Making Strides becomes area event

Locals can gear up for a national event that will now take place locally.

Breast cancer survivors and communities members are invited to participate in a kick-off event for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer this Saturday.

Making Strides is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation and unite more than 270 communities to fund the fight against breast cancer awareness, and now Lima will be hosting the annual event for the first time ever this September.

“We were looking to add more programs and Lima was selected because of breast cancer needs,” local American Cancer Society representative Jesse Purcell said. “We hold this event so people can get tons of information on how to be a team captain and fund raise.”

The kick-off event on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. at the University of Northwestern Ohio Event Center, and is to include a breakfast and speakers to educate people regarding  the upcoming event. The four speakers will talk about fundraising, survivorship and sponsorship for the big event on Sept. 22.

Purcell noted all the proceeds from the event will go back into breast cancer research and needs, and proceeds from the Lima event will be filtered back to all seven surrounding counties, including Auglaize, Allen, Mercer, Van Wert, Putnam, Hardin and Hancock.

“If you are passionate at all about breast cancer and know someone who is dealing or dealt with it, then you want to be a part of this event because it will benefit them,” Purcell said.

Fifty percent of people who are diagnosed with breast cancer seek out the American Cancer Society for help, and this event raises money to continue the funding.

Making Strides enables the American Cancer Society to provide free resources and programs to these people who are diagnosed, along with helping to fund groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat and cure breast cancer and access to mammograms for women who need them.

Approximately 201 people have been diagnosed with breast cancer this year in a seven-county radius, Purcell said. In 2011, approximately 9,000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in Ohio alone.

There is no fee to attend Saturday’s informational session, but interest people are asked to contact 1-800-227-6446 ext. 5217 to RSVP.

Local Public Relations  and Media Committee Chair Kim Klingler said that the closest Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is held in Perrysburg, and said she is excited that there is now a closer event for the community to participate in.

“With my battle with breast cancer, this is very dear to my heart,” Klingler said of the event.