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Pink Heart Funds mark 10th year of making strides against cancer

About 1,000 Coast residents participated in the sixth annual Walk of Hope in Long Beach to raise money for the Pink Heart Funds charity.
About 1,000 Coast residents participated in the sixth annual Walk of Hope in Long Beach to raise money for the Pink Heart Funds charity. Sun Herald File

It will be a monumental 10th year event when the Pink Heart Funds’ Walk of Hope is held Oct. 8.

The event will take place on the Harper McCaughan Town Green, 301 Jeff Davis Ave., Long Beach. A 