A simple dice game could save lives this weekend at the seventh annual Bunco for the Cure.

Bunco for the Cure was started by a woman just looking to do more to fight a terrible disease that her sister had just been diagnosed with.

"I was part of a Bunco group back then," said Brenda Young, founder of the Bunco for Breast Cancer. "As fate would have it I had October as my month to host. I was searching the web and I stumbled upon this Bunco for breast cancer idea."

When Young first saw the idea the goal was to simply donate the pot for the night to a breast cancer organization. The group did that that night but then they wanted to do something at a larger scale.

"There was five of us originally and the five of us had all been impacted in some form or fashion, whether it be a loved one, a friend, a family member or themselves, been impacted by the disease," said Young. "We came up with this idea. Bunco is supposed to be 12 women playing the game, why can't we have it even bigger?"

The group now has over 100 women who come each year to help raise money and have fun playing the game. Each year they have raised more money. Last year they raised $12,600. One hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

"One of the great things we went through when we were starting this and trying to decide which charity we wanted to benefit was, we were definitely striving and looking for an actual cure for this disease," said Young. "We looked for the research side of it. The breast cancer research foundation sends 90 cents or more of every dollar donated directly to research. They're one of the A plus charities out there when it comes to how they actually utilize their money."

The foundation also finds researchers around the world and brings them together to collaborate on what they are working on. This joint effort hopes to make their research more efficient. Every $50 raised through events like Bunco for Breast Cancer funds one hour of research.

"For me, it's great to see that type of advancement because my daughter is going to be at a heightened risk for it," said Young. "For me, looking for research and looking for a cure is so important for me."

Bunco is an easy to learn game of chance played with dice. Anyone can learn and anyone can play.

"It's basically an excuse for women to get out and socialize," said Brandye Billeter, a committee member of the group. "You can talk and eat and laugh the whole time you're playing because you really don't have to pay that much attention. It's fun because you move fast and talk and you're moving tables so you're getting to know people because you're moving around. It's a very social game."

The event will be held Sunday, April 3 starting at 1:30 p.m. at Macayos in Tempe at 300 S. Ash Ave. and will cost $40 to play.

To register or for more information please call 480-759-0659 or send an email to azbfbc@hotmail.com. Players will also be able to register at the door.

"If they come to our event and look around and they see all these tables of four people, one person out of every two tables will be diagnosed with breast cancer," said Young. "That's far too many."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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