Paint the Park Pink goes to college

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 55 views 

story and photos by Brian Sanderford

As if on queue, the sun broke through the overcast sky on a cool Saturday morning (Oct. 17) lighting up the faces of more than 1,000 walkers as they headed out on the 3rd annual Paint the Park Pink Family Fun Walk and Survivor Breakfast on the Campus of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

The benefit walk for the Ozark Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised more than $850,000 over the past ten years, said event chair Lorie Robertson.

Robertson, a cancer survivor, said 192,000 new breast cancer cases will be diagnosed this year and that 2,000 of those will be men. This year about 150 local cancer survivors taking part in the event were served breakfast before the walk. Euba Harris Winton, 86, and a 64-year cancer survivor lead the parade around the campus along with Robertson.

Jennifer Kelly a cancer survivor said the walk was not just for survivors but for co-survivors and the taken. (Link here for more information about Komen and the Ozark affiliate.)

Funds raised provide fund grants for breast health services, education and research. Approximately 70-75% of the money raised is used in the Komen Ozark service area which includes Sebastian and Crawford Counties, according to info from The Komen-Ozark Web site. The remaining portion is given out for research grants.

The promise of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, according to the Web site, is to “save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. … No person with breast cancer should be forced to spend more time fighting their way through the health care system than fighting the disease.”