Champions of Hope

Help us win the battle against breast cancer!

 Join us for

The Sandi McCool Champions of Hope 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

5K & 10K Run, Spirit Walk
25, 45, 100-Mile, Cycling Event
Kohl’s Kids Fit Challenge
Honoring All Breast Cancer Survivors & Pre-Vivors

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Campus
(Located on 84 East, Dothan, Alabama)

Click here to register or make a donation!

Pre-Registration: (Begins online on August 1 – October 13)
Ages 11 and up: $25.00
Ages 10 and under: $10.00

Late Registration: (October 14 -17 & Event Day)
Ages 11 and up: $40.00
Ages 10 and under: $15.00

NOTE:  Registration unavailable October 18 due to event preparation.

Thank you to our 2013 Sponsors:
More sponsors are being added each day…

Pink Power – Melissa Eagerton
Pink Promise – Lila Fillmore
Pink Passion – Transamerica Retirement Solutions
Pink Pearl – Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc.

Become a SPONSOR! Click to view our 2013 Sponsor Levels!

Downloadable information below:

For event questions or sponsorship information
call (334) 673-4150

Volunteer with Us

Volunteers are valued members of the Foundation development team. There are always opportunities to help with various special events, campaigns and fundraising activities including Champions of Hope, the Heart & Soul Gala and the Golf Invitational & Wellness Luncheon. We also have an ongoing need for administrative assistance in the Foundation office.

If you would like to become a Foundation Volunteer, you may complete the Volunteer Application online by clicking here:

Melinda McClendon – 2013 Sandi McCool Champions of Hope Honorary Chairwoman

Two words can change it all.  For Melinda McClendon those two words, “it’s cancer,” did.  “That phone call changed the course of my life.  My surgeon just said ‘Mrs. McClendon, it’s not what I expected, it’s cancer.’ With those two words I became a different person – a better person; a stronger person; and a more determined person!”

McClendon is the 2013 Sandi McCool Champions of Hope honorary chairwoman.  “I knew I wanted to change this experience for the thousands of women who would be diagnosed with breast cancer right here in my own community,” she says.

On October 19, 2013 the SAMC Foundation’s Sandi McCool Champions of Hope event will move to its new location on the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine campus.  Now in its sixth year, this incredible fundraiser has raised more than $480,000 to fund various breast cancer services, programs and educational opportunities throughout the Dothan regional community.

“I love that this event shines a light on the survivors of breast cancer but also takes a moment to share memories of those who have succumbed to the disease including event inspiration Sandi McCool who lost her battle in 2011,” McClendon adds.

Valerie Barnes, executive director of the SAMC Foundation, explains the idea for Champions of Hope came from a group friends sitting on a back porch enjoying each other’s company when inspiration struck.  “These ladies wanted to do something to encourage women – and men – who were fighting this disease while also educating others about the importance of early detection.  This is the perfect legacy for Sandi, encouragement and awareness,” says Barnes.

For more information on how you can support the 2013 Sandi McCool Champions of Hope event or to register call 334-673-4150.  Help us win the battle against breast cancer!


“It Was Once A Dream” — The History of Champions of Hope

In Spring 2008, while visiting with close friends, Sandi McCool – a nurse, a wife, and a friend fighting breast cancer – shared her dream of one day participating in a local event that would honor and encourage breast cancer survivors.  That dream became a reality on October 25, 2008, when more than 500 participants gathered on the campus of Southeast Alabama Medical Center to embrace the fighting spirit of those who have battled breast cancer.

On November 23, 2011, Sandi lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer. Sandi will always remain the inspiration and driving force behind Champions of Hope.

Her vision continues to grow. And in 2012, as a tribute to her legacy, the event name was changed to The Sandi McCool – Champions of Hope.

Each year the event is lead by an inspiring breast cancer survivor. Past chairs include, Kelli Cundith-2009, Kelli Hall-2010 and Franzi Bondy-2011. With every passing year the community participation becomes greater and the funds raised increase. During 2010, the event saw over 1,500 and in 2011, the number increased to 1,800 individuals who turned in support of the cause.

Raising more than $300,000 since its inaugural year Champions of Hope proceeds help expand cancer services and programs offered by the Medical Center, including the Southeast Regional Health Screening Program, a 45-foot mobile medical vehicle. Equipped with a digital mammography suite, lab and an education area the van provides access to life-saving screening tests throughout the region.

Champions of Hope is a multi-activity event that includes a 5K run, 2-mile Spirit Walk, 25- & 45-mile cycling route and a Kid Fit Challenge will take place on the campus of Southeast Alabama Medical Center Saturday, October 20, 2012. Online registration begins August 1.

Team participation is encouraged and there will be special recognition for the largest team, the team raising the most money and the team with the best t-shirt design.  For sponsorship and/or participant information, please contact the Medical Center Foundation office at 334-673-4150.

Event Galleries

Event News

  • Volunteers NEEDED for Champions of Hope – October 19th!

    All types of volunteer jobs are needed for the event day! We are seeking individuals, community civic groups/youth/church groups to help! If you are willing to volunteer please download the form and email it to us at or fax
  • Be A Champion!

    Help us win the battle against breast cancer! Join us for The Sandi McCool Champions of Hope 2013 Saturday, October 19, 2013. 5K & 10K Run, Spirit Walk 25, 45, 100-Mile, Cycling Event Kohl’s Kids Fit Challenge. ~ Honoring All Breast Cancer Survivors & Pre-Vivors.~