Dear Friends of MOCA:

The race to defeat ovarian cancer is a marathon, not a sprint. Here at MOCA, we’re acutely aware of this, as we’ve been committed to the cause for 17 years.

Every year, we aim to do more to end ovarian cancer. And we’re proud to say that 2016 was a banner year.

We marked a milestone at MOCA, by providing more than $1 million to 11 ovarian cancer research projects. This was the most awarded by MOCA ever — and put our total funding amount at more than $6 million.

We know that research funding will make the greatest gains against this disease—and we are as committed as ever.

We provided support and education to hundreds of women and families impacted by the disease. Our community events proved that MOCA is the glue that bonds our community together.

This annual report highlights our 2016 accomplishments. Read on to learn more about MOCA’s success in the past year.

We’re committed to the cause of ending ovarian cancer. And we can’t do it without you, always alongside us every step of the way.

With gratitude,

Kathleen Gavin

MOCA Executive Director

Linda Linder

MOCA Board President and Ovarian Cancer Survivor


The successful steps along our journey in 2016 included:

We provided a record $1,035,000 to ovarian cancer researchers — a new milestone for MOCA!

Continued our commitment to national research funding through our second year of funding and providing staff support to the Stand Up 2 Cancer Ovarian Cancer Dream Team.

Reached hundreds of people with key health messages at 25+ health fairs.

MOCA made the dreams of 12 ovarian cancer survivors and their families come true through the MOCA Dream Awards program.

We educated more than 400 healthcare students through our Survivors Teaching Students® program.

We hosted our most successful Black, White & Teal Gala, raising more than $100,000. The event debuted a song from Cities 97’s Keri Noble.

Our 17th annual HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer attracted more than 3,100 participants — with the most fundraising teams ever!

Based on feedback from our supporters, we expanded our support group offerings to include our new Men of MOCA group.


2016 was a milestone year for MOCA. For the first time ever, we awarded more than $1 million to ovarian cancer research projects.

MOCA awarded a total of $1,035,000 to 11 researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. Every dollar provided to research means we’re getting closer to an early detection test, better treatments and a cure for ovarian cancer.

At our MOCA Annual Meeting in May 2016, directors of both of Minnesota’s NCI-designated cancer centers joined us to speak about the importance of MOCA-funded research.

It’s a cause we’ve been committed to since our inception: MOCA has provided more than $6 million to spur on ovarian cancer research projects, putting MOCA among the top, non-profit funders in the nation.

We also continued our commitment to ovarian cancer research on a national level by again providing support and funding to Stand Up 2 Cancer’s Ovarian Cancer Dream Team.

We’re grateful to our MOCA supporters who made this milestone possible.

The 2016 MOCA-funded researchers include:

Research Funding

Dr. Peter Argenta

"MOCA’s grants serve two important functions in our research efforts at the University. First, they provide the early career boost for young investigators, which gets more great minds in the door.
Second, MOCA’s grants often lead to bigger, national level grants. They allow a researcher who is tackling a big problem to keep going, even when other funding sources dry up.
One thing I have learned in my decades in the field is that a lot of ‘overnight successes’ were predicated on years of frustrating, time-consuming, trial and error. Without help during these times, it is easy to imagine how progress stalls."

Dr. Peter Argenta

Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Dept of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota

Medical Education

Since the early days of MOCA, medical education has been a core mission of our work. We educate doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer and refer appropriately.

We do this because earlier diagnosis — and better treatment — means better prognosis for women.

MOCA trains and coordinates speakers to educate healthcare students and professionals. Our presence can be seen throughout the state, as we educate students and professionals in the Twin Cities, in the Rochester area and in northern Minnesota.

Dr. Jamie Bakkum-Gamez

Dr. Jamie Bakkum-Gamez

Gynecologic Oncologist, Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Jamie Bakkum-Gamez spoke about ovarian cancer and genetics at the 90th Annual Clinical Reviews conference at Mayo Clinic, in front of 1,000 family practice doctors. She also leads Mayo Clinic’s efforts in their sponsorship of supporting MOCA through the Rochester Unleash the SHE 5k/10k.

