Breast cancer survivors and supporters should expect a new twist on the signature Susan G. Komen fundraiser — but don’t worry, there will still be plenty of pink.
The More Than Pink Walk, formerly known as Race for the Cure, will debut its new format on Sunday at Baxter Arena.
The event will emphasize where fundraising dollars are spent, said Karen Daneu, CEO of Susan G. Komen Great Plains.
The event shifts focus from the walk portion of the event and instead highlights activities inside the arena designed to showcase Komen’s core values: research, care, community and action.
Instead of offering a timed run, like past Race for the Cure events, the event will have a 1.25-mile walk following the arena activities.
“We don’t care if it’s cold or hot or rainy or sleeting,” Daneu said. “Everything is really going to happen inside the arena. At the end of the day, we hope that everybody who participates understands what Komen is doing with their donations.”
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Omaha’s More Than Pink Walk is one of more than 60 of the events held nationally, Daneu said. This year, affiliates of Susan G. Komen had the option of switching to More Than Pink, and Omaha opted in.
Tents set up on the arena floor — where vendors have set up in the past — will include microscopes with slides showing cells with breast cancer and mannequins displaying how breast cancer can migrate to different parts of the body. Other activities will show the value in finding a breast health navigator during a cancer journey, and learning how to contact elected officials to discuss improved access to care.
A separate tent will let people honor and remember those who have died from the disease.
Vendors and sponsors will be set up along the arena’s concourse.
“Survivors and thrivers” still will have a designated area inside the arena to congregate. After opening ceremonies and a few speakers, participants will parade outside for the walk that takes them through Aksarben Village.
Organizers expect about 5,000 attendees and hope to raise $620,000 this year. Last year’s event raised more than $600,000 and drew about 6,000 people.
Money raised through the event, including from sponsorships, goes toward research and community programs. About 75% of the proceeds go toward programming in Nebraska, Daneu said.
Organizers also hope the event puts emphasis on Komen’s “bold goal” to cut the number of breast cancer deaths in the United States in half by 2026 or over a 10-year period.
“We are making sure people understand Komen is not just a race. Komen is involved in research. We’re involved in care programs in the community,” Daneu said. “We want to hear your stories.”
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