The RITA (Research Is The Answer) Foundation began in Deercreek in 1997 to help raise awareness and money for breast cancer programs and research in Jacksonville. The RITA Foundation is an all-volunteer 501 (C) (3) public, non-profit corporation registered with the Internal Revenue Service and State of Florida. This Foundation grew from humble beginnings of one event by Nancy and Chuck Jantz to different events ranging
from several tennis tournaments, a black tie gala, 5k run/walks and a golf tournament.
To date, the foundation has donated over $6,450,000. The SenioRITAs at Sawgrass event was developed in 2000 catering to tennis ladies 40 and over. In 2020, SenioRITAs matches, along with a Kick-Off Party, live and silent auction, were cancelled due to Covid yet managed to raise $127,000.00 from donations only. 100% of the proceeds from all RITA events remain local. Last year, 2022, RITA total net proceeds of $311,700.00 were donated to Mayo Clinic and Baptist Health. Cancer researcher at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Al Copland, received a grant of $65,000.00. The balance was placed into several of the Cancer Endowments at both Mayo Clinic and the Baptist Foundation. The RITA Foundation currently has two Endowments at Mayo Clinic ($365,000.00) and 40 Endowments at Baptist totaling over $1,850,000.00. The Foundation will continue to grow these endowments, which in turn will generate ongoing revenue for various cancer programs.
Later this year, you will see five RITA Foundation projects. The Baptist Buddy Bus Mobile Mammography unit, funded with a $100,000.00 grant: Baptist Beaches new Imaging Center mammogram program funded by two SenioRITAs endowments; Baptist Clay new Imaging Center mammogram program funded by five RITA Championships endowments, Baptist M. D. Anderson Life Wellness Center programs for the underserved funded by five MixedRITA endowments; Baptist M.D. Anderson DigniCap program funded by a $10,000.00 grant and ongoing funding from seven SenioRITAs endowments.
Last year, the Deercreek Women’s Alliance supported the SenioRITAs event with a bronze level sponsorship. The Deercreek Women’s Alliance is grateful to donate to this wonderful organization. Many members of DWA have been affected by breast cancer or know of family and trends that have been impacted and wish to help make a difference through research.
We began a new event in January of 2023. The RITA Caring And Sharing Hope 5k Walk/Run was held in Nocatee. Plans are underway for February 2024 with Truist Bank, Baptist Medical Center South and Baptist MD Anderson as major sponsors. The 2023 RITA Championships were held March 3, 4, and 5 at Club Continental. The 2023 Mixed RITA at Sawgrass was June 3 and 4. The SenioRITAs at Sawgrass will kickoff on October 10 with the Party and Auction at The Yards at the Players Club and the SenioRITAs at Sawgrass Women’s Tennis Tournament October 13, 14, and 15.
Thank you to Nancy and Chuck Jantz for their continued fundraising efforts.
Donations In Honor of or In Memory of a special person are a wonderful way to support this worthwhile cause during October -Breast Cancer Month or at any time of the year. To learn more about The RITA Foundation, or to make a donation, please visit their website: www.the-rita-foundation.org.