Suzanne Krycia (in pink), with husband, David and Claire Otis at Chef's restaurant,
which has been a huge supporter of the Dine Out event.


By Paul Chimera

For the fourth year in a row, the Western New York Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure – a national organization determined to help eradicate breast cancer – is doing something, well, tastefully determined.

It’s presenting the 4th Annual Dine Out for the Cure, which stirs together the pleasures of restaurant dining with the importance of raising awareness about breast cancer.

Participating restaurants – some 53 were on board with the innovative program as this article was being prepared – will make a donation from every meal served on the one special Dine Out night: Tuesday, Oct. 21. In addition, Dine Out Diplomats will be on-site at participating eateries, handing out literature on the importance of mammograms and other information to help women – and, yes, men too – better understand this pervasive disease that affects one in eight women. (Men can also get cancer of the breast, though it’s quite rare in the male population).

Suzane Krycia, who got involved in the Western New York Affiliate or chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure when her sister contracted breast cancer at age 37, is co-chair of the event, together with Marlene Gonzalez.

Krycia, a paralegal by profession, remembers announcing once to an 8-member card club to which she belonged that “It’s scary, but one of us will have this,” statistically speaking. Sure enough, as fate and statistical accuracy would have it, a 44-year-old fellow card club member in fact was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Increasing incidents as
age increases

Krycia says more cases of breast cancer seem to be turning up among women in their 20s and 30s. It’s speculated that it may be related to hormones in milk or other foods. “With women who are so young, it’s hard to find a support group, because most incidents occur in women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older,” says Krycia. “The older you are, the more likely you are to get it.”

There were few if any support groups around when her sister got the bad news of her diagnosis, but good news eventually followed: doctors caught it in time, and she was expecting a baby in three weeks, when After 50 News spoke with Krycia in mid-September.

Krycia, who’s been a Dine Out Diplomat for two years now, says feedback from restaurant owners and patrons has been uniformly positive, enthusiastic, and grateful. “A lot of people will be dining out that night (October 21) because of the event,” she notes. “It’s time to say that you may be dealing with breast cancer and this is your day, and family or friends will be taking you out to dinner. People talking about it makes it so much more acceptable. Their attitude is incredible, due to the support” of all concerned parties.

One of those parties, of course, is the restaurant owners, who are part of a true win/win situation. Tuesdays are a typically slow night in the restaurant business, and Dine Out for the Cure will be bringing patrons in. One restaurant last year turned the place over three times that night – meaning brisk business on a customarily lethargic night for restaurants, and also meaning that a lot of people received a satisfying helping of valuable breast cancer information. Plus, of course, it meant additional monies raised for so important a cause.

Dine Out Diplomats
Will Be Circulating Widely

When you eat out on October 21 at a participating restaurant, the establishment will either make a flat donation or donate a percentage of your check or your bill when ordering off a special “Pink Ribbon Menu.” Diners can also make a personal donation. For a complete listing, including addresses, phone numbers and other information on participating restaurants, go to the Web site:, or call 504-5508. Reservations are recommended at participating restaurants.

Dine Out Diplomats, many of whom are cancer survivors themselves, will be distributing information about the importance of breast cancer screening for early detection and giving all diners pink embroidered ribbons. It’s emphasized that early detection is the best protection when it comes to breast cancer.

Named for a Texas woman who had breast cancer and was determined to fight it in a very big way, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is a well-known awareness- and fundraising event around the country, but the Dine Out program is unique to Western New York. Through both the Dine Out and Race for the Cure events, the local Affiliate has awarded more than $2 million toward closing the gaps that prevent access to breast cancer education, screening and treatment in our region.

It has also given hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer research to the Susan G. Komen National Research Grant Awards.

Due to such research and funding, Suzane Krycia’s sister was able to participate in gene testing, which showed that she did not carry the breast cancer or ovarian gene mutation.

“This information allowed her to attempt to fulfill her dream of being a mother,” says Krycia. “My sister was married this past year and is expecting her first child, at 41. Ironically, she is due on October 21st!”

Dine Out Diplomats Suzanne Krycia & Claire Otis hand out pink lapel ribbons, Shower cards, info. regarding free Mammograms and info. about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.