Keep aBreast was founded this year by Ellen Hauptman and Karen Haas. Hauptman, who has participated in the Race for 10 years, was a member of team Forever Friends in 2009. Haas, who has attended four Races, was a member of the 2009 MasterCard Chargers. Over the years, both women have been committed to finding new ways to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Each was among the highest fundraisers on their previous teams.

“This year, we decided to form a local, Mamaroneck, NY-based team with the support of the Village of Mamaroneck and local merchants, include the Health Fit Gym for women,” they explained. Their friends at Grok Advertising designed a team logo, and they are actively recruiting members and donations.

Both women’s lives have been touched by breast cancer. “My mother is a 26-year survivor, who just found out that she’s battling the disease again,” said Haas. “My cousin Susan, aunt Joan and too many close friends have been diagnosed. Fortunately, they’re all survivors, and they want to see this devastating disease ended for good.” “My aunt is a breast cancer survivor also,” said Hauptman. “She has faced the disease twice, 25 years apart. I also have friends who are survivors.”

The team is still in formation. The co-captains’ goal is to have 20 members by September — friends, family members and neighbors, including survivors. The women are recruiting team members via email, Facebook, events and word of mouth, telling people about Keep aBreast and asking them to join the team.

“We had a table at the Mamaroneck Harbor Fest and participated in Healthy Fit’s open house,” said Hauptman. “I’m holding Silpada Jewelry Design shows, soliciting team members and pledges,” said Haas. In addition, they held a Tupperware party and are selling their cookbook, Pink Ribbon Cooking, as part of their recruitment and fundraising campaign.

Hauptman and Haas are using a variety of techniques to raise money. Their major approach is “relentlessly asking people over and over for their support.” Cookbook sales have been helpful also. This year, the women co-founded Mamaroneck Shares, a community event benefitting local merchants and charities, include the keep aBreast team. There will be three nights of festivities this summer during which funds will be raised —primarily through a raffle and multi-tiered sponsorships from village merchants.

Their favorite Race memory was the first time they turned the corner into Central Park West and saw thousands of people, especially those in pink t-shirts. “We couldn’t speak for several minutes, because we were so overcome and overwhelmed. It’s especially thrilling that there a more and more pink shirts every year.” They’ll be together this September with members of keep aBreast to share the memory together.

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