530.477.9700 info@bsmtri.org

Our Committee

Meet the dedicated volunteers behind this extraordinary event!

Meet the “FOUNDER” & Scholarship Committee Member

Cathy Anderson-Meyers


After moving to Chicago Park with my husband, Geno, in 1982, we decided the best way to meet people was to join the Nevada County Adult Volleyball Recreation League. It was certainly the right decision for us because those folks became truly good friends over the years. I met Barb and Lindsay and Viki and Cindy and Carol and Lennie and Ellen and Sandy and………as you can see the list is endless.

I did my first Danskin Women’s Sprint Triathlon when Barb became ill. When I talked about doing a triathlon in her honor with Lindsay and Viki and some others we all decided it was a good idea. We were all athletes to some degree and figured if she could battle cancer so hard we could certainly go out and swim a half mile, ride 11 miles on our bikes, and run 3 miles. She thought it was a wonderful idea too…and encouraged us all to go for it.

That day, October 1, 1995, started the event that has become one of Nevada County’s premier athletic events, and a major fundraiser for the SNMH Breast Imaging Center and the Barbara Schmidt Millar Memorial Scholarship. It draws women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels to challenge themselves to do something for the first time. Then, in many cases, they come back again for more. It has become a life changing event for many.

I am proud to be affiliated with this event, all the Team Leaders, volunteers, and sponsors who make it happen each year.

If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.

Meet the 2017 Committee

Vanessa Hale

Vanessa Hale

EVENT DIRECTOR

My first experience with BSM was in 2011 when I went to cheer for a good friend. I had tears of joy and inspiration as women of all ages, sizes, and athletic abilities crossed the finish line. I knew from that day on, I wanted to be…

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involved with this event. The next year I completed my very first BSM Triathlon (at 8 weeks pregnant!). I went on to also complete the Duathlon three years later. Now I have the pleasure of training alongside our athletes and encouraging new friends to participate in this life-changing event!

My mom, Sue Williams, ran track with Barbara at Nevada Union. When Nancy Avilla asked me to join her as a Co-Director in 2016, while running on the track, I knew it was meant to be! It’s been a privilege leading our team and the event to honor Barbara, who was a very good friend to so many in our community. I look forward to continuing the legacy of our event and always holding Barbara’s memory close to my heart.

The support, encouragement, and excitement at the event is like nothing else I have ever experienced. We keep the small town feel with families and neighbors lining the streets to cheer for our athletes. Our generous sponsors are local businesses who are connected to our cause. It takes a strong community to put on an event like this and I am so thankful for our generous supporters.

As the event director, I get the pleasure of working with an incredible team. I get to keep in touch with our past members who help guide us and remind us of how our event got started. Together we are group of ladies that are passionate about encouraging women to be their own health advocates, get their yearly mammograms, and to make fitness a priority as their first line of defense against cancer.

Amy Abt

Amy Abt

PR & MEDIA RELATIONS

I have been a resident of Nevada County since 2009 and first experienced the Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon in 2012 as a spectator, cheering on my friends. Watching all the amazing female…

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participants inspired me to get back into running and in 2015 I returned to the event to run the 5k. It was an incredibly positive, uplifting experience.

In addition, my husband’s family has proudly sponsored the Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon for over 10 years. It means a great deal, in particular, to my mother in law. I am very honored to be able to serve on the committee and help further the mission of this important community event.

My educational background is in journalism, communication studies and social media for business. I am happy to be able to use my skillset to publicize the Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon and bring awareness to preventative healthcare as it pertains to breast cancer.

Lindsey Kremple

Lindsey Kremple

T-SHIRT COORDINATOR | SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE

I met Barbara in 1981, when she moved back to Grass Valley after college. She was marrying a friend of mine from high school in Southern California. Barbara and I played volleyball together…

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where we met Cathy Anderson-Meyers. When Barbara became ill we, along with some other friends, planned a triathlon in her honor. I have been fortunate enough to have participated in 11 of the 16 Celebration of Life Triathlons. I am the type of person who lacks any real discipline when it comes to exercise. If it’s not fun, I won’t do it. Every summer around July, I start my version of training for the tri, always keeping it fun! My favorite part of this event is the camaraderie of all of these different types of woman who participate. Young and old, athletic and couch potatoes, fit and out-of shape, come together for their varying reasons and share a great day.
Michelle Harris

Michelle Harris

ASSIST. DIRECTOR | VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

The Barbara Schmidt Millar Celebration of Life Triathlon gives back to the community in so many ways. It not only helps raise awareness to the advantages of early detection of breast cancer…

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it provides assistance to women in need, encourages young girls in our community pursuing careers in the medical field through it’s annual scholarships, and inspires women of all ages to live a healthier lifestyle through fitness.

