By Megan Rule | Staff Writer
This year marks the 16th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which will kick off at 6:30 a.m. Oct. 22 at Heritage Square in Waco.
“We aren’t focused on running. Ours is a celebration of life and the men and women in our communities that have gone through something pretty terrible and come through to the other side,” said Mindy Weihrich, development and outreach coordinator with the Susan G. Komen East Central Texas foundation.
An exciting component of Race for the Cure is the survivor parade that kicks off the race. The Susan G. Komen foundation provides a breakfast for breast cancer survivors who are participating in the race and then leads the survivors out of the tent with drum lines and a color guard from the local fire department. When the gun goes off, the survivors are the first to start the race.
“It’s a moment to appreciate everything that they’ve gone through,” Weihrich said. “It’s their day to not be the only one they know with breast cancer.”
Race for the Cure proceeds are fully allocated to their mission, and the race series is the world’s largest and most successful breast cancer awareness event. Seventy-five percent of the net income stays in the community in which the race is held, and 25 percent of the net income supports the Susan G. Komen Grants Program, according to the Susan G. Komen website.
“The event raises significant funds and awareness for the breast cancer movement, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease,” the website says.
A volunteer recruitment meeting was held Thursday night at the Susan G. Komen office on Herring Avenue. The meeting was a casual way for potential volunteers to let the foundation know they were interested in helping. Weihrich said there is no reason for someone not to be involved just because they didn’t attend the meeting.
“If you have 15 minutes to stop by the office or give them a call, that’s all it takes to get involved,” Weihrich said.
There is no limit on the number of volunteers needed, as the Susan G. Komen foundation will take as many as the community wants to provide. Some areas where help is needed include setup, the educational tent, cleanup, the kid’s area and registration assistance.
“Being close to someone who has survived and running this race with them makes the Race for the Cure all the more inspiring,” said Fort Collins, Colo., sophomore Eva Morrison. “Seeing so many individuals come together and unite for such a heartfelt cause both to celebrate survivors and honor those who lost the fight is truly a meaningful experience.”
Recently, the organization has gone through a merger and become Susan G. Komen East Central Texas as opposed to Komen Central Texas. Weihrich said this year could be more important than previous years for Race for the Cure because they have added several counties to their coverage, so there are more people for the organization to reach out to. The goal of the organization, moving forward, is to reach out more and get events in other cities.
Over the course of the next month, there are a number of fundraisers held at local restaurants such as BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse and McAlister’s. The packet pickup and registration will take place the day before RFTC. After the race, there will be a profit share on Oct. 27.
A full calendar of events can be found at raceforthecure.org.
“This is our way of saying that we’re new, we’re back and we’re re-energized,” Weihrich said. “We are looking to add another event kind of like [the] race but more along the lines of what the community is in need of. The more we learn about the community, the more we are able to produce something for the community.”
People interested in volunteering can visit the Susan G. Komen office at 3000 Herring Ave., #4E, or can call 254-753-3037.