Community

Virtual 5K Run/Walk to raise funds for women’s health

Although the June 10K Run/Walk went off without a hitch, organizers of the 5K Run/Walk to benefit needs of people suffering with women’s cancers has opted for a virtual event for a second successive year.

Mary Ellen Adipietro has directed both events and said most who participate do so for a purpose. It may be to celebrate a survivor or to support someone struggling with illness or family members and friends of someone who has succumbed to cancer.

What’s significant is the ongoing effort to raise money until there is a cure. That was Ms. Adipietro’s pledge when she began leading the effort 22 years ago.

Money raised is contributed to the North Fork Breast Health Coalition, the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and Lucia’s Angels, a nonprofit that helps women with late stage women’s cancers and their families. Lucia’s Angels was created in memory of Lucia Terzi Bagan who lost her battle with cancer, but not before sharing her hope, love and support with other patients. Money is raised through the sale of tickets for a 50-50 raffle or prizes contributed by area merchants.

The money provides assistance to patients with breast, ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer. The money helps in paying rent, health insurance premiums, heating bills, dental work, therapeutic massages, ambulatory trips, transportation, vehicle repair money, gasoline gift cards, housecleaning, eyeglasses, salon services and wigs.

Tickets for either raffle can be purchased online and are $5 for a single ticket or five for $20, but they are not interchangeable between the 50-50 or prize drawings.

Advances in fighting cancer have happened, but the cure is still elusive so in this 22nd year, the race continues, albeit virtually.

Participants will begin posting their times and providing photos of their races beginning Saturday and continuing through Oct. 24.

They may choose other non-virtual races or choose their own courses to run.

“It’s disappointing” to have to hold the event virtually for a second year, Ms. Adipietro said. But her team of organizers agreed that given the ongoing COVID pandemic, it was the safest move.

“The goal is to get back to being with people,” Ms. Adipietro said.

Most past races have occurred on bright sunny October days when the true spirit of the race could be celebrated.

Besides awards to winners who completed the course in record times or others who raised the most money or put together the largest teams, there was the community barbecue at race end.

Families and friends could gather, celebrating those who have survived, offering support to those still struggling and people mourning losses.

That has always been at the center of this race.

It’s not too late to register for the race. Those who want to participate can register at https://bit.ly/3AmS3uZ and pay a $30 entry fee.