As the BSMtri Assistant Director and Volunteer Coordinator, I have the profound pleasure of working with the many volunteers that generously give their time and energy to support this event. Many of these volunteers are men supporting a mother, daughter, sister, wife, or friend. The support and encouragement is beyond touching. In addition to serving on the BSMtri board, I serve on the Vestry of my church, and co-manage/own a local manufacturing facility. It is an honor to be a part of such a charitable organization that celebrates life and the community we live in!

Deborah Corrick

Deborah Corrick

ATHLETIC AWARDS COORDINATOR

I have lived in Nevada County for 16 years and I spent summers and holidays in Nevada City at my Grandparents for as long as I can remember. I never met Barbara Schmidt Millar, but I felt…

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her presence one day in January of 2015 at the Women’s Imaging Center at Sierra Nevada Hospital. I went in for a mammogram, which led to an ultrasound and a biopsy, followed a couple days later by a diagnosis of breast cancer. I am thankful to be a survivor and thankful to give back to our community through this wonderful organization which helps so many women. I got to know firsthand the program our group supports.

I compete in the Barbara Schmidt Millar Event for all the women who can’t for various reasons. Breast cancer does not define who I am and every time I run I am reminded of that.

Brook Murphy

Brook Murphy

RAFFLE COORDINATOR

I am a proud lifelong member of the Nevada County Community and have loved working and participating in the BSM Women’s Triathlon. I first became involved with this incredible event when my mother was diagnosed…

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with cancer nine years ago. Nevada County is one of a kind. As our family faced a heartbreaking diagnosis, treatments, surgeries, and finally saying goodbye to my mom, the SNMH staff, BSM Women’s Triathlon, and the people of this community were more supportive than I could have ever imagined. To participate in such an event- whether volunteering at the food table, completing the event as an athlete, or cheering from the sidelines is an honor. The women and individuals present represent cancer survivors, cancer fighters, and those who love or have lost people to cancer- and to be part of that family is something special. Cheers to another year of fighting cancer as a community!
Kimberly Parker

Kimberly Parker

SNMHF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

While Kimberly actively works on many types of Hospital projects including the recent Sierra Nevada Diagnostic Center and expansion of Sierra Nevada Cancer Center, last year the Foundation raised over $100,000 for Project Pink… 

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a campaign to further breast care in western Nevada County through the purchase of Faxitron equipment used during lumpectomies. Funding also provided blanket-warming cabinets for the comfort of our breast patients.

Professionally, Kimberly has been honored as the Fundraising Executive of the Year for Northern California. She is a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). Service minded, she is a member of Rotary, on the board for the Center of Nonprofit Leadership, and is a member of Leave A Legacy. She also serves on numerous local committees and task forces. Past service includes serving on the board of the Placer County SPCA, as president, of Volunteers of America, as vice-president on the California Consultancy for Arts Education board, as president of the Association of Professional Fundraisers board, and as a board member of the Planned Giving Forum. She is also a graduate of both the Nevada County and Sacramento County Leadership Institute Programs.

Elizabeth Dreher

Elizabeth Dreher

SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR

My first introduction to the Barbara Schmidt Millar “Celebration of Life” Women’s Triathlon was through a scholarship. The amazing women from the BSM committee awarded me their first scholarship in…

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1999. Receiving that scholarship (and the friendship that came with it) fostered a spirit of encouragement and support in me that I will continue to pass on. I’m happy to continue that tradition as the sponsorship chair of the steering committee, as well as helping with scholarships. I’m honored to serve our community through the work of the BSM.

I was born and raised in Nevada County. I feel very fortunate to be able to raise my son in the same beautiful area where my husband and I grew up. I work locally as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and love encouraging healthy habits in the community. The BSM tri has become an amazing annual challenge for me. I love the opportunity to connect with other women as we work to train and challenge ourselves in healthy directions. I thrive on the camaraderie of the group and the support that overflows on the day of the event.

