For the 27th year in a row, Manchester, Vermont will be hosting a Susan G. Komen Foundation event in order to raise awareness and donations to combat breast cancer. What once used to be the Race for the Cure is now the 2019 Komen Vermont MORE THAN PINK Walk™, an event that is no longer a timed race, but rather a family-friendly community walk.
What is Susan G. Komen New England?
Susan G. Komen New England is an affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, whose mission is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment. Komen New England represents six states– Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island. Any event and its net proceeds from fundraising in any of these states is used to support fiscal year grant awards. 75% of the net proceeds from an event stays local, while 25% goes to the national Komen organization for research programs. Events hosted by the affiliate in Vermont include the MORE THAN PINK Walk™; the Vermont Ride for the Cure in October, a horseback trail ride now in its 10th year; and the Snowshoe for the Cure in January, newly scheduled for the Grafton Outdoor Center.
What is the MORE THAN PINK Walk™ 2019?
The MORE THAN PINK Walk™ 2019 will be held at Riley Rink at Hunter Park in Manchester, VT on July 20th, 2019. This walk seeks to energize the community while increasing the public’s connection to Komen’s work, not only through awareness, but by doing more for those living with breast cancer, including Metastatic cancer. Its goals are to bring people together to raise money to help fund research for cures, provide care for survivors and those living with Metastatic breast cancer, save lives through community work, and to take action against this awful disease.
The event itself is no longer a timed run or walk, but instead will be an untimed, unofficial 2.5-mile out and back to Riley Rink at Hunter Park. To start, an opening ceremony will be held with a Pathway of Hope Procession for registered Survivors and those living with Metastatic Breast Cancer will take place to kick off the walk. The course will go from Riley Rink along the soccer field through the wooded connector path to the Manchester Rec Center’s walking track, where one lap of the track (or two, if you choose!) will be completed, after which participants will return to Riley Rink. Support from the four-legged community is also welcomed, as leashed dogs will be permitted on the walk (although not inside the Rink itself). An obstacle course for kids will be set up on the soccer field, and there will be water stations as well as food provided by The Works (bagels), fruit courtesy of Black River Produce, and the local Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop.
There will also be color-coded tents with activities and information set up outside Riley Rink, each representing a different pillar of the MORE THAN PINK Walk™. In the purple tent for research, there will be microscopes set up with slides to compare healthy versus cancerous cells; in the green tent for care, there will be a Labyrinth game, which will exhibit a very relevant representation of what it’s like to navigate your health care with a breast cancer diagnosis both with and without a breast care navigator to assist you; in the blue tent for community, there will be maps showing other activities supporting Susan G. Komen in Vermont and New Hampshire; and in the orange tent for action and advocacy, there will be an opportunity to learn about new national legislation that Komen is supporting. There will also be a remembrance tent this year, which will be a reflective space to remember lost loved ones and honor those in the midst of their diagnosis. After visiting each tent, participants will collect color-coded bands to add to the Mission Mosaic, which is a representation of the solidarity, education, and support from the local community.
A silent auction will take place at the walk as well, with wide support from local businesses including the Northshire Bookstore, Bromley, Orvis, Pet Etc., Stewart’s, Chandler Four Corners, and more. Each participant will have the opportunity to choose to bid on items, with the chance to win a variety of products and gift certificates.
How do we, the community, become a part of this?
Individuals and businesses alike, of Manchester, the mountains, and truly throughout the state, have been extremely supportive of Komen’s events for the past almost thirty years. Besides registering to be a participant in the walk, Komen always needs volunteers and donations! Every little contribution you can afford to make helps. Interested in volunteering? Help set up on Friday, July 19th or assist on Event Day on July 20th. Please call 802-362-2733 or email Linda Maness for more information.
The more community support for this event the better! Whether it’s yourself, a family member, or a friend, everybody knows somebody who has been affected by breast cancer in some way. By participating in the 2019 Komen Vermont MORE THAN PINK Walk™, we as a community can celebrate coming together to work as hard as possible to put an end to this disease.
Special thanks to Linda Maness, Development Coordinator of Special Events
at Komen New England for her contribution to this blog post.