"Too often in my job, I see women dealing with the difficult emotions and physical hardships related to ovarian cancer, and I can only wish for something better. An early diagnosis test. Better treatments. That’s why I put so much effort into building a team and raising money for MOCA through the Unleash the SHE race. It shows our patients that we care about them and their futures."

Public Education and Awareness

Education — it’s a key component of our mission.

MOCA educates the public about the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

MOCA works to provide the women and families we serve with the resources and information they need.

MOCA amplifies our message by working with the media and channeling our message through social media.

In 2016, we educated the public through…

MOCA Living Well Meetings, including giving survivors the chance to be pampered through an Afternoon of Wellness and more.

Involved in the development of an Ovarian Cancer Survivors’ Course.

Shared MOCA’s message and symptom education at 25+ health fairs.

Highlighted our message in 30+ media spots throughout Minnesota.

Connected with a network of more than 3,500 Facebook fans and 1,000 Twitter followers to widely share our message.

Teal in the Media

TV, radio, magazines and more — MOCA works to get our message out in the media. In 2016 we placed more than 30 stories about ovarian cancer survivors, the symptoms of the disease and what women need to know.

MOCA was again featured as part of WCCO-TV and WDIO-TV’s Trees of Hope initiative. WCCO featured several stories about MOCA and our supporters, along with hosting a daylong fundraising phone bank to benefit MOCA.

MOCA was featured in several Minnesota magazines, including Edina Magazine, Maple Grove Magazine and Minnesota Monthly.

Coverage of our events took place on all major television stations throughout the year – and WCCO-TV’s Kim Johnson served as emcee of our Black, White and Teal Gala and HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer.

As our special guest at the Black, White & Teal Gala, Cities 97’s Keri Noble helped promote MOCA and our work online and during on-air comments.

Tie it Teal


For the fifth successful year in a row, our signature Tie it Teal campaign distributed more than 2,000 pairs of teal shoelaces and symptom cards to youth sports teams in Minnesota.

Our annual Tie it Teal Day with the Twins attracted survivors, friends and family members to join us at Target Field to raise awareness to ovarian cancer at this special game.


An ovarian cancer diagnosis means an often unexpected journey for a woman — and her entire family. But because of MOCA’s services and programs — a woman need never walk down this path alone.

In 2016, MOCA offered an array of support groups and programming to help women during their diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. We also offer unique options that give ovarian cancer survivors the chance to enrich their lives through travel and other opportunities.



MOCA provided over-the-phone or email support to women throughout the state through our MOCA Mentor program. We also hosted support group meetings here at the MOCA office throughout the year.

Men of MOCA

Men of MOCA

Always eager to fill the needs of our supporters, in 2016 MOCA responded to the call for a group focused on the male supporters of women with ovarian cancer. That’s when Men of MOCA was founded — designed for men who love someone with ovarian cancer. Men of MOCA has a goal to provide support, volunteer and fundraising opportunities for men who want to support MOCA.

Men of MOCA launched at our Black, White & Teal Gala and also hosted a game on a hole at the Molly Cade Scramble for Ovarian Cancer. The Men of MOCA were also featured in local media stories during 2016.

MOCA Dream Awards Program

MOCA Dream Awards Program

In 2016, MOCA made the dreams of 12 survivors come true through our MOCA Dream Awards program. We funded a total of $36,000 to these women — to help them enjoy family reunions, trips of a lifetime or other dreams.

Since we started the MOCA Dream Awards program, thanks to a private donor, MOCA has made the dreams of more than 80 ovarian cancer survivors come true.

Jodie’s Fund

Jodie’s Fund

Thanks to the generous donation through the family of Jodie Rychwalski, MOCA was able to provide up to $500 in travel expenses for two survivors to attend the ovarian cancer retreat at Camp Mak-A-Dream in Missoula, Montana.

