Skeptics of the amount of difference that one person can make should talk to Joan Davids. The Dillon resident was recently honored by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation at the Pink Tie Affair in Denver. Davids received the prestigious Ambassador Award, which has only been given out a total of five times in over 20 years, for her exemplary volunteer work. In the past 10 years, Davids has helped raise over $860,000 for the Denver affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
A Connecticut native, Davids moved to Summit County with her husband in 2000, hoping to take advantage of skiing, biking, hiking and other outdoor activities. Not long after that, she heard of an event to raise money for breast cancer, and decided to volunteer. That event was the Romp to Stomp our Breast Cancer fundraiser, and one that Davids has been running for the past decade.
Romp to Stomp comes around annually in March, and is run at seven locations across the U.S. and two in Canada. It involves a 3k and a 5k snowshoe walk, or a 3k snowshoe race. The funds for the Colorado Romp go to the Denver Metropolitan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Davids is no stranger to raising large amounts of money. In addition to her efforts as chairperson for the Romp to Stomp, several years ago Davids raised over $250,000 to buy the county a digital mammography machine. A breast cancer survivor herself, (it was caught in an early stage) Davids is a big proponent for breast cancer prevention and early screening.
"I knew that I was lucky, and I wanted to try to help raise awareness of the importance of early detection," she said.
On receiving the Ambassador Award, Davids said she felt "unbelievably honored."
"I'm so honored and humbled, and just gratified that the work that I've done has been greatly appreciated," she said.
But ultimately, it's not about awards, or even amounts of money. It's about the people.
"That, to me, is the most rewarding piece," Davids said, "to know we're helping folks."