The annual Jones Beach Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk took place on Sunday, October 21, with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance at the 20th noncompetitive five-mile walk.
Among these 50,000 people was a group of LIU Post students who had taken their time to sign up with the Association for Campus Programming (ACP) early Sunday morning. Even after a weekend full of Homecoming celebrations, many students were determined to wake up and show their support. They also got free breakfast in Hillwood before leaving campus on an LIU bus.
Kristen Grant, a Cancer Society spokeswoman, told Newsday this past Sunday that this year’s five mile awareness walk raised about $3.5 million for research and support services, further proof that raising awareness also helps raise money.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the American Cancer Society’s series of walking events nationwide to support research, honor survivors and raise money to help the fight against cancer. It started in 1984 with Margery Gould Rath, who worked with other survivors and volunteers to create a “walk-a-thon” to encourage and to raise money towards the battle against breast cancer.
The organization has three purposes in hosting the walk. They walk to show passion, power and purpose. On a beautiful, sunny day like this past Sunday, these three purposes were very much alive, and the supportive atmosphere was ecstatic.
No other day of the year is Jones Beach dressed in as much pink as it was on this day. At a fence at the end of the first two and a half miles of the walk, many people posted pictures and encouraging words of and for loved ones who they were walking for. Other participants were survivors themselves, which was evidenced by the pink survivor shirts that they were wearing. However, people were not only walking, but also celebrating the survivors and the supportive spirit. A child rock-band, a disc jockey and Zumba instructors all contributed on an elevated stage. Others offered information about breast cancer alongside coffee or bagels. Pink hair extensions and temporary tattoos were also offered in some of the tents.
Gine Soerboe, a junior chemistry major, explained how she feels about the walks, considering that one of her family members is a survivor. “I think it’s great that they are raising awareness. But I think there are other types of cancer that need attention as well.” She attended the Jones Beach breast cancer awareness walk last year. “I thought it was amazing to see how supportive people are, and I would love to attend it again. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time this year.” She said she especially honored and respected everyone in a survivor shirt, and she felt proud for them walking for awareness.
If you missed out this year, you will get a new chance next year. The walk is an annual event, and everyone can and should attend. LIU Post clubs arrange transportation to and from the event every year.