Uniting our Community

MOCA’s annual events are a core part of our community building, fundraising and outreach.

We attract thousands of ovarian cancer survivors, family members, friends and loved ones—all just as committed to the cause as we are.

You will find highlights from our top 2016 annual events below:

HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer


At our 17th annual event, our annual walk and run boasted the most teams ever — with more than 3,200 attendees. The event raised more than $315,000 for ovarian cancer research and programming.


Black, White & Teal Gala


It was truly a night to remember! Our annual Black, White and Teal Gala had our most successful year in 2016, with more than 350 attendees and $110,000 raised to benefit MOCA. Cities 97 DJ and singer/songwriter Keri Noble was our special guest and debuted a song before our crowd to cap the night.

Molly Cade Scramble for Ovarian Cancer

Golf Scramble

More than 160 golfers took to the links in July 2016 to swing against ovarian cancer at our annual golf event. K102 DJ and MOCA supporter Chris Carr joined us as emcee of this fun, all-abilities golf event.

Spin it Teal


Our fourth annual spinning event saw our most successful year yet in 2016, with more than 130 attendees taking part in spin, yoga or high-intensity classes throughout the metro! The money raised from Spin it Teal funds a research grant targeted at stopping the recurrence of ovarian cancer.

Pam MacDonald

"My hope hasn’t been taken away, and it’s important to me to make a difference so that other women don’t have their hope taken away. I believe that the research funded by MOCA is going to make a difference in the fight against ovarian cancer — and I’m excited to think that Spin it Teal will help make that possible."

Pam MacDonald

14-year Ovarian Cancer Survivor

MOCA Supporters Take on the Cause

Our supporters channel their passion for our cause into a variety of fundraisers and events to support MOCA and raise awareness throughout the year.

Here’s a look at the commitment of just some of our MOCA supporters:

Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Game

Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Game

Lakeville North and South faced off in a cross-town rivalry that raised ovarian cancer awareness and raised $5,000 for ovarian cancer research and programming.

Family Fundraiser for MOCA

Family Fundraiser for MOCA

Held at the Cornerstone on the Vermillion horse stable and center in Hastings, MN, this fun, family-friendly event raised more than $1,000 for MOCA.

Final Stretch — Unleash the SHE Races

Final Stretch — Unleash the SHE Races

These annual races that support MOCA — held in Rochester and in St. Paul — attracted nearly 2,000 runners and walkers committed to the cause. In total, more than $10,000 was raised for ovarian cancer research and programming.

Carol Novak Legacy Tournament

Carol Novak Legacy Tournament

Three sisters were determined to honor their mother’s death from ovarian cancer by making an impact on the disease. Their second annual Legacy tournament for MOCA raised $17,000.


MOCA has achieved top ratings in financial accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, Guidestar and Charities Review Council.

In 2016, out of every dollar donated to MOCA, we directed 82 cents to research and programming and only 18 cents to fundraising and management.

Board Members

Linda<br />Linder


MOCA Board

Mary Pat Oslund

Mary Pat Oslund

MOCA Board
Vice President

Meghan Hansen

Meghan Hansen

MOCA Board

Ellen Kleinbaum

Ellen Kleinbaum

MOCA Board

Kathy Bowling

Kathy Bowling

David Gehant

David Gehant

Nancy Libbey

Nancy Libbey

Carol Luukkonen

Carol Luukkonen

Susan Kushner

Susan Kushner

Honorary Board Member

Sandy Tollefson

Sandy Tollefson

Marcia Trevarthen

Marcia Trevarthen

John Wetzel

John Wetzel

MOCA Staff

Kathleen Gavin

Executive Director

Lauren Baregi

Events Manager

Becky Lechner

Communications Manager

Kathy McGovern

Medical Education Manager

Molly St. George

Administrative Assistant

June Miller

Data Entry Specialist

Becky West

Finance Manager

Constance White

Operations Manager

Chris Wick

Support and Community Program Manager