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There are few grants for a 1.5 person office staff like us; and yet our organization, and those like it, need assistance. Your campaign provides this. Thank you so very much.”  -Prevent Cancer Foundation Challenge winner

What do a “Move and Chew” workshop, a firefighter and a dancing Polly Polyp have in common? The answer: the National Challenge, Prevent Cancer’s annual competition to champion colorectal cancer grassroots community projects. Each year, the winners of the Challenge work to raise awareness and screening in their communities in innovative ways.

Here are a few examples of how the 2013 Challenge winners raised awareness and screening in their communities in Virginia, Wyoming and New York:

  • First-place winner Virginia Cancer Networkss2 in Charlottesville implemented a Colon Cancer Free Zone program and educated employees at STIHL Inc. The “Move and Chew” workshop had 41 participants and focused on the importance of eating a healthy diet and how to make small steps to increase physical activity. Focusing on small steps was important as the majority of the employees at STIHL work 12 hour shifts. As part of their award, the group organized a
    Prevent Cancer Super ColonTM

    Prevent Cancer Super Colon™ stop at the Shamrock Marathon Health Expo in Virginia Beach. Over 2,400 people were educated about colorectal cancer prevention and early detection at the exhibit.

    Prevent Cancer Super ColonTM
    Prevent Cancer Super ColonTM
    Prevent Cancer Super ColonTM

    Prevent Cancer Super ColonTM

    Prevent Cancer Super ColonTM

    stop at the Shamrock Marathon Health Expo in Virginia Beach. Over 2,400 people were educated about colorectal cancer prevention and early detection at the exhibit.

  • Second-place winner Wyoming Cancer Resource Services educated hundreds of people as part of the Lincoln County Fair. Lincoln County covers 4,076 square miles with an average of 4.48 people per square mile. Wanda Webb, Director of the Wyoming Colorectal Cancer Screening Program dressed up as Polly Polyp to engage and educate the attendees. She also provided answers to questions about the colon, colorectal cancer and screening methods.
  • Third-place winner St. Regis Mohawk Tribe located in northern New York held a Colon Cancer Awareness walk on its new ½ mile walking trail as part of their annual Wellness Day. Thirty people walked and nearly 400 visited the health booth to learn about colorectal cancer.

This year, over 136,830 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 50,310 will die of the disease. Community-level projects help spread the word that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable.

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Check out the 2014 Challenge winners’ colorectal cancer (CRC) projects, which include the production and distribution of video testimonials in Alaska as part of the “The cancer I can prevent” campaign, radio outreach in North Dakota and CRC education for Chinese Americans in New York City.

Prevent Cancer thanks everyone who has joined the Screening Saves community, all of the Challenge applicants and our sponsors, Amgen and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Visit screeningsaves.org, to join our online community where you can share personal stories and experiences, try out interactive tools and learn more about colorectal cancer. Learn more about the Prevent Cancer Foundation at preventcancer.org.

For more information or questions about the National Challenge, contact Erica Childs Warner at erica.childswarner@preventcancer.org.