Race Brings Hope to Those Dealing With Breast Cancer
by Kati O'Hare
Oct 11, 2012 | 506 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Annual Walk/Run/Cycle Event Saturday On Celebrates 20 Years of Giving Back

MONTROSE – For almost two decades, the annual One Step Closer to Help and Hope Walk and Run has benefited Western Slope people with breast cancer and the families that fight by their sides. This Saturday, hundreds will come out again to raise money for the local Bosom Buddies program, which, through the generosity of the community, has been able to expand its program and help so many.

"I can't say thank you enough to the people that support us," said Francie Smiles, president of Bosom Buddies and resource coordinator of the San Juan Cancer Center.

The walk/run/bike event starts at 9 a.m. at the Montrose Pavilion. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and is $25 for people who sign up before Saturday, and $30 the day of the event. Each participant gets a long-sleeved T-shirt – which this year is a bright pink tie-dye.

The walk is 5 kilometers around the neighborhoods of the Pavilion. Runners can choose from a 5K or a 10K course.

The cycling event starts and finishes at the Pavilion, and covering a 12K gently rolling course suitable for recreational riders, Smiles said. A map of the course will be available the day of the event ,and support will be offered by Cascade Bicycles. Riders are asked to wear a helmet.

Along with the fun run, each year the event board holds a wine tasting and silent auction. In prior years, the event has been held the Friday before the walk/run, but this year, the event was held the week before.

"I don't have a figure of what we made, but we had a great turnout," Smiles said. "We were trying something new, but people stayed longer and I thought it was a really good event."

In 2011, the silent auction and walk/run events raised almost $65,000 for Bosom Buddies.

Bosom Buddies provides emotional and financial support to people living on the Western Slope who are affected by breast cancer.

The money raised at the events goes to help children whose parents have breast cancer get emotional help, and goes towards scholarships for college.

The group provides wigs, hats and scarves to patients,and for all donated items to be cleaned and styled, Smiles said.

Over the years, Bosom Buddies has provided young underserved women with financial assistance for mammograms, ultrasounds and exams. But the group expanded that assistance to women of all ages who qualify after the county stopped its wellness program for older underserved women at Health and Human Services.

"It use to be a much smaller scale of what we could do," Smiles said. "We were a support group, but as we've grown, the giving in this community has allowed us to step up further when the need has come."

Recently, the group decided to help people needing prosthetics, who now must travel to Grand Junction, because Montrose's prosthetics provider has closed. Bosom Buddies has purchased several foam prosthetics for people waiting to be fit in Grand Junction or who can't afford it.

"We are celebrating 20 years of giving back," Smiles said.

More information on this weekend's event, as well as registration forms, can be found at www.bosombuddiesswc.org.

Kati O'Hare at kohare@watchnewspapers.com or Tweet @katiohare

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