Madison woman creates non-profit to tackle pancreatic, brain, & colon cancers

The 'Ebony Eyes Foundation' just earned its 501c3 certificate in August 2021

MADISON, Wis. — One in three non-profit organizations is in jeopardy of closing in the next two years as a result of the financial harm inflicted by the pandemic, according to a report. However, one local woman isn’t letting statistics like that stop her from starting one.

Niketa Rae is well-known in the Madison area for her tireless commitment to raising money for PanCAN, an organization dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer. Miller lost her grandmother to the relentless disease a decade ago. Since then, she’s been brainstorming ways to keep her grandma’s legacy alive while making happy, new memories.

“When you’re thinking about helping an organization, it can be tough,” Rae explained. “Sometimes it doesn’t make you feel the greatest because it’s bringing up memories. It makes you sad. It can even make you mad.”

“I just want people to know that raising money and awareness can be fun, too,” she said.

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Tired of the typical 5K fundraising model, Rae decided to start her own organization: the Ebony Eyes Foundation, a brand-new non-profit that just earned its 501c3 certificate in August.

Ebony Eyes will raise money for pancreatic, colon, and brain cancers, and donate to other organizations that research, treat, and improve the quality of life for people living with three of the deadliest forms of cancer. But what sets it apart from other non-profits is the way participants will raise money.

The organization’s first event is an adult prom later this month.

Rae’s also planning volleyball, bowling, and shuffleboard tournaments: all fun gatherings where people can make memories… and a difference.

“Our slogan is ‘Cancer sucks, but raising awareness doesn’t have to,'” Rae said, with a laugh.

Learn more about the Ebony Eyes Foundation here.

Click here to purchase tickets to the organization’s first event, ‘Purple Rain: An Adult Prom Fundraiser,’ scheduled for Oct. 23rd.