In recent presentations, members of the Cooke family delivered oversized checks to the Chattanooga Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the amount of $18,000 and to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Business in the amount of $10,000 for college scholarships.
At UTC, the donation is being placed into the Becky C. Smith Scholarship Fund that is set up for a student athlete on the women’s golf team who is seeking degrees in either accounting or business. The contribution to Susan G. Komen is to support the nonprofit organization’s continuing work to end breast cancer, to assure quality care for those battling the disease and to support medical research in finding a cure.
On hand for the UTC presentation were Steve Angle, UTC chancellor; Dan Cooke, president of Cooke’s Food, Fresh n’ Low and CSC Investments dba. Panera Bread; Colette Murray, UTC Women’s golf coach; David Blackburn, UTC vice chancellor and director of athletics; and several members of the Cooke family.
At the Susan G. Komen check presentation were Jim Phiropoulos, vice president of Operations for Cooke’s Food and Fresh n’ Low; Kyle Waters, Panera Bread; Karen Edmondson, Susan G. Komen executive director; Anita Stewart, Susan G. Komen mission director; [Dan] Cooke; and Tom Krings, vice president of operations for Panera Bread.
Founded in 2000, the Chattanooga affiliate of the Komen organization now serves 16 counties — 10 in Tennessee and six in Georgia. The group’s mission has not changed since its inception. Its intent is “... to end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.”
“The Susan G. Komen Chattanooga affiliate continues to work for education, screening and treatment support for those diagnosed with breast cancer,” according to agency literature. “Breast cancer has no respect for a person — it strikes regardless of religious views, political views, ethnic origin, age or gender.”
The organization stresses that men, like women, also are afflicted with breast cancer.
A Cleveland resident for 54 years, Becky Smith graduated from Cleveland High School in 1970 and later graduated from UTC in 1974, receiving her CPA certificate in 1975. She was a partner in many local business ventures, including Cooke’s Food Store and the local Panera Bread franchise.
She was an active member in the Cleveland and Bradley County community. She received the Chamber of Commerce’s M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise award, as well as serving as a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church.
The Cleveland businesswoman was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004 and began radiation and chemotherapy.
“[Becky’s] strong will and independent spirit allowed her to continue to work daily until a stroke in January 2007 limited her vision,” according to promotional literature used to market the annual golf tournament. “Her death surprised many because she held her battle very close. She was a very private person and did not wish to burden others with her struggles.”
Smith was born Nov. 21, 1952. She died April 24, 2007.
This year’s golf tournament sponsors included Don Ledford Automotive Center, Coca-Cola, BB&T, Pepsi, Athens Insurance, the Cleveland Daily Banner and Mix 104.1. The tournament was held at the Cleveland Country Club. It featured prizes for first, second and third place, as well as prizes for “Closest to the Hole” and “Longest Drive.” It was held Sept. 30.
The 2014 golf tournament is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29.