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Sacramento, Calif. – Carol Garcia’s roots reach deep into the city of Roseville – five generations worth. That might explain why, after getting her college degree at Sacramento State, she returned home to raise her family and launch her career.

It’s lucky for Roseville – and the greater Sacramento area – that she did.

Today, the community recognizes her work as a city council member, her tenure leading the Roseville Chamber of Commerce and her job as senior vice president of Granite Community Bank.

But they may not be aware of her contribution toward finding cures for breast cancer through the Placer Breast Cancer Endowment she co-established. The group aims to raise $1.5 million for an endowed chair at UC Davis Cancer Center, the only cancer center in inland Northern California designated by the National Cancer Institute for its commitment to cancer research.

Garcia’s dedication is evident in the roster of upcoming events she has helped plan to boost the endowment:

. Drinks and hors d’voeuvres event co-hosted by United Auburn Indian Community, Thunder Valley Casino and Austin’s Steakhouse, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.
. Hot Pink 5K, Saturday, Oct. 10, fun run/walk through Historic Old Town Roseville, 8 to 10:30 a.m.
. Pink & White Ball, Oct. 23 at the Granite Bay Golf Club, 6:30 p.m.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 at age 39, Garcia has taken on the cause with the same kind of energy and enthusiasm she has for her other civic priorities.

“I had five surgeries ย—removal of the tumor, of the breasts, of the lymph nodes and reconstruction,” she said. “After going through that, I thought we have to do something to find a cure.”

Teri Munger, co-founder of the fund, called her friend “a tireless crusader” for the endowment, like many in a challenging economy, has struggled to meet its ambitious fund-raising goals.

‘She has kept focused on this cause for the last five years,” Munger said. “Without her dedication and perseverance, this non-profit would not exist. She just keeps charging forward. She sets a goal and demands that there is no turning back.”

Garcia credits a cadre of fellow volunteers, many of them also breast cancer survivors, for the group’s accomplishments so far: $800,000 in the bank for the endowed chair.

“I firmly believe that when we have someone solely focused on breast cancer research at UC Davis, they will be successful in finding the cure,” she said. “That is our goal, and that is our hope.”

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