No to O was founded in 2012 by Jean Ebert and Charlotte Ruth who became friends when both women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008. Their goals were to help other women in similar circumstances and to raise awareness of symptoms of the deadly disease, hopefully leading to earlier diagnoses and more effective treatment options. They also hoped to contribute to research efforts focused on finding a cure. With the support of Jean's husband, Dick, No to O was established as a 501(c)(3) and plans began for its first fundraiser, Flock the Yard in the spring of 2013.
My relationship with No to O began because Jean was a longtime dear friend. Still working full time in 2013, my involvement with the first fundraiser was minimal. After my retirement and before Jean's death in October 2014, she asked if I would join the No to O Board. Following her death, Dee Clark, Joyce Troyer and I were determined to build a firm foundation for No to O on which we could build--to carry on in Jean's name! They asked me to chair the Board and the three of us function as the Executive Committee.
We have had three successful Flock the Yard events since that first one and have donated more than $150,000 to local and regional organizations supporting women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. $40,000 was donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance to benefit its research efforts, and $40,000 was donated to Wake Forest Baptist Health to help establish a nurse navigator for gynecologic cancers.
No to O has added events to our Flock the Yard fundraiser and this year launched our first Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month focus in September 2016. Businesses in the area donated a percentage of sales on a day during the month. An art event helped us kick off the month and a theater production ended the month's initiative.