SURF community raises more than $6,700 for local breast cancer patients

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a large group of people hold a giant check

On Monday, Nov. 1, Sanford Underground Research Facility staff and partners presented a check to Laurie Wince (center), director of the Lead-Deadwood Foundation for Health. 

Photo by Matthew Kapust


LEAD, SD— From giant pink ribbons illuminated atop headframes to pink ribbons stuck on hardhats underground, Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) was awash with pink this October. During national breast cancer awareness month, the SURF community shared educational resources and raised funds for local breast cancer patients.

SURF’s third annual campaign raised $6,747.63 for the Lead-Deadwood Foundation for Health’s breast cancer patient fund. The total includes a $2,500 match from the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA), which operates SURF.

“I’d like to thank our staff and partners for their help in raising funds for the Foundation for Health this year,” said Mike Headley, executive director of the SDSTA. “One of SURF’s core values is ‘Care for Others,’ and this campaign really demonstrates that care to our neighbors who need help in dealing with serious health challenges.”

While the Foundation for Health drives many initiatives for health, safety and personal needs in the Northern Hills community, all funds raised in the name of breast cancer, or the "pink bubble," go directly to helping local breast cancer patients overcome barriers to their care. The pink bubble bridges daily living costs for breast cancer patients that aren’t addressed by medical insurance. These include transportation to and from treatments, travel and lodging for the patients and their families, and lymphedema compression sleeves. Funds are also used for nutrition, pre- and post-testing and education. 

On Monday, Nov. 1, SURF staff and partners presented a check to Laurie Wince, director of the Lead-Deadwood Foundation for Health.

“For most of these patients, it’s not just a few months of treatments and appointments. For many of them, it’s become a journey that lasts years and years,” said Wince. “SURF has been a part of supporting these journeys for three years now, and you have become a strong foundation for these families.”

The SURF community got creative this year, raising awareness through an office decorating contest and a “Punt, Pass and Kick” fundraising competition, where employees and partners donated their way to the top of the leaderboard for a trophy and bragging rights. The Clubhouse of Spearfish provided a virtual gaming bay free-of-charge when snowy weather pushed the event indoors. In addition to “going pink,” the campaign focused on spreading awareness about the dangers and signs of breast cancer and the need for continued research.

Sanford Underground Research Facility is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Our mission is to advance world class science and inspire learning across generations. Visit SURF at

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