About: Board of Directors

April Samuels

April Samuels, Founder, President & Executive Director / Chair of the Board

First and foremost, I drum. I drum a lot. I also have a steep history in band management, booking, marketing, promotions, and fundraising. Since 1998, I have coordinated multiple fundraising events and raised awareness for several different not-for-profit organizations.

On October 26, 2010, I was diagnosed with high grade, triple negative breast cancer. Within a few short weeks, I came up with the motto "Breast Cancer Can Stick It!" and began raising money for organizations who work to find a cure. On April 8, 2011, after a double mastectomy and four months of chemo, I was pronounced "CURED!" My goal is to help provide assistance for everyone diagnosed with breast cancer to have the opportunity for treatment, and ultimately to be CURED through awareness, early detection, funding, and finally a CURE for breast cancer once and for all...and ROCK while doing it!

Watch My Testimonial

April also serves on the Social Media Committee, the Drummathon Committee, and the Drummathon Logistics Committee.

Ron Samuels

Ron Samuels, Vice President & Treasurer

I was born in Kentucky and moved to Amarillo in 1959 where in 1965 I received a BBA degree in Accounting from what is now West Texas A&M University. In 1962, I married my fellow Amarillo College cheerleader, Jan. We have been members of First United Methodist Church in Plano since 1970. During the 70s and early 80s I was very active in the Plano Adult Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) which met at the church. I worked in the oil and gas production data business, for 48 years until I fully retired in 2010. During my career, I gained extensive experience in developing Sales, Marketing and Support organizations from the ground up. I was elected to the Heritage Ranch Golf and Country Club (an Active Adult Community) HOA Board in 2006 and became the first homeowner president of the Heritage Ranch HOA in 2007 and served in that capacity for 3+ years. In May 2013, I was elected councilman for the great Town of Fairview, TX.

In 2002, I founded an annual charity golf tournament (Ron's Annual Golf Scramble aka "RAGS") - held at Heritage Ranch in Fairview, TX - which benefits the Autism Treatment Center (ATC) of Dallas. As the founder and Chairman of the Board of RAGS, I have successfully engaged multiple corporate sponsors and expanded the venue. As of our 13th tournament in 2013, we have raised over $120,000 for ATC of Dallas.

I enjoy hunting, fishing, playing golf and spending time with my two children (Todd and April), daughter in-law and three grandchildren.

Since I have lived through the trials and tribulations of breast cancer with my daughter, it is my desire to help support Breast Cancer Can Stick It!. I am a prostate and skin cancer survivor and have a burning desire to find some way to defeat cancer. My hope is that my previous experience - in sales and marketing, as well as in fundraising for charities - will add to the success of this charity.

Ron also serves on the Drummathon Logistics Committee.

Michelle Graves

Michelle Graves, Director of Sponsorship and Corporate Relations / Chair of Drummathon Committee

I grew up in a small town in West Texas and developed a love for music at a very early age. By the time I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to be a drummer! I was very involved in my school music program and was the drumline captain. During my Senior year, I became involved with a band that recorded EP's in a Memphis recording studio and later recorded in Nashville with Grammy Award winning producers. I was 17 years old when I made the decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee. As I matured, my love for music grew into the business side of the entertainment industry. I found myself enjoying the concept of advertising, marketing and coordinating events rather performing at them. I then earned my business degree with a focus on marketing in the entertainment industry. Eventually, I made Dallas my home and started working for the Dallas Observer and Houston Press where I focus on marketing and sponsorship campaigns for companies.

When I met April Samuels, I immediately felt called to use my abilities to help grow and promote Breast Cancer Can Stick It! I started volunteering in 2016 to help plan Drummathon. When I look back on all the projects I've been involved in, I have never found something more fulfilling then being Director of Operations for Drummathon 2016. I have a deep connection to breast cancer as my great-grandmother, who I am named after, was a breast cancer survivor. I was very close to my great-grandmother, who was a true inspiration to not let anything in life keep you from your dreams, potential and life calling. I am deeply honored to be able to serve on the Board of Directors for Breast Cancer Can Stick It!

