Bolder Invitational raises awareness for prostate cancer
First annual golf tournament honors longtime local Brian Philip ‘Bolder’ Lefebvre
Dr. Michael Glode likes to say that “to some extent, with breast cancer they race for the cure, and in prostate cancer we crawl for the cure.”
For almost four decades, Glode, who joined the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards in 2010, has been at the fore of promoting prostate cancer awareness, a cause consistently in the pink ribbon shadow. On Monday, the Bolder Invitational 2022, a golf event Shaw partnered with to memorialize the life of one of Glode’s patients — longtime Vail resident Brian Philip ‘Bolder’ Lefebvre — showed that the movement might be gaining steam.
“The Bolder Invitational 2022 more than exceeded our expectations,” said Wayne Schnapp, whom, along with Brian’s son Colby, spearheaded the inaugural event.
Nine foursomes — many of which were local Vail hospitality and service industry workers as well as friends of Brian and general supporters of prostate cancer awareness — played a round of golf at Red Sky Ranch, raising money for the Shaw Cancer Center.
“Everyone had a really good time,” Colby said of the chilly but sunny day.
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Colby, 33, was born and raised in Vail before earning degrees from Johnson and Wales Culinary School. He came back to the Valley, hoping to one day fulfill a shared dream with his dad of opening a restaurant together. On Nov. 11, 2012, Brian died from prostate cancer.
“Brian was just a great guy,” Glode said about his former patient.
“He was absolutely dedicated to fighting the disease. As Colby said in his remarks (at the golf tournament), his dad just kept getting handed bad cards.”
“He was always a super big part of the community,” Colby said of his dad, who was in the restaurant industry until 1996, when he left Hubcap Brewery and Kitchen so he could be at home more with his son and wife, Cindy.
“He knew everybody. Literally everybody in the town.”
Colby launched Bold Hotsauce, hoping to grow enough and eventually give back financially to prostate cancer awareness.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t really make sense living up in the mountains running a hot sauce company,” he recalled.
“With no FDA kitchens up here, I was constantly going back and forth to Denver, and so I stopped that before I ever got to the donation part or the giving back part.”
He pivoted back to opening his own place, and this fall, with the help of Dennis Foley — owner of neighbor Bart and Yeti’s and participant at Monday’s invite — he launched Alpine Pizza a few steps from the Lionshead Gondola. Over the course of working in Lionshead at El Sabor, he met Wayne Schnapp, who moved to Lionshead a couple of years ago.
“He would come in and we would talk and he seemed like a nice guy and our friendship grew in that manner,” Colby described.
“He was very supportive of me opening Alpine.”
In December, Schnapp invited Colby to a golf tournament with a bunch of the area’s hospitality workers.
“Just bartenders, people in the service industry here — and just going and having a fun day,” Colby said of the idea.
“From there, after a few discussions, it evolved into, ‘well, you know, a lot of these people aren’t given the chance to give back — because of how much they work, how tight money can be because of living costs and things like that — so, can we make this into a charity golf tournament?'”
Colby brought up prostate cancer awareness.
“It’s huge. A lot of guys get prostate cancer,” he said. They decided giving the money to Shaw, where his dad was treated, was the best course.
“If we’re going to invite people to pay for a round of golf, why don’t we make that golf worth something — to give back to the community,” Colby recalled Schnapp and him thinking.
“And that was our biggest goal.”
Schnapp worked with Shaw partnering with the center to host the event, which incorporated a spin off the Bolder Hot Sauce logo. Charlie’s T-shirts, where Brian worked the remainder of his life, provided free embroidered shirts for participants, something Colby said was “really important and cool.” Teams from Bart and Yeti’s, Shakedown, Bad Kitty Lounge and Local Joe’s helped form the foursomes.
“We could have had it bigger, but we had never done it before and we didn’t know what we were doing,” Colby laughed, noting that many called to sign up and were forced to wait until a second annual.
“Next year we’re going to make it at least 18.”
Glode, a pioneer in prostate cancer research, spoke on the need to raise awareness and Dr. Erin Schwab spent time discussing it with participants as well.
“Reconnecting with Cindy (wife) and the family was really meaningful,” Glode said.
“It was great to be able to participate in their efforts to give back and create something in the way of a community awareness project for prostate cancer, and they hope it grows and so do we.”
From the businesses which donated auction items — including Town of Vail, Grand Hyatt Vail, Charlie’s T-Shirts, Chophouse Vail, Bad Kitty Lounge, Bart and Yeti’s and Garfinkles — to the hosts at Red Sky Golf Club, it was a community event honoring a man many knew while pointing to a cause in need of increased attention.
“I want to keep growing the awareness of prostate cancer; I just don’t think men talk about it enough,” Colby said.
“There is such an unbelievable initiative with breast cancer awareness; while, men, we should be doing the same thing. I’ve talked with Dr. Glode about that a lot. If we can get people aware of when they need to get checked and going in and doing that, that’s my most important thing.”
Dr. Michael Glode is a medical oncology specialist for prostate and genitourinary (GU) cancers at Shaw Cancer Center. His pioneering work in the field includes being the principal investigator on the study leading to the approval of leuprolide, an injection used for treating prostate cancer as well as being principal investigator on the first nation-wide National Cancer Institute sponsored adjuvant treatment protocol for high risk prostate cancer patients following surgery.
Glode said prostate cancer has moved toward a “multi-disciplinary team approach” which includes patients, social workers, medical oncologists, urologists, radiation oncologists and more. Though Shaw Cancer Center has approached breast cancer in this way for a long time, it has only tackled prostate cancer this way in the past five years or so.
“I’ve been a part of that; very proud of what we’ve been able to put together in the way of a team approach and providing patients with the best of care and the most recent advances,” he said.
“The last decade has been really outstanding in terms of new approaches to prostate cancer,” Glode stated, noting a growth from awareness and controversies over screenings to five or six new drugs and breakthrough scanning agents.
“The molecular landscape genetically of prostate cancer has been sort of mapped out so that there are drugs that we use that previously might have only been used in other cancers,” he explained.
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET scans are “highly specific and way more sensitive than anything we had for prostate cancer before,” according to Glode.
“As a result, when we see someone whose had treatment in the past — whether that’s radiation or surgery — and their prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) is creeping up, we have a chance to maybe see if they only have a few areas, a few spots of metastases and go after those with either surgery or radiation and salvage people for a cure,”
He continued, saying, “And that really changed the landscape a lot for patients with a rising PSA 5-10 years after they were originally treated. There’s been a lot going on.”
Currently, a PSMA PET scans are only available in Denver, but Glode is pushing for a local arrival eventually.
“I think having that specialized knowledge about what’s going on nationally has been really helpful,” he said.
“And of course we’ve been cheerleaders for getting that kind of scan available at the Shaw and we’re still working on that.”