Northeast Times

Getting ready to race

Can­cer sur­viv­or Di­ane Miller talks with Ko­men CEO Elaine Grob­man, CTCA di­eti­tian Nhu Huynh and CTCA ex­ec­ut­ive chef Larry Kes­sel at the event. JENNY SWI­GODA / TIMES PHOTO

Rally com­bines good food and ca­marader­ie in pre­par­a­tion of Ko­men’s an­nu­al fund-raiser to com­bat breast can­cer.

Start­Frag­ment

The 22nd an­nu­al Susan G. Ko­men Phil­adelphia Race for the Cure is a few months away, but the plan­ning is well un­der way.

Key sup­port­ers of the na­tion’s largest private fun­der of the fight against breast can­cer re­cently gathered at one of Ko­men’s prom­in­ent spon­sors, Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­ters of Amer­ica.

About 100 team cap­tains and mem­bers got to­geth­er re­cently at CTCA, at 1331 E. Wyom­ing Ave., for a “Rally of Cham­pi­ons.”

“We’re try­ing to cre­ate ex­cite­ment and get people on board,” said Heath­er Greaves, a “loy­alty spe­cial­ist” in CTCA’s mar­ket­ing de­part­ment and cap­tain of the can­cer cen­ter’s team.

CTCA is the Ko­men Phil­adelphia af­fil­i­ate’s Cham­pi­on Spon­sor of the Prom­ise. This is the third year that the can­cer cen­ter has been prom­in­ently in­volved in the char­ity event.

Each year, on Moth­er’s Day, there is a 5K run/walk to be­ne­fit the fight against breast can­cer. Activ­it­ies take place at Eakins Oval and out­side the Phil­adelphia Mu­seum of Art.

This year, 125,000 or so people will gath­er on Sunday morn­ing, May 13.

“It’s such a fun event at such a cool spot,” Greaves said.

As part of the work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Ko­men, CTCA sup­plies money and race-day vo­lun­teers, along with year-round pro­grams re­lated to breast can­cer.

“Each year, they be­come more and more in­volved with Susan G. Ko­men in the com­munity,” said Elaine Grob­man, the CEO of Ko­men’s Phil­adelphia af­fil­i­ate. “Whatever idea we sug­gest, it’s a yes. I don’t have to knock on their door.”

CTCA had 136 em­ploy­ees, fam­ily mem­bers and friends at last year’s Ko­men event. There were even two pa­tients, along with Joey the dog. The goal this year is 150.

Team cap­tains ad­here to com­mand­ments, and Greaves has been as­signed, “Thou Shall Not For­get Pink Pom-Poms.”

The can­cer cen­ter en­lists all em­ploy­ees to provide “care that nev­er quits.” The cen­ter of­fers heal­ing and hope to pa­tients and their fam­il­ies at its fa­cil­ity and on race day.

Vis­it­ors to CTCA’s “Cap­tur­ing Hope” edu­ca­tion­al tent will be able to get their pic­tures taken with pink boas and hats.

“That hope piece is very, very im­port­ant to us,” said mar­ket­ing dir­ect­or John Good­child.

As in past years, there will be singing, dan­cing, clowns and some 6,000 breast can­cer sur­viv­ors walk­ing down the art mu­seum steps.

“It’s a hap­pen­ing,” Grob­man said.

In all, there are 1,014 teams across the 15 counties served by the Phil­adelphia af­fil­i­ate. The biggest is the throng of 580 rep­res­ent­ing Ein­stein Med­ic­al Cen­ter.

This year, for the first time, there will be a Kids Dash to Make a Dif­fer­ence, open to chil­dren ages 3 to 12.

Dur­ing the re­cent rally, team cap­tains shared fund-rais­ing tech­niques. Money goes to re­search, mam­mo­grams and early-de­tec­tion ef­forts.

The event fea­tured CBS 3 news re­port­er Stephanie Stahl and a health­ful-cook­ing demon­stra­tion from CTCA ex­ec­ut­ive chef Larry Kes­sel and re­gistered di­eti­tian Nhu Huyhn.

Ko­men of­fi­cials hope mo­mentum con­tin­ues to grow up to May 13.

“We need every­one to win this fight against breast can­cer,” Grob­man said. “We hope this is our biggest and best and most won­der­ful event ever.” ••

To re­gister or for more in­form­a­tion, go to ko­men­phil­adelphia.org 

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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