The race, which will be held Saturday, April 21, is Komen’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it provides the funds necessary to improve early detection and support advanced treatments.
In preparation for the race, Komen staff have been reflecting on the many individuals and groups that make the event a success, including volunteers, sponsors, participants, teams and board members.
Each year, race committee members donate their time before and on race day to make the event go smoothly. On the day of the event, they are out before dawn with volunteers making sure everything is ready to go when the starting gun goes off.
Although some of the faces have changed over the years, the dedication of those who volunteer is undeniable. Girl and Boy Scout troops, cheerleaders, church and civic groups and many other individuals help make the event possible.
Many race sponsors have been on board since the first Pink Ribbon Run 13 years ago, while others have joined more recently. All have helped make the Tri-Cities race a success, whether by monetary donations, in-kind donations or even with volunteers.
Food City is one of the sponsors that has been on board since the beginning.
“We certainly look forward to sponsoring another successful Race for the Cure,” said Steven C. Smith, president/CEO of Food City. “Our company and our associates are proud to continue our support of Susan G. Komen and this very worthy cause.”
Race participants have run in the cold, hot or even in the rain, but they faithfully show up each year with enthusiasm and tremendous spirit.
Whether it’s to celebrate survivors, such as 13-year survivor Precious Hodge or one-year survivor Jequita Moore, or remember those who have lost their battle, race participants make the day a party. It is the survivors, fighters and their friends and family who make the event what it is.
One of this year’s teams, called Schmidt Happens, was started by Megan Schmidt. She participated in her first race while living in St. Louis in 2008.
“I never knew that one day I would have a team of my own, but that is cancer,” Schmidt said. “It comes when it wants and to whom it wants without any reason. I am committed to fighting this horrible disease and will walk as long as I am able to help the fight and represent those who can’t fight any longer.”
Betty DeVinney, one of the founding board members, reflected a couple of years ago on the beginning of Susan G. Komen’s Tri-Cities affiliate.
Thirteen years later, Komen East TN is still active in the Tri-Cities, working to fulfill the needs of men and women throughout the community.
“Those major needs included education (too many women were coming to the hospitals too late) and financial assistance with mammograms,” DeVinney said. “Other needs included financial assistance from transportation to child care.”
How can you get involved?
To register for the race, volunteer, donate or get more information, visit www.KomenEastTN.org or call (423) 765-9313.