"The July 7 eighth annual Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure was a huge success," per Race Chair Christie Jelinski. Of over 2,150 participants, 528 finished the 5K Run. Others walked one mile, five kilometers or cheered everyone else. Over $80,000 was raised. Seventy-five percent of net funds remain in Crow Wing and Cass Counties for grants promoting breast health. The remaining twenty five percent goes directly to the Komen Research and Awards Programs.
Forestview Middle School's compact arena allowed participants to go directly from the finish to enjoy many special give-aways and refreshments by national and local sponsors. A record number of breast cancer survivors (120) gathered at the start for an emotional group photo followed by release of doves (aka homing pigeons) which circled the crowd before heading home.
Sixty-one teams contributed a majority of the entrants with Crosby Campus Cruisers the largest at 173. Next were Sal's Team Hope and Team BAHA at 55 each. Honorary chair Terry McCollough, publisher, Brainerd Dispatch, started the 5K runners. Lisa Slepica, Crosby, honorary survivor chair, started the walkers. Five kilometer run winners were Justin Grunewald, Merrifield, 15:59, and Gabrielle Anderson, Perham, 18:07. Team winners were Mixed Team: No Cancer Prancers; Women: Pillager Butterflies; Men: Pillager Dragonflies.
Premiums are awarded for donations at various levels submitted online or by mail by August 1. Additional information about the event or the local Brainerd Lakes Affiliate is available at www.komenbrainerdlakes.org.
Since Susan G. Komen for the Cure was founded 25 years ago, the organization has contributed over $1 billion towards finding the cures for breast cancer. Much progress has been made; much is still needed. This community should be proud of its support and efforts toward a world free of breast cancer.
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