October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Breast Cancer Association will run for awareness and a cure.
The nonprofit organization is holding the Pink Ribbon Run and Walk to promote its motto: early detection is the best prevention.
The ninth annual event, scheduled for Oct. 18, will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Lake Olmstead.
Reba Sarkar, president of the association's local chapter, hopes the message will reach young people.
"We encourage school kids and college kids to come," she said. "The reason is we want them to be informed way ahead of time so (prevention and early detection measures) can be a part of their health. As they grow up, especially the women, will know they have to take care of their health, and one part of that is breast self-exams, yearly doctor visits and a mammogram because that saves a lot of lives."
Participants can chose from a 5-kilometer run or walk. People who cannot walk the five kilometers, which equals 3.1 miles, are invited to join the 1-mile walk/run, Sarkar said. The entry fee for all events costs $12 until Oct. 10 and $12 after that. Children under 10 can register for $10.
The first 100 people registered will receive a free T-shirt and all participants will be served breakfast from Publix. Papa John's Pizza and Blimpie Subs and Salads will supply lunch.
"It is a complete morning of fun for the whole family," Sarkar said of the event which will include live music, raffles, door prizes and trophies.
All proceeds from the event will go to the association's free mammogram program, which provides mammograms to anyone without insurance or who is unable to afford the test.
"If you think you need a mammogram, even as a baseline, you don't have to wait for 40 or for your doctor or insurance to pay," Sarkar said. "If you cannot afford one, we are here for that. Even the last penny we raise, we will give it away for mammograms. That is the whole purpose - prevention - until they find a cure."
The association, run completely by volunteers, began nine years ago with a group of breast cancer survivors and people who care about women's health, Sarkar said. The group is always in search of new volunteers.
"We want to teach people in a fun way - not to scare them - about awareness and to take care of yourself and enjoy life," Sarkar said. "If you come and walk or run, you'll take back with you a memory you will not forget."
Registration forms for the event are available at Georgia Bank and Trust and SouthTrust Bank locations and Cory Everson's Fitness for Women on Washington Road in Martinez.
For more information or to obtain a registration form, call Sarkar at 228-4499.
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