Women's Charity Events

Pacific Northwest steps out for women’s cancer charities

By Sarah Wyatt

They don whimsical costumes and a sign letting everyone know who they are: Chemosabes.

Amy McGraw, a Seattle elementary school teacher said the Chemosabes are her recruits of family and colleagues who participate with her in the annual Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day for the Cure walk in Seattle to celebrate with breast cancer survivors, remember loved ones who have died and raise funds for breast cancer research.

McGraw, a two-time breast cancer survivor, said the energy at the mid-September event each year is positive and invigorating.

“Challenges are part of life. Sometimes we choose to challenge ourselves and other times challenges are thrust upon us,” said McGraw. “The 3-Day is a good challenge and makes me feel strong and incredibly grateful to be part of the experience.”

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The purple gang lines up at last year’s Walk for Hope, scheduled for Oct. 2 this year at Magnuson Park. Carolyn Price Photo

Although the number of anticipated participants for this year’s walk Sept. 16 –18 has not been finalized, last year’s event drew about 2,250 walkers, said Chase Wagner, a spokeswoman for Susan G. Komen. The local event raised about $6 million dollars in 2010, and Wagner hopes for even greater success this year.

Other Pacific Northwest outdoor events support a variety of women’s cancer causes. Seattle attorney Kristin Peterson, a 16-year ovarian cancer survivor, participates in the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer, most recently on Mount Baker.

The climbs, held at several mountains locally and internationally, support breast cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Peterson, who first took a Mountaineers climbing course two years ago, learned about the events from a friend who also participates in the Climb.

“I felt that it was a great opportunity for me to give back to the community, raise awareness of cancer and put my mountaineering skills to use,” Peterson said. “The hardest part for me was developing my personal (online fundraising) page acknowledging that I had cancer because only my closest friends and family knew.

“But I reached out to my friends and colleagues and they immediately responded with support and good wishes. My family, who was amazing during my treatment, continued to support me with this endeavor.”

Amy McGraw plans to hold an ice cream and bingo fundraising party before the Susan G. Komen walk. She hopes to raise enough money to cover registrations for herself and her two sons.

“The event is like a milestone for me each year,” said McGraw. “I have learned to never take my health for granted, each year is a blessing.”

Upcoming Events

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Cancer Survivor Beverly Gunkel. Photos courtesy of Susan G. Komen Foundation

Sept. 11: Iron Girl Seattle, Seattle, 10k and 5k race around Seattle’s Green Lake. Mother/Daughter teams may be formed; age group awards; breakfast for all included with entry fee. Fundraising may be done on an individual basis and donated to the charity of your choice. www.irongirl.com/Events/Seattle

Sept. 16 –18: Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, Seattle; 3-day, 60-mile walk, benefits Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, training and fundraising assistance available upon registration; $2,300 fundraising minimum plus $90 registration fee. www.the3day.org

Sept. 17: Run for the Cure, Idaho Falls, Idaho; 5K run/walk benefits the Eastern Idaho Falls Pink Ribbon Campaign; starts and finishes in Freeman Park, music, entertainment, and raffle; $25 registration fee.

Sept. 18: Row for the Cure, Seattle; takes place on Lake Union, regatta benefits the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; $200 fundraising minimum; www.rowforthecure.com/seattle

Sept. 18: Race for the Cure, Portland; 20th annual 5K run/walk benefits the Oregon and Southwest Washington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, $35 registration fee and additional donations accepted. http://race.komenoregon.org/site/

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Walk for Hope ‘boxers’ at last year’s event. Carolyn Price Photo

Oct. 2: Seattle Walk for Hope, Seattle; 5K fun run/walk benefits research of women’s cancers at City of Hope; family oriented, pet-friendly event. Participants will enjoy refreshments, sample products and live music. Survivors will receive special treatment in the Survivor Pavilion; $30 registration fee and additional donations accepted; Magnuson Park, check in at 8 a.m., event starts at 10 a.m., 2,200 last year. http://nationalevents.cityofhope.org /site/PageNavigator/walk_landing

Oct. 2: Row for the Cure, Portland; takes place on the Willamette River, benefits the Oregon and Southwest Washington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; $200 fundraising minimum; www.rowforthecure.com/portland

Oct. 1: Project Athena Seattle, 5k, 10k, Kidz 1k, Marymoor Park, Redmond, Wash. Benefits Project Athena that gives back 100 percent of entry fees to support local cancer survivors and on a national level by providing grants that help women live adventure-dreams. No entry fee for cancer survivors. www.projectathena.org/seattle

Winter 2012: Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series, a 3k or 5k snowshoe walk or 3k snowshoe race; Washington and Oregon. Money raised goes to programs to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. http://tubbsromptostomp.com/

Ongoing: Climb to Fight Breast Cancer; various mountain locations; worldwide mountain climbs benefit breast cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; registration fees vary; www.fhcrc.org/about/ne/events/climb

2012 Events

(NOTE: 2011 dates are listed below)

June 5: Race for the Cure, Seattle; benefits the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; $30 registration fee for chip-timed 5K run and additional donations accepted; www.komenpugetsound.org

July 24: SummeRun & Walk for Ovarian Cancer, Seattle; 5K run/walk benefits the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research; $25 registration fee and additional donations accepted; www.summerun.org

Aug. 14: Danskin Triathlon, Seattle; benefits The Breast Cancer Research Foundation; half-mile swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run; registration fee is $105 plus USAT $10 membership fee; www.danskintriathlon.net

Sept. 3: 8th Annual Celebrating Life! Dragon Boat Festival, Stan Sayers Park, Seattle. Benefits Team Survivor Northwest (TSNW), a not-for-profit organization supporting women in their cancer recovery through empowering programs of physical activity and health education. www.seattledragonboat

Sept. 3–4: Sunriver Marathon for Cause, Sunriver, Ore. Participate in a full, half marathon and family 5k fun/run/ walk. There will be a variety of activities throughout the resort, including a VIP finisher’s tent and a vendor expo. www.sunriver-resort.com/race

Sept. 4: Eugene Women’s Half Marathon; Eugene, Ore; benefits the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and Southwest Washington; starts downtown and runs along 10 miles of river trails and finishes at the 5th Street Market. www.eugenewomenshalf.com

Sarah Wyatt is the Calendar Editor for Outdoors NW.