More than 2,000 men, women and children, along with a few costumed pets, took to Bartow streets Saturday to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer.
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Mosaic Park drew 100 breast cancer survivors and 95 walking teams who committed to donate funds raised to the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer fund.
Every shade of pink was visible as the teams gathered shortly before 9 a.m. and outfits ranged from frothy pink tutus, gem-encrusted bras, to standard running gear with pink accents. It was all about the pink. In less than an hour, most of the teams had returned to the band shell, slightly sweaty, but appearing to be exhilarated by their effort.
The day started about 8 a.m. when about 100 survivors gathered in a special tent to be treated to breakfast provided by Fred’s Country Kitchen Restaurant in Bartow.
According to ACS spokesman Janice Perkins, the county-wide walk was targeting more than $125,000 in donations as a result of Saturday’s walk.
“We’re hoping to top last year’s Polk County donation of $120,000,” she said. “This is the only walk in Polk County, and is the second time we’ve held it in Bartow.”
The total amount of donations collected won’t be complete until December when the fund-raising effort concludes, Perkins explained.
Door prizes featuring glittering pink stones and ribbon designs were donated by Spath Jewelers and Pepperidge Farm supplied snacks for the runners and walkers. Perkins also said the Walmart Distribution Center had contributed to the event.
“Most of theirs was giving volunteers time to work on the organization committee,” Perkins said.
“This is all about the survivors,” Perkins said. “We were so happy to have so many of them come out.”