Michelle also serves on the Drummathon Committee.

Bill Fenton

Bill Fenton, Director / Chair of Drummathon Logistics Committee

I grew up in Farmers Branch, TX playing soccer and driving GTO's. My father and mother were a big influence on me as soccer coach and team mom, respectively. When I was growing up, I would come home after school and there was no telling who would be at my house talking to my mom about their family, personal life or just coming by to say hi. My mom wasn't only team mom, but the "mom" in general to a lot of kids - it was great. Then, one day my parents told me my mom had cancer. Unfortunately, I lost my mom on July 10, 1990 to the disease. Years later, I meet my wife Mandy. We were together when we learned her mother had breast cancer. Ironically, ten years to the day of my mother losing her batter to cancer, my wife's mother lost her battle with breast cancer on July 10, 2000. Mandy and I knew we were meant to be together with our mother's passing away exactly 10 years apart to the day. Fast forward 11 years, when we meet this cool girl who was fresh out of chemo from breast cancer. April was playing drums with a buddy of ours at a breast cancer awareness event, wearing this awesome "Breast Cancer Can Stick It!" shirt. Mandy and April hit it off like two peas in a pod, talking about their moms, friends and that evil "C" word. About a year later, we ran into April again and she told us more about this "Breast Cancer Can Stick It!". Inspired by how deeply cancer had affected our families, Mandy and I made the decision to give our all through Breast Cancer Can Stick It! to help raise funds in the fight against breast cancer. If the work we do at this foundation helps educate or save even just one person, it is well worth it. We are all touched by this terrible disease in some way. I'm honored to be part of this great organization and to do what I can to make a difference!

Bill also serves on the Drummathon Logistics Committee.

Debra Gloria

Debra Gloria, Director / Chair of Social Media Committee

I am a Dallas-based advertising, commercial, and therapeutic photographer and videographer. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, my love of photography became evident when I chose my elective classes in college. Photography quickly became the only subject I was interested in studying. I began my photography career in Dallas in 1988. I then traveled and shot photography in New York then came back to Dallas. I have been a freelance photographer for 28 years.

My background in photography ranges from shooting for catalogs, on location, individuals and Fortune 500 companies. Not to mention all of the work that I do for charitable causes that are close to my heart. The strongest calling for me has been my Therapeutic Photography work.

My first involvement with BCCSI was when I proposed to start a photo campaign which communicates a quiet visual protest to "stick it" to breast cancer (see my photo). In the future, my dream is that the photographs go viral to increase the awareness of finding a cure.

I've known April before she had cancer and began photographing her through her battle along with many other friends and strangers with cancer and other diseases. I lost friends very close to me to cancer. In July of 2015, my sister called and told me she was diagnosed with cancer, and I felt the earth stand still for the first time in my life. I watched cancer kill her in eight months. I was her caretaker for the last few months of her life and it has forever changed who I am today. April knew my sister, and she adored April. April was there the last week of my sisters life as I watched her pray over her. Now, the battle to help to find a cure is personal... The choice to work with April is an easy choice. In this lifetime we will find a cure, because the firery pink-haired drummer won't stop until it does!

Debra also serves on the Social Media Committee.

Gilbert De La Garza

Gilbert De La Garza, Director - Legal Advisor

My wife Monica and I met April in Corpus Christi, Texas when we used to go watch her drum for Metal Shop every third Saturday of the month. As huge music lovers ourselves, it didn't take us very long to take to her and to see her passion for music and incredible zest for life. She was just contagious. As we got to know her and chat with her more often, we soon also realized her passion in fighting against breast cancer and all of the things she was doing and had planned for her organization. Around that time, my own mother had just finished her year plus long battle with breast cancer and had very recently gone into remission (and is cancer-free to this day!) This common thread, along with our affinity for April, led us to extend our help to her and Breast Cancer Can Stick It! every chance we could. When she had her fundraisers down in South Texas, it was always a blast and we had such a great time volunteering those weekends (I may or may not have hung many bras around the stage).

