By CHERIL VERNON
Paint Palestine Pink will be painting the loop pink during its second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk around Loop 256 on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The 10.5 mile and 1.5 mile fun walks are back by popular demand. New this year is a 10.5 mile fun run.
The 10.5 mile events will travel around Loop 256. Cheer stations and rest stops will greet participants and offer them snacks and drinks.
“We included a run this year so we can get more people involved. We still need runners and walkers,” Paint Palestine Pink board of director Gerri Simpson told the Herald-Press this week. “We had close to 268 walkers last year and I want to exceed that this year.”
Proceeds from the Paint Palestine Pink events provide mammograms to women and men who are uninsured or underinsured in Anderson County or immediate surrounding areas.
“For each walker that does the 10.5 mile walk or run, it pays for one mammogram,” Simpson said. “So, the more people who do that, the more mammograms we can give.”
Since the non-profit organization was founded in August 2010, PPP has provided more than 200 screenings, diagnosing five with breast cancer.
“All five were in stage 2 or higher, it was very fortunate that they got diagnosed as soon as they did so they could start getting treatment,” Simpson said. “If they would have waited too long, it could have been fatal.”
The starting line will be at Texas Oncology, 3415 S. Loop 256, in Palestine. On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m. with the 10.5 mile run starting at 7:30 a.m. and the 10.5 mile walk starting at 8 a.m. The 1.5 mile fun walk will start at 8:30 a.m.
Participants age 16 and up raising a minimum of $100 may participate in the 10.5 mile events around Loop 256 in Palestine. All other walkers may participate in the fun walk ($25 registration fee).
Breast cancer survivors who are participating in the runs and/or walk will be recognized and get a pink t-shirt instead of white.
“We have a special goody bag just to honor them,” Simpson said. “Cancer survivors who can’t walk in the event are encouraged to still come out and help cheer from the starting line. We’ve had some people come out more and more because we are becoming a breast cancer community — people who have formed friendships over the years as the event has gotten bigger.”
All money raised by Paint Palestine Pink is used locally, strictly to benefit residents of Anderson County and immediate surrounding areas only.
“We are donations only, the board of directors are volunteers, there are no paid employees. All the money stays here. It does not go to any cancer research organization,” Simpson said.
Paint Palestine Pink is run by a board of directors (founders Simpson, Tara Kinabrew and Kevin Watts) and community volunteers.
Registration will continue through Oct. 13. To print out the registration form, go to the registration form page on the Paint Palestine Pink website at www.paintpalestinepink.org.
“We will have a sweeper van following the walkers and runners so if they can’t finish, that won’t be a problem,” Simpson said. “We will stay until the last walker or runner comes in.”
Fund-raising and walking tips are available on the Paint Palestine Pink website (www.paintpalestinepink.org).
Portable toilets sponsor spots are still available. This sponsorship allows a company/individual to decorate a designated portable toilet in any fashion and will be judged for a prize. To be a sponsor for this event contact Simpson at Encompass Home Health.
Cheer and rest-stop sponsors so far include: Lowes of Palestine, Sterling Assisted Living Community, Wal-Mart Warehouse Palestine, Wal-Mart Store Palestine, Wal-Mart Transportation No. 6836, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Neighborhood 4-H, Cornerstone Worship Center, Broyles Chapel Harmony 4-H, Cayuga 4-H, Grace DME, Old Cayuga 4-H, Greenbrier Nursing & Rehab, Elkhart Independent School District cheerleaders, Petals, Dr. Falconer and staff; and Sherry Wages/First Christian Church.
STS Recycling will have a container at the Paint Palestine Pink event — taking electronic items that can be recycled. Proceeds will go to Paint Palestine Pink.
“They can recycle just about anything that can be plugged in except for microwaves or the old regular console TVs,” Simpson said. “They can take flat screens or anything electronic that has a plug like old vacuums.”
For more information about the Paint Palestine Pink events, call 903-723-3991 and ask for Kristi or Gerri or call 903-922-9623, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For event updates check out Paint Palestine Pink on Facebook.”
Some other groups also are planning related breast-cancer awareness events this month and giving proceeds to Paint Palestine Pink — including Cayuga Assembly of God and Magnolia Medical Plaza.
Here is a list of events that are planned to benefit Paint Palestine Pink:
• Magnolia Medical Plaza will hold a large bake sale starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15 in the lobby, located at 3201 S. Loop 256 in Palestine.
• Cayuga Assembly of God will host a Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Bring a large family-sized entree to share. The church will provide beverages and desserts. Donations will go toward Paint Palestine Pink. Vendor spaces are available for $12, which goes toward Paint Palestine Pink as well. A door prize item is asked to be donated by each vendor. There are currently 50 door prizes and many free table gifts. For more information, call Tammy Camp at 334-662-9830. The church is located on U.S. 287 North in Cayuga.