October 31, 2005

Hundreds Walk For Cancer Help

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The Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance held its 12th annual walkathon Saturday. The walkathon is the IBCA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Participants met in the Commons at 1:00 p.m. and walked a two-mile loop from the commons onto Tioga Street and Cayuga Street; they ended back downtown an hour later for a rally at the Women’s Community Building, where the IBCA is located.

“The Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance helps anyone who is affected by breast cancer. We give counseling to family members of patients, and many of our clients are students. We provide assistance to anyone who calls seeking help,” said Peggy McKee, the outreach and events coordinator of the IBCA.

According to McKee, the event turned out approximately 800 people and raised between $50,000 and $60,000, an amount consistent with past years. The money raised by the walkathon goes directly to the IBCA, which does not charge clients for any services available to them.

Community members and many organized groups came out to support the efforts. The Ithaca College baseball team helped set up the event; I.C.’s crew and Cornell’s men’s lacrosse teams also participated.

Other participants included Rich Dolge of Tompkins Trust Company, the official sponsor of the 2005 walkathon, Mayor Carolyn Peterson and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125th). Casey Stevens of WHCU radio was the emcee for the registration hour.

Troy Turri ’08 of the lacrosse team said that, along with this walk, the team participates in other community events such as Big Red Readers, in which they read to elementary-aged children.

“A significant part of our team is interaction with the community,” he said.

Participants were given the opportunity to walk in honor of a specific person; the Lanning family is among the many that continued their yearly tradition of marching for family members afflicted with the disease.

“There seems to be fewer people this year; it’s less crowded,” one of the group members said. The family brings 10-12 members each year to the walkathon.

Allison Knoth, a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, also helped to organize the walkathon. She stressed the importance of students becoming aware of the IBCA.

“Becoming involved is important,” she said. “The IBCA is a local organization that does all of its work around Tompkins County, and it is a great way for students to become involved in the community.”

Other people involved in the IBCA echoed Knoth’s sentiments.

“We would love for students to help the IBCA by volunteering at events such as the walkathon or in the office,” McKee said.

Experience is necessary, however, for the counseling positions.

Archived article by Sarah Singer
Sun Staff Writer