Under the passionate leadership of Fort Worth community leader Ann Louden, a breast cancer survivor and member of the Texas Christian University Chancellor’s executive team, TCU Frogs for the Cure has grown into a nationally known awareness, educational and fundraising campaign, which also provides support for families affected by breast cancer. This year, Frogs for the Cure celebrates its 10-year partnership with international breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
To date, Frogs for the Cure has raised more than $250,000 for Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth Affiliate.
When TCU Athletics created this initiative in 2005, two of Louden’s friends were involved — community leaders Joan Katz and Rozanne Rosenthal, co-founders of Komen’s Fort Worth affiliate. The following year, Louden was diagnosed. She offered to write a testimonial about her experience as a recent cancer patient. “But more than that, I decided that I’d better help TCU figure out how to honor survivors,” Louden says. “I had three weeks between my surgery and my treatment, and I offered to put together a halftime show for the football game that would showcase the strength and courage of survivors.”
From these humble beginnings, the effort has grown to more than 500 people involved in the planning and thousands that are involved in the actual activities.
“When we think of Ann Louden, we immediately think of the song To Dream the Impossible Dream,” Katz says. “We have watched in amazement as she has surpassed every dream ever set for Frogs for the Cure.”
Rosenthal says that Louden’s passion and drive have turned the impossible into the possible to combine the pink ribbon of Komen with the purple pride of the Frogs. “As we celebrate the 10th year of this most special partnership, we are grateful beyond words to TCU and Ann for the incredible difference they are making to end breast cancer forever.”
Ten-year anniversary celebratory events include the spectacular 2014 video featuring Josh Groban’s hit song Brave, which debuts at the one-time-only Sing for the Cure Gala on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. The evening will include remarks from former first lady Laura Bush and CBS News’ Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, as well as performances from Schieffer’s Washington, D.C.-based band, Honky Tonk Confidential, and Tony Award-winning headline artist Bernadette Peters with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
The annual Feed Your Pink Side Luncheon will take place on Oct. 29 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at TCU’s Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom. Laura Bush will serve as the luncheon’s guest speaker, and Bob Schieffer will serve as emcee.
Schieffer describes Louden as an unstoppable force of nature. “I really admire Ann’s passion and can-do spirit,” he says. “I just love that, and it’s hard for me to say no to her.”
The music video will also be featured during the halftime celebration at TCU’s annual Frogs for the Cure football game against Kansas State University on Nov. 8. This year’s event will be branded a “black out” game, as the TCU Athletics Department is encouraging everyone to wear black rather than pink. This coincides with the official 2014 Frogs for the Cure T-shirt, which is black with a pink ribbon and logo titled, “Brave: Celebrating a Decade of Fighting Cancer.”
Chris Del Conte, TCU’s intercollegiate athletic director says that Louden defines the Frog Factor.
“Ann is a remarkable individual and an integral part of the TCU and Fort Worth communities,” Del Conte says. “She has worked tirelessly to promote and develop Frogs for the Cure into an event that has achieved national recognition for TCU, and I am incredibly proud to call her a friend. She bleeds purple!”
Louden says that believing in Komen’s mission is a significant reason she works so hard in this effort. “Komen is the fuel for me, but the other reason is I have changed because I had cancer. It changed me in such a way that it really created a new path for me to take. I think when you are diagnosed with cancer, you lose control,” she says. “And if you know anything about me, you know I like to manage my world. When you see your name and cancer on the same page, not only do you lose control, but you begin to feel undignified. If I can be a catalyst that brings people together for such an important reason, I think I can say I’ve done what I need to do.”
For more information, visit frogsforthecure.com.