In 1997 Connie Rutledge was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer. After diagnoses Connie, an accomplished teacher, coach and principal, found empowerment through learning everything she could about this cancer that she knew so little about. Seeing a need for ovarian cancer awareness and motivated by the amazing women she met during their shared battle, she founded The Ovarian Cancer Community Outreach, Inc. in March of 2010, a 501(c)(3) recognized company. In August of that year she gave the shot gun start at OCCO’s first annual Tee Up for Cancer golf outing and signed the first OCCO donation check for ovarian cancer research. OCCO had 3 main missions: create better awareness of ovarian cancer; support Wisconsin based National Cancer Research Institute efforts for ovarian cancer, and to financially support women in financial need undergoing treatment for ovarian/gynecological cancers.
Shortly after OCCO’s inaugural golf outing, Connie passed away in September of 2010. The 100% volunteer OCCO board was determined to continue her mission. From 2010 through 2019, OCCO gave back over $420,000 within their communities and were able to support over 350 women.
After months of consideration and planning, OCCO merged with WOCA and created The Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund on January 1, 2020. This partnership keeps Connie’s vision and legacy alive while strengthening the ability to bring even greater awareness of ovarian/gynecological cancers and financial support throughout Wisconsin.
By combining the two organizations resources we have ensured prolonged sustainability and are able to secure our strategic outlook and ongoing success.
The Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund will fall under WOCA’s 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Code.
The mission and impact of this new fund remains the same: to create better awareness of ovarian cancer and financially support women undergoing treatment in financial distress.
Donations can be made directly through this website by going to the donate now link and selecting the Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund as the recipient or checks can be made directly to WOCA c/o Connie Rutledge Legacy Fund and mailed to 13825 W. National Ave, Suite 103, New Berlin WI 53151.
From Left to Right: Dr Erin Stevens, Prevea Health MD, FACOG Gynecologic Oncologist; Beth Seymour, previous OCCO president; and Janette Shipley previous OCCO VP