Fashion Island was awash in a sea of pink last Sunday as more than 18,000 Susan G. Komen Orange County supporters, many sporting pink capes and other superhero accessories to match the theme of “There’s a HERO in YOU,” participated in the 24th Annual Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure.
One of the largest Race for the Cure events in California, the Newport Beach event raised an estimated $1.5 million towards its $2 million goal. Race participants are continuing to fundraise through October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with Oct. 31 the deadline to receive all donations.
“On Sunday we witnessed truly super-heroic efforts to help us get one step closer to a world without this terrible disease,” said Lisa Wolter, executive director of Komen Orange County. “It’s inspiring to see supporters come from all over Orange County, and beyond, to help us raise funds that are critically needed. We loved the support of so many true superheroes wearing Komen pink capes who embraced our mission of providing life-changing breast cancer treatment, education, and groundbreaking research.”
“Although we always set extremely high expectations for ourselves, this year was special and seeing all the superheroes was a tremendous reminder that you don’t need special powers to step up and be a hero – just hope, inspiration and dedication to defeat breast cancer,” said Doug McKay, 2015 race chair and the first male chair in the history of Komen Orange County’s Race for the Cure. “I believe the entire Race committee would agree with me that this year’s Race was fabulously successful.”
The Race offered events for every type of competitor. More serious runners tested the new PLUS Timing Chip option which kicked off the early 5K at 7:15 a.m. while Fashion Island was blanketed by a thin layer of fog.
Snoopy was the official starter of the second annual Kids One-Mile Fun Run and Family Walk presented by Knott’s Berry Farm, which brought families together to envision a world without breast cancer for future generations.
Along with the three races, more than 1,000 survivors gathered on the steps of Pacific Life Insurance Company (Home of the Race), to be honored during an inspirational Breast Cancer Survivor Tribute. Donning Komen pink super-hero capes and wearing strands of pink beads with each strand signifying another year of survivorship, survivors celebrated life and honored those who lost their battle to the disease. Three local breast cancer survivors and advocates shared their emotional personal journeys.
Breast cancer survivor Carla Cammack holds the title for top individual fundraiser, having raised $21,039 to-date for this year’s Race.
Komen Cures is the top fundraising team, with a current fundraising total of $24,596.
More than 1,700 volunteers from Orange County and all over the world helped at booths, water stations and on the course.
Hundreds of spectators lined the course to cheer on the race participants.
Seventy-five percent of the funds raised through Komen Orange County are invested in local breast cancer awareness and education programs, breast self-examination classes, medical and diagnostic services for uninsured and underinsured women, and other community needs through grants to community breast health organizations.
The remaining 25 percent is dedicated to the Komen Award and Research Grant Program to fund groundbreaking breast cancer research, and invest in future generations of breast cancer scientists and clinicians.
For more information on Susan G. Komen Orange County, please visit komenoc.org or call (714) 957-9157.