Paint Palestine Pink’s Third Annual Walk and Fun Run to raise awareness of breast cancer kicks off Saturday — with proceeds providing mammograms to local residents who are in need.
The events starting at Texas Oncology, 3415 S. Loop 256 in Palestine, with participants choosing between a 1.5 mile Fun Walk or 10.5 mile Walk/Run around the loop.
“We have really vamped it up this year — we have a lot more cheer stations to welcome walkers and we are a lot more family-oriented — kid-friendly and pet-friendly,” Paint Palestine Pink co-founder and board member Gerri Simpson said previously. “We even have treats for the dogs and bandanas.”
Palestine’s sweetFrog yogurt shop characters Scoop and Cookie will be on hand as well as Ollie, the mascot for the Hot Pepper Festival. Photo booths will be set up for both the 1.5 mile Fun Walk or 10.5 mile walk/run where participants will have photo opportunities.
“Several area churches are helping out this year. We will have candy for the kids who do the 1.5 mile walk/run,” Simpson said. “Kids that are 12 and under walk free in the 1.5 mile walk/run if they come with a parent who is registered to walk.”
There are no age restrictions for the 1.5 mile Fun Walk, however, a registration fee of $25 is required for participants over 12 years and will be taken through the morning of the walk. Only participants age 12 and older will be provided a T-shirt.
Cost to participate in the 10.5 mile walk/run is $125. A registration fee of $25 is required and a minimum of $100 additional fundraising will allow the person to participate in the 10.5 mile Walk/Run. Those signed up will be given a wristband at registration the morning of the event which indicates they have registered and reached the fundraising minimum.
Registration fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and do not count toward the required fundraising minimum. Participants who register as a 10.5 mile walker or runner and not raise the minimum, will still receive a t-shirt and will be allowed to walk in the 1.5 mile Fun Walk.
The 10.5 mile walk/run around Loop 256 will start at 7:30 a.m. at Texas Oncology, 3415 S. Loop 256, Palestine and continue around the loop. The 1.5 mile fun walk will start at 8 a.m. at the same location. Registration will start at 7 a.m.
For the 10.5 mile walk/run, there is an age restriction of 16.
“It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of work for those doing the 10.5 mile walk/run,” Simpson said. “Some of the people train for several months and some go out there and do it without a lot of training but are resilient.”
Simpson said those unsure whether or not they can make the 10.5 mile walk/run should remember they will have walk stations along the way to help the walkers in case they change their mind.
“If you get two miles then you decide you can’t do it, we can pick you up and bring you back. The volunteers at the walk stations will let us know when we have a walker that needs to be picked up,” Simpson said.
The PPP organizers are encouraging the general public to come out to support the event and cheer the walkers and runners on.
“We want to encourage people to come out and be a part of the event even if they can’t walk or if they are not able to do the 10.5 mile walk/run,” Simpson said. “If you see them walking on the road, we recommend pulling over and cheering them on.”
Since starting its organization three years ago, the PPP has provided 650 diagnostic mammograms.
“Six individuals have come back with breast cancer. The women have been in stage 2 or higher. So it would not have been good if they had waited,” Simpson said. “We’ve been able to do more fund-raisers throughout the year so we have been able to extended our efforts a little more such as for sonograms and biopsies, when funding is available.”
In many cases, the organization helps not only those who have find a suspicious lump, but for those who are 40 years or older and due for a mammogram or those with a family history of breast cancer.
“All we need is a physician’s order (prescription) and a driver’s license from the person who needs the mammogram and otherwise would not be able to get it,” Simpson said to consider the scholarship application for the mammogram.
To register for the walk or to see a list of event sponsors, visit www.paintpalestinepink.org. For more information, call 903-252-6050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.