Fast forward a couple of years, to when my family and I moved to the DFW area, and by coincidence, ended up in the North Dallas area where April is headquartered and has many of her volunteer opportunities. Our relationship with her and Breast Cancer Can Stick It! grew from there through volunteering and getting to know her organizational mission and extraordinary goals. At the same time, being that I am an attorney, over the next couple of years, April reached out to me in confidence many times for legal guidance on a variety of issues regarding her organization. I was always more than happy to guide her, respond to her legal questions, review and draft legal items for her and Breast Cancer Can Stick It!, and generally offer my legal knowledge to help her and her organization, and continue to do so to this day. Being as such, she graciously asked me to join the Board of Directors as her legal advisor, and I was honored to do so! Being a part of Breast Cancer Can Stick It!, it is my sincere hope that through volunteering, I can benefit April and her organization by working closely with her on all legal related items, and at the same time, and most importantly, help save lives with her!!

Jan Samuels

Jan Samuels, Secretary

Until my two children were born, I was the receptionist and secretary to the editor of a magazine. I am a native Texan and have been a "professional volunteer" having served as Cub Scout leader; president of two PTAs; Chairman of the Board of a Museum; Chairman of the Board of an "English as a Second Language" preschool; President of three heritage organizations; Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Staff Parish Committee, Lay Leader, Delegate to Annual Conference, Church Historian and President of the United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church, Plano; President of a Women's Club; portrayed characters in first person, costumed book reviews; portrayed three female characters in Texas history with the Texanna Living History Association and was chair of the Tenth Anniversary Committee at Heritage Ranch. Currently I am in the Heritage Ranch Chorale, the chair of the Heritage Ranch History Committee, the chair of the Heritage Ranch Communications/Marketing Committee; President of the Heritage Ranch Ladies Golf Association, secretary of the Heritage Ranch Genealogical Society and secretary of the Infrastructure Committee at Heritage Ranch.

When April told me she had breast cancer, the world stood still. I didn't know which way to turn. After the initial shock, I just followed April's lead and began helping as best I could in the battle. She lead me to a positive attitude and an attitude of gratitude for what was available toward becoming a survivor. Her strength and determination was an inspiration to me. I want to support any and all efforts to end this horrible disease. We will get there one day! Til then.....BREAST CANCER CAN STICK IT!

Jill Hurt

Jill Hurt, Director - Financial Advisor

Bio coming soon!

Mandy Fenton

Mandy Fenton, Director

I was born and raised in Ft. Worth, TX., and am the youngest of 4 children. My father is John Howard Griffin, & he was a writer. He wrote a lot of books, but is probably most noted for a book called "Black Like Me." My mother was a stay at home mom, but she was also "everyone's mom." She was one of the most loving and caring women I have ever known, and everyone that knew her, or got to meet her said the same thing. How fortunate was I to have both parents be at home every day? When you are a kid, you don't think of it in those terms, but now, what I would not give to have them both here! I lost my dad, when I was 14, and just starting high school. He died from complications from diabetes. He was a great man, and taught me so many things.

On 7/10/2000, I lost my mother to breast cancer. Unfortunately she didn't get regular mammograms, and rarely went to the doctor for anything, so when they found it, it had spread to other parts of her body. She didn't tell us because she didn't want us to "worry" about her. She fought for two and a half years, but eventually the cancer took her. It was one of the most devastating things to ever happen to me to date.

