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Four Degrees of Separation: BCRF Fundraiser Shares His Story

By BCRF | March 15, 2016

Jasen Viggiani founded Bands for Bucks – an event that has donated over $16,000 to BCRF

This guest post was written by BCRF fundraiser Jasen Viggiani 

It is a helpless feeling when someone you love says, "I have cancer.” You are not sure what to do, but know that you want to do something. In October 2009, my cousin, Denise, lost her six-year battle to breast cancer. She fought for years and was in remission for the longest time, but before I knew it, Denise had passed away. Soon after Denise lost her battle, my other cousin – Denise’s sister, Sandy – and then my mom – were diagnosed with breast cancer. Even some work colleagues were diagnosed with the dreaded disease. So that statistic –1 in 8 women will get breast cancer – was more like 1 in 4 in my world.

It was that emotional drive to “do something” that started Bands for Bucks as a tribute to Denise. Unfortunately, breast cancer, and cancer in general, has been a significant unwelcome part of my immediate and extended family for decades.  Bands for Bucks is my way – our way – to support family and those in the community that continue to fight this dreaded fight.

Bands for Bucks is a full day of live music and family fun! Bands and musicians donate their time, while others donate items for raffles – themed gift baskets, signed sports memorabilia, toys, bicycles, movie passes and other merchandise. Funds are raised through the raffles, t-shirt sales, cash donations and merchandise sales. The restaurant that co-hosts the event offers drinks and food specials. There is no cover charge so everyone enjoys music and fun – for free – while supporting a great cause in a family-friendly atmosphere.

We are proud to partner with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for the last several years. BCRF is committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer and providing funding for cancer research around the globe. BCRF has generously provided pamphlets, pink ribbons and awareness bracelets which we distribute at the event. In the past five years, Bands for Bucks raised over $16,000 for BCRF. 

The 6th Bands for Bucks event is on Saturday, April 2 at the Electric Palm in Woodbridge, Virginia. Six bands have volunteered their time, and the raffle items continue to pour in. This event is so important to me, personally, and to my family, because we firmly believe that one day, we will find a cure. Cancer affects all of us, whether you are personally impacted or not, so please get involved. Attend an event. Donate – all proceeds go to BCRF. Every little bit helps! This is a fight that everyone needs to fight. 

Jasen Viggiani is a special education teacher and high school tennis coach in Prince William County, Virginia. He is also the founder of Bands for Bucks.