Our History

Beastie Boys perform at B4BC event

Beastie Boys perform at B4BC event, photo by Dawn Kish

Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC) was founded in 1996 with the goal of making breast cancer awareness and breast health a topic of conversation among young people because, in fact, young women and men are not immune from the disease.

The inspiration for B4BC was a young woman named Monica Steward, who started her battle with breast cancer at the age of 26 and passed two years later of complications that arose from delayed diagnosis. B4BC's founders - Lisa Hudson, Kathleen Gasperini, Dawn Kish, and pro-snowboarders Tina Basich and Shannon Dunn - hoped to honor their friend Moni by creating an event that centered around their passions of snowboarding and music while communicating the urgent importance of awareness and education.

In 1996, the first ever B4BC Snowboard + Music Festival was born with tremendous support from the action sports industry. Sadly, Monica passed away right before the event but her spirit shined on that day in a celebration of life and love. The Festival continued for 6 years in Sierra-at-Tahoe drawing internationally-acclaimed acts over its run, including the Beastie Boys, Blink 182, Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Moby, Less than Jake, Luscious Jackson, Ozomatli, Supersuckers, Primus, Spearhead, and more. This singular event raised over $500,000 for beneficiaries that included the Breast Cancer Fund, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, and a variety of regional breast cancer support organizations.

With the success of these events, B4BC decided to take its show on the road, literally, and launched B4BC board-a-thons in 1998 as a platform to advocate healthy, active lifestyles while building communities and benefiting local organizations. Shortly thereafter, the B4BC traveling educational outreach experience began touring nationwide to school campuses, local communities and youth lifestyle events like the Vans Warped Tour, X Games, U.S. Open of Surfing and Snowboarding, the Dew Tour, and more. These programs continue to this day.

Furthering Monica's legacy, B4BC continues to give back to those diagnosed with and affected by breast cancer. In 2009, B4BC established the B4BC Survivorship Fund which raises and disburses funds to newly diagnosed and breast cancer survivors in order to connect them with our nature-based Mountain and Ocean wellness retreats that enhance their path of healing and long-term survivorship. Called “Chasing Sunshine” Retreats after the name of our documentary produced with our wellness ambassador, Megan Pischke, the retreats are tailored specifically towards breast cancer patients and survivors. They are led by Megan and her team of facilitators with expertise in massage therapy, yoga, nutritional medicine, life skills coaching, acupuncture, and more.

As we move into our 20th Anniversary for 2016, B4BC is stepping-up our environmental assessment and connections with the outdoors, which has always been a part of the B4BC mission. It is our responsibility to seek solutions towards limiting and erasing our organization’s carbon-footprint. B4BC has created a zero-waste blueprint that other non-profits may follow with the aim to lead by example, and illustrate the steps of this process in regards to measuring our carbon footprint and offsets. B4BC will encourage the action sports industry, team athletes, cause-marketing partners, and supporters to adapt measures, in addition to educating booth visitors on the importance of a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.