Karen Schmidt Ling

Karen Schmidt Ling

BARBARA'S SISTER | SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE

I have known Barbara all my life…sharing many days, nights, laughter, tears, memories and treasured moments with her…she was my little sister! I miss her, dearly, but I am so proud…

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and amazed at how the Celebration of Life Triathlon has evolved in her memory. Barb would have been so humble and thankful to all who have been involved over the years with their countless hours of dedication and steadfast support. It has truly been a Community effort to support the health and fitness of the women of Nevada County! I’m an R.N. who has lived and worked around the World and returned to my roots in Grass Valley.
Courtney Williams

Courtney Williams

REGISTRATION COORDINATOR

As a Grass Valley native, I’m proud to support community health in my hometown. I believe this triathlon is more than just a sporting event, it is an inspiration to women of all athletic abilities to strive for healthier lifestyles…

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and achieve goals. Being part of the committee is a great way to support the event, and all the benefits it provides to the community, plus I get to work with all the other talented and fun ladies making the magic happen behind the scenes! I look forward to seeing all my fellow runners on the 5k course!
Sara Filipps

Sara Filipps

OUTREACH COORDINATOR

I am honored to serve on the steering committee for such an inspirational community event. My ultimate desire is to help continue to spread the word about this awesome event while encouraging more women…

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to become more actively involved in addressing their health needs. Nevada County has been my home since 2001 and I have fallen in love with the heart of our community. The BSM Triathlon is near and dear to my heart. I first participated 10 years ago in memory of my grandmother, mother and a dear friend that all lost their battle to cancer. Every year I keep their memory alive while biking through our beautifully forested trails, swimming in Scotts Flat Lake and running on the trails along the NID. This event is proof that it only takes a few to make a lasting impact.

The women that participate in the triathlon continue to inspire me. They support one another on many different levels while giving back to our community for generations to come. Serving the needs of our community is of utmost importance to me; the opportunities in Nevada County are endless and I encourage everyone to become more actively involved. For over 5 years, I have also involved the students and parents of Echo Ridge Christian School in Nevada City, where I serve as principal. We must lead by example and give our children multiple opportunities to serve in our community. They are indeed our future.

Know that your time, energy, sweat and tears will not be wasted while participating in this event. You will create memories that will last a lifetime and be inspired by the many courageous women that are making a difference in our community every day. I am humbled and thrilled to serve on this committee; lives are being touched as our community works hand in hand to serve others in need. What an outpouring of love!

Dawn Zydonis

Dawn Zydonis

COMMITTEE MEMBER

I first competed in the Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon in 2003.  I must say that the energizing feeling that overcomes you when you run across that finish line is beyond words! I am constantly amazed at how many people…  

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in our community support this event and volunteer their time on race day.  I did not know Barbara, but having met her family and friends I am confident that her life was a life worth celebrating. Like most other people, my life has been affected by breast cancer. I am honored, as a BSMtri Committee Member, to be able to assist with putting this event together each year. I know that this event is helping women in our community to receive the screenings and care they need to help fight breast cancer.

Meet Barbara’s Mother | Distinguished Member 

Shirley Schmidt
Shirley 615 150


Barbara was my youngest child. We moved here from the Bay Area in 1963. During WWII I was a Navy Wave Link Trainer Operator stationed at Fort Lauderdale Florida naval air station. I met my husband, Don, a naval aviator, there and we were married in 1946 and moved to Burlingame. During that time Don and I were the first married couple to graduate from San Mateo Junior College. Unfortunately Don died in 2006. I cannot believe the impact the triathlon in Barbara’s name has had in this area. Barbara would have been amazed. Barbara’s sister Karen, and my grandson Stewart Millar have been involved in the event every year since the early days.

About Our Committee

Our Committee is 100% Volunteers. These selfless women dedicate their time and energy behind the scenes to make this event possible. Through the years, the Barbara Schmidt Millar “Celebration of Life” Triathlon event has been fortunate to have passionate people who not only support the cause, but believe in the power of “all” women!

  • Volunteers 100%
  • Passionate 100%
  • Supportive 100%
  • Selfless 100%

Honorary Committee Members

Thank you for all your years of service!

Nancy Avilla

Shana Martin-Ybarrondo

Viki Brake

Brett Bentley

Evans Phelps

Jamie Zydonis

Judy DeMaranville

“Kindness, like a boomerang always returns”Thank You – you’ve made a difference in the lives of many!