By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
With more people than ever participating in the recent 'Paint Da Streets Pink', organisers are calling this year's breast cancer awareness event their best yet.
Under the theme "The Road to Pink Month", the 2017 walkathon was hosted by the Rotaract Club of South East Nassau Centennial (RSENC).
"There were persons appearing for race day registration adding to the almost 200 participants who pre-registered. This year's turnout was, by good measure, our largest turnout since our event's inception. The event well surpassed our expectations in terms of both participation and funds raised," said Tanishka Parker, RSENC fundraising director.
Speaking about this year's beneficiary, the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, Ms Parker said during the planning and execution of the fun run/walk, members of the RSENC and Sister Sister developed relationships that are sure to be long-lasting.
"This made it even more important to us, actually somewhat personal, that we make a monetary donation that would continue to help them and other women fight this deadly disease. Also, the overall feedback thus far has been quite positive. Persons spoke most of how fun the event was for them as individuals as well as part of a corporate or fitness team. This is encouraging feedback, because our vision for the event is to raise breast cancer awareness and promote fitness and wellness in a way that is both fun and motivating," said Ms Parker.
Highlights of this year's Paint Da Streets Pink event included on-site vendors such as SunTee, Jemi Wellness, Studio Ohana, New Life Cell and Vegetation and Powerade; breakfast bars donated by the D'Albenas Agency; fun surprises along the route to Goodman's Bay, as well as prizes for top finishers. Participants also had the opportunity to take part in a raffle.
"The participants were also definitely the highlight of the event. Women, men and children were up for before the sun with enthusiasm and energy, wearing lots of pink. Breast cancer survivors came out in droves and we were extremely grateful to have them," said Ms Parker.
"The water stations were a hit as well. With water and encouraging posters at each, many said it gave them the hydration and motivation they needed to complete the almost five-mile route. Of course, our beneficiary, Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, had a booth to share information about their organisation as well as to promote the sale of paraphernalia in aide of its members."
Later this month, the RSENC will present free mammograms and mammogram discount coupons to the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, along with a portion of the proceeds from the event. The group will also continue its social media campaign to raise awareness of the disease and encourage early screening and treatment.
Moreover, as October features World Hunger Day and World Polio Day, readers are encouraged to follow RSENC's Facebook page to learn how to support those initiatives as well. The 2018 events will kick-off in March with World Rotaract Week. A champagne reception in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Rotaract will take place next May.