A year-long effort to educate and empower women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection by WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., kicked off at the Triangle Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The stationís on-air commitment to the event contributed to an unprecedented 20 percent increase in race participation and 10 percent increase in fundraising. WRAL produced public service announcements and invited viewers to join its "Team WRAL," a group of 360 station employees and viewers who raised more than $36,000 for the fight against breast cancer. As the network-affiliate partner for Susan G. Komen for the Cure in North Carolina, the station also provides support for Pinkfest and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. News stories, "webisodes" and public service announcements all help educate women about breast health. The stationís Web site houses a special "Breast Health and Wellness" section, which features resource links, an interactive breast self-exam, and on-demand videos of survivors and leading medical experts. Viewers also can register for "Remind 5 Friends," which provides monthly electronic reminders to conduct a breast self-exam. The in-kind dollar value of the stationís support in airtime and production throughout the year totals more than $250,000; WRALís effort have helped the local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate be able to provide grants worth more than $1.3 million to area nonprofits. "On-air and off the air, the WRAL staff have embraced our vision of a world without breast cancer, and the impact has been tremendous," said Pam Blondin, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, North Carolina Triangle Affiliate.