The starting line banner for this year’s annual Susan G. Komen South Florida Race for the Cure on Saturday, January 28, 2017 encouraged participants to “Be More Than Pink™.” Approximately 10,000 people donning various shades of the organization’s signature color took on the challenge by coming together at the Meyer Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL for the 26thannual event. Survivors, corporate sponsors, runners, walkers and individuals of all ages raised nearly $625,000 toward Komen achieving its Bold Goal to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50% in the next decade.
Reducing breast cancer deaths by 50% in Komen South Florida’s service area of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties equates to 150 lives saved every year. Seventy-five percent of the funds raised from the Race are dedicated towards life-saving services in the affiliate’s service area to provide education, early detection, mammograms and treatment for women and men in need. To realize Komen’s Bold Goal, significant resources are dedicated to women of African descent, as their risk of death from breast cancer is 40% higher than Caucasian women.
The remaining 25% raised from the Race will support critical research through the Susan G. Komen® Grants Program, impacting breast cancer patients locally, and around the world, especially for women suffering from the most lethal forms of the disease—another critical factor for reaching the Bold Goal.
“Every person, team and organization at the Race for the Cure showed that they are More Than Pink,” said Dayve Gabbard, executive director of Susan G. Komen South Florida. “They act, donate and get involved, and they are the reason we will reach our Bold Goal in the next ten years.”
During the most moving part of the event, the Survivor Recognition Ceremony, hundreds of women and men who have fought and won their breast cancer battles walked together through the crowd to the Meyer Amphitheatre stage in celebration as they waved pink carnations in the air and danced to “I Will Survive.” They were led by eight “Warriors in Pink,” local survivors who represent the national Ford Motor Company Warrior in Pink program and live by the credo of taking charge, living out loud, harnessing power and standing together. Also leading the survivors was Amanda Vierk, the Race’s honorary Warrior who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
National sponsors of the 2017 Race for the Cure include presenting sponsor Bank of America, American Airlines, Ford, New Balance, Self Magazine and Walgreens. Locally, FPL and South Florida Ford Dealers Association served as co-presenting sponsors. WPTV, iHeart Media, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Tropical Shipping, and University of Miami Sylvester at Deerfield Beach were also major sponsors. Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith were the sponsors of the Kids Zone, providing entertainment for the hundreds of children who attended.
The women’s 5K top finisher was 14-year old Alexandra Del Re, a freshman at Jupiter High, with a time of 18 minutes 37.75 seconds. The winner of the men’s 5K was Mitch Guirard, a 31-year-old educator from West Palm Beach with a time of 16:45.58.
About Susan G. Komen® and Komen South Florida
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Komen South Florida is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community. Through events like the Komen South Florida Race for the Cure®, Komen South Florida has invested over $11.6 million in community breast health programs in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. For more information, call 561-514-3020 or visit www.komensouthflorida.org.