Flash forward to 8/27/2011, a friend of mine invited me to a breast cancer benefit at a little sports bar. He was the singer in a band called 49th Vibration, and the drummer in this band was April Samuels. She had just recently kicked triple negative breast cancer in the butt, and was selling her "Breast Cancer Can Stick It!" t-shirts out of a box - I bought three of them that night. I remember thinking, "wow, what a cool thing this chick is doing, and what an awesome way to turn a negative into a positive!" I got the opportunity to meet her after the gig. She had short hair, as it was now growing back out from the chemo. You could tell just from seeing her how much passion she has for the cause! I told her how great I thought she was for doing what she was doing. I had gotten a tattoo of a breast cancer ribbon a couple of years prior, in memory of my mom on my left wrist. April noticed it, and asked me about it. I told her about losing my mom 11 years prior, and I could not even get through her story without crying. I was still so affected by it. April was so sweet, she listened to my story, even though I knew that there were other people there that wanted to chat with her. She gave me her full attention, and after it was over, hugged me, and told me how sorry she was for my loss, and how awesome I was. She gave me her card, and said I could call her if I needed anything. She exuded strength, and never did I realize that I would later not only become a volunteer for her foundation, but that she would ask me to be on the Board of Directors!

I became involved with Breast Cancer Can Stick It! in August of 2014, and I have never looked back! I cannot tell you how much April, and this foundation mean to me, there are really no words. I love everything it stands for, and I feel like in some small way I am helping to make a difference in this fight against breast cancer! I may not physically have my mom anymore, but I know that she is with me in sprit, and I know that she would love what Breast Cancer Can Stick It! does. April, eats, sleeps, drinks, and lives for this foundation, and this cause! She is inspiring, and I am so proud to call her my friend! She means what she says.. "It's not about saving breasts.. it is about saving lives!"

Mandy also serves on the Social Media Committee and the Drummathon Committee.

Mary Riley

Mary Riley, Director, Co-Volunteer Coordinator

It seems like everyone has a dream of making a difference in the world in some way, but there aren't many people who take action on this dream. April didn't stand around waiting for this to happen; she MADE it happen. She has been a constant inspiration since the day I met her and I am honored that she asked me to join her team in the fight against breast cancer. I am a known social media junkie who was given the nickname, "The Facebook Ninja" because I "LIKE" Facebook statueses quickly. As someone who spends an average of six hours a day on social media sites, I am excited to be putting my time and knowledge into something good. With the amazing team and volunteers April has standing behind her, I am confident that Breast Cancer Can Stick It! is going to be the organization that makes a difference in the research and finding a cure for breast cancer.

Sherah Yoder

Sherah Yoder, Director

I was born and raised in Texas and moved to Dallas in 1995. I have always been extremely passionate about volunteering and helping people. In 2001, I began volunteering and eventually became a member of the Board of a non-profit called Share the Blessings. STB helped to facilitate participation / volunteering in established local charities through the collection of food, toys and monetary donations. I remained on the Board until we were blessed to become pregnant with our now, 12 year old twin girls, Katlyn and Kimber.

I also met my now husband, Webb in 1995 when I moved to Dallas. He introduced me to April shortly after we met, while she was managing and playing in a band called Frognot (and I'm sure doing various other things!). Since that time, we lost my mother-in-Law to cancer in 2009. We were also there when April fought her incredible battle, alongside SO many other friends that have either won or lost the battle. April is now known as the amazing drummer with pink hair, who has survived triple negative breast cancer. She has done so much good for the community! So many people are affected by this terrible disease - we must find a cure NOW!

For the past five years, I've been volunteering for the American Cancer Society by helping to coordinate a team from across the country and raising funds myself to rappel down a 38-story building in Jersey City, NJ. One year, I even took April's drum sticks up to the top of the building for an amazing photo opportunity with the New York City skyline in the background. Our team has collectively raised over $500,000 for ACS since its formation in 2013.

I have worked for Merrill Private Wealth Management at the Crescent for 23 years. A couple years ago I decided I wanted to add to my knowledge base to assist my team and our clients. I love volunteering and working with non-profits, so I looked for a designation that would benefit my business and the charity work I do. I obtained the CAP designation or Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy in 2017. Now I look forward to putting my "CAP" skills to work and helping to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.

I am honored to be asked by April and team to join the Board of Directors and look forward to helping her 'Stick it to Breast Cancer' to raise funds AND awareness! April is an amazing and inspirational woman. Together the Breast Cancer Can Stick It! Team CAN make things happen!

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