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Santa Barbara, CA (October 24, 2022) –The Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara (BCRC) is pleased to present the 2022 Dorothy Shea Award to Ms. Evelyn “Evie” Sullivan, which is the greatest honor and recognition by the BCRC of a volunteer. The award is named for Dorothy Shea, who was a founding mother and gave the BCRC its start by providing a home rent free for several years, to meet and support women facing breast cancer. It’s her spirit of giving and commitment that the BCRC recognizes Evelyn Sullivan as the 2022 Award recipient.
During this month of Breast Cancer awareness and as the center commemorates its 25th anniversary, The BCRC honors an individual who is so important to both the history as well as the current journey of the organization. Evie Sullivan is a BCRC “Founding Mother”, Treasurer, self-titled “Volunteer for Life” and tireless champion of the BCRC and individuals facing breast cancer.
Evie was a volunteer for the local American Cancer Society chapter when she heard about a meeting to
discuss support services for those with breast cancer. A community group of cancer survivors, physicians, integrative care practitioners, and interested community members, gathered in 1996 and began to envision a community resource for those dealing with breast cancer. They shared ideas about creating a place that would offer support services for those with breast cancer and information about breast health issues. Evie Sullivan attended that meeting along with several others. It was then that she raised her hand to volunteer and help the BCRC get its start. She joined with the other BCRC Founding Mothers Nancy Oster, Nancy Sweet, Judy Blanco, Debbie Hobler, Sharon Kennedy, Dorothy Shea, Ellen Fogel, Susan Forkush, and Dr. Susan Love to create the vision for the BCRC, and with the help and support of many others, opened the doors in 1997. Evie having worked as a business administrator said she ‘could balance a checkbook’ and so she became the BCRC Treasurer. Dorothy Shea donated rent free a little cottage on Pueblo Street, and the rest is history.
From the moment the BCRC opened its doors Evie has been the Treasurer. She has helped to keep the BCRC financially viable by managing the finances and keeping it in the black, but also as a donor because she believes in the BCRC mission.
Silvana Kelly, BCRC Executive Director has worked closely with Evie for years. “When I first met Ms. Evie in 2005, I knew we would get along and work well together – she had a sharp mind, a bit of NYC sass which I loved, and an easy smile that warmed my heart. Little did I know we would be become great friends. Despite our age difference I feel we are contemporaries, and we share a love of learning, reading, traveling, and enjoying life. I look to her for guidance and appreciate the wisdom she imparts to help me get through the rough patches in life and work. When I think of Evie it is easy to hear her voice in my mind saying, “Think good thoughts” and to follow her example it would be to also “do good deeds.”
The BCRC honors and thanks Evie for being a “Founding Mother” and for all her years of dedicated and tireless service on behalf of the BCRC and individuals facing breast cancer.