Wednesday, April 11, 2012


When It's For Cancer Research

by AU Historian Jim Greelis - Omaha, NE
Jim Greelis

The CURE team from the Omaha, NE area has gone to pink CURE bands to raise money for cancer research.  CURE stands for Cancer Unites Racers Everywhere and is a grass roots effort to raise chartable funds through a 501c corporation that also wants to enhance our sport's positive image.  The official name of the 501c is the Greater Omaha Racing Pigeon (GORP) club - and 2011 was their first year and they were able to donate their first $1,000 check to the Nebraska Medical Center (NMC) for breast cancer research.

In 2011 GORP bought 300 pink CURE bands from the AU and sold them for $10 each, auctioned off a few birds on a local website, encouraged local businesses to sponsor race birds, all with the goal to raise funds for their charity donation.  GORP is an AU registered club made up of made up of Omaha area flyers Randall Carney, Don Paltani, Walt Codney, Tom Sawyer Jr., and Igor Cherko.   Periodically they sponsor a GORP race and the shipping crate door is open to all flyers that are there for the sport's best interest and having fun doing it!

On February 20, 2012 when the first donation was made, the plan was to have a pigeon release at the same time and invite the local media, but a wet rainy day moved the presentation inside.  NMC's Gift Coordinator Judy Booth was disappointed not to see her first bird release but with another donation planned this year maybe the weather will cooperate.  Also present was AU Sport Development Manager Deone Roberts of Oklahoma City who presented the CURE team with a special plaque in appreciation for their good work.

Fly for the Fight

Another 2011 GORP success was their Fly for the Fight program that gave breeders and flyers an opportunity to win cash prizes - $1,500 was given away in prizes by flying CURE banded birds in club and combine races.  AU member Tom Miske of Norfolk, NE won $500 for the first CURE banded bird to clock in the Husker Hawkeye Combine One Loft race last October.  This incentive prize helped sell lots of CURE bands to combine members - all for a good cause!  A similar program is planned for 2012.

Future Campaigns

The GORP 2011 campaign was focused on raising funds for the fight against breast cancer, and 2012 will again focus on that charity with the sale of both AU and IF pink CURE bands at $15 each or 8 bands for $100.  In 2013 GORP intends to sell blue CURE bands to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer.  In future years they'll focus on other cancer fights like pediatric, colon, or leukemia. 

AU vs. IF CURE Band Sales

It's intriguing to think about whether more AU or IF bands will be sold this year.  The AU has the larger membership but the IF has committed to actively promote the CURE bands to their membership.  I'm betting on my AU brothers and sisters to buy up the first 300 AU CURE bands before the IF membership does their 300.  But really I'm hoping that all the CURE bands are bought up this year.

I'm excited to follow this young 501c club having made its first donation and planning of bigger donations in the near future.  If you want to purchase bands, sponsor a CURE bird, learn more about the cash prizes in the Fly for the Fight, or make a tax deductible donation email Walt Codney at or call him at 712-526-2318.  He's the good looking guy with the tie in picture.

L to R:  Randall Carney, Walter Codney, Don Paltani,
Judy Booth (Major Gifts Officer, Nebraska Medical Center)