Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer 3-D Archery Shoot Surpasses Expectations


I tell my children all the time, “Live your life in a way that makes a positive difference in other’s lives.” They say, “OK,” but I know they’re a little young to understand exactly what I mean. That’s why I jump at the chance to provide them with examples. Just yesterday I took my boys to the Inaugural Bow-Up Against Breast Cancer 3-D Archery Tournament, where they got to meet the heart and brain behind the fundraiser, friend and avid hunter Cameron Mitchell.

Mitchell called me months ago asking me to attend and help raise awareness for the cause, which ended up raising $22,000 ($2000 more than the goal) with the help of 230 shooters. Because of my admiration for Mitchell and my love for the four women in my family who’ve battled breast cancer, I made it a point to go.

Temperatures had been scorching hot all weekend with highs reaching 107 degrees. I worried the turnout would be minimal due to the unbelievable heat, but when we pulled into the drive at the Cullman Archery Park, I saw that I had nothing to worry about.

The park was filled with archers shooting and socializing. Mitchell said he was indeed pleased with the turnout, and the event was much bigger than he had hoped.

I asked Mitchell why he decided to organize the charity shoot.

“I was praying one night asking God how I can give back to my community,” Mitchell says. “He laid it on my heart to do a bow shoot to raise money for breast cancer research. So I called Mark Proctor, state president of Bowhunters of Alabama, and Jennifer Galbreath, program director of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, to see if we could pull off an event. They were both enthusiastic about the prospect. After they both agreed to take it on, I basically sat back and watched it come to life. I was just amazed how everything came together.”

Galbreath says the Breast Cancer Research Foundation had never before worked with the hunting community, and she didn’t know what to expect. But, she says she’s amazed at the turnout and support for the cause.

“I just never imagined the event would get this much response,” Galbreath says. “The bowhunting community is so generous. I’m just thrilled with the results.”

Galbreath says money raised for the event is used as seed money for the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to receive sought-after and sustaining grant dollars. The grant money is then used for breast cancer research and testing.

Proctor says in addition to raising much needed funds for breast cancer research, the event introduced numbers of people to the sport of archery.

“I’ve actually never seen so many people shoot bows for the first time,” Proctor says. “We double dipped with this event. We got to raise money for a good cause plus introduce people to archery. I couldn’t be happier.”

My youngest son Ransom, 4, got to shoot a bow for the first time as well. He and my oldest son, Ethan, had a blast shooting at a target covered in balloons. They both had a good time at the event and hopefully they learned a little bit about giving back to the community as well.

On the ride back home, I started thinking about Galbreath’s comment about the hunting community being so generous. She’s certainly right. The hunting community does wonders when it comes to raising money and awareness for good causes. Hunter-sponsored fundraisers and charity events are enumerable. I must say, I’m so proud to be part of a community that uses its talents and passions to make a positive difference in others’ lives.