many women, men, and families meet their day to day needs, which helps them focus on their fight against cancer.
Here are a few examples of how your support is making an impact on our grantees. Their words are more powerful and telling than any words we could share.
“I can only say thank you so much & I can pick up my medication now and God Bless each and every one of you for what you do for others in need. Thank you.” ~ Belinda G.
“I just wanted to say thanks! You’ll never know how much these funds mean to my family. Because of these funds our lights won’t be turned off and I can put a little towards my medical bills. I feel blessed to have you guys in my corner.” ~ Renee B.
“You do great things and I am so blessed to be the recipient of your great work! This gift has offered my family some much needed relief and we cannot thank you enough for the generosity and kindness your organization has shown us. I never thought about the snowball effect in life that being sick can have. It is not just the disease you are fighting, it is also all that the disease does to disrupt your world. You and your team help to take some of the disruption and stress away! THANK YOU! I am forever grateful and when I’m on my feet again, will find ways to pay it to someone else fighting.” ~ Mara E.
You all have helped us support amazing women like Belinda, Renee and Mara. Helping to give them peace of mind and help them know they can pay their rent, utilities, and cover day to day needs. Even during a difficult year for many – financially, emotionally and physically, we saw continued support and even from some amazing breast cancer survivors giving back to support other breast cancer survivors.
“I say it every time – but I don’t know that I can ever repay you for the way you stood by me that awful year. I truly had moments when I did not know if I would make it – you stood by me, believed in me, and supported me like no one else. So just trying to repay you gives me great joy.” ~ Annika
It’s been a year no one expected, but one thing we knew is that we would continue to serve the breast cancer survivors in our community and continue to carry Jen’s Legacy. Thank you.
If you’d like to learn about our new Jen’s Legacy monthly donor program, click here. Become a founding member by the end of 2020 and help us continue to serve in 2021.
Why do you ride?
We asked some of our 24 Hours of Booty teammates questions about the ride. It was the first year for the GoJenGo team and we had both first time riders and seasoned riders join us. We asked them several different questions, but the first was, why?
Responses varied, but at the heart of it were people – those who surround us and those we remember and loved so much.
“Why do I ride in Booty? For Jen. For Rocco. Luca. Joe. For Gammy. Papa. Juju. Britt. Susan. Meredith………. That list goes on and on. I ride for the camaraderie, to raise awareness and money for invaluable research, to meet folks. I ride because I can.”
“I ride in 24HOB for the camaraderie and in memory of Jen Pagani.”
“I ride because Jen would have. She would have told me to get my a$$ on a bike and ride for those who can‘t. And I ride because I love the others who ride with me!”
And we ride because we want to win….against cancer!
“Because I hate cancer!”
“Because these are the events that give heart and and momentum and DOLLARS to the fight against cancer”
Whatever your reason, we invite you to join, to donate, or to cheer for our GoJenGo team!
JOIN THE TEAM. Click this link to ride and raise money on the GoJenGo team. We will have a cool jersey, not to mention our own cheering section!
DONATE. Click this link if you can’t be there in person, but want to put dollars towards a great cause! Pick a name of a Go Jen Go cyclist and it will go towards the GoJenGo team.
CHEER: Maybe this isn’t your year to ride, but you don’t want to miss out on the fun and fellowship that surrounds this event. We will have a gathering to salute our team and cheer them on during the first lap of the weekend. More details to follow!
– See more at: https://www.gojengo.org/2015/06/booty-time/#sthash.n668njPx.dpuf
– See more at: https://www.gojengo.org/2015/07/why-do-you-ride/#sthash.H7aw28p2.dpuf
- The Run Jen Run 5K is fun for the whole family.
We don’t actually call this a race. We call it a FESTIVAL. And for good reason. We will have something for everyone on Saturday, March 7. For the kids, we have the Sports Connection Kids Zone where there will be face painting, an inflatable slide and obstacle course, a kids boot camp demonstration (participation encouraged!), balloon art, a giant inflatable bowling game, and many beloved Charlotte mascots roaming around for entertainment and photo opps. And, of course, there is the McGladrey one-mile fun run – a perfect way for kids to burn off some energy. For adults, there will be massages from Carolina Sports Clinic and the opportunity to watch your kids wear themselves out. If that’s not priceless, we don’t know what is!
First of all the free stuff: We’ll have the usual post-race snacks. And one of Charlotte’s newest restaurants, the Improper Pig, will be offering some free barbeque samples (while supplies last). But bring your wallet so that you can enjoy some well-earned delicacies in the food court (sponsored by Winstead Attorneys). Because we know your priorities, there will be hot coffee, supplied by The Coffee Priest, for your caffeine fix. You can also enjoy breakfast sandwiches and breakfast tacos from Two Chicks And A Truck and then indulge in some freshly made treats from the Kettle Korn Factory afterward. We’ve also heard rumors that there may be donuts. . . .
- The course.
The 5K course is fun and fast. The Carolina Volkswagen pace car will lead runners through a timed, USATF-certified course that has more downhills than uphills. A PR is a very good possibility at the Run Jen Run 5K. And there will be age group awards!
- The swag.
The Run Jen Run 5K race t-shirt is soft, breathable, and flattering on everyone. That’s because we have both women’s and men’s styles. Plus, every 5K finisher receives a really cool medal. How many 5Ks do you know of that offer a medal??
- It’s the largest fundraiser for the GoJenGo Foundation. And it’s Jen’s legacy.
Jen Pagani and her husband, Joe, founded GoJenGo to provide emotional and financial support for individuals (and their families) in North and South Carolina battling breast cancer. But it’s not possible without the help of our supporters. By registering for this race (our largest fundraiser and a dream come true for Jen), you are helping us offer many local families a little relief from the everyday costs of living life along with cancer treatment. This is our third Run Jen Run 5K and our second race without Jen. Honor her legacy by registering for her race!
The Run Jen Run 5K is presented by Consolidated Planning, a member of the Guardian Group. For more information or to register, visit https://runjenrun.racesonline.com/register. You can arrive as early as 6:30am but the 5K race begins at Southpark Mall’s Symphony Park at 8am (at the Smiley’s 4 C’s start line). The one-mile fun run will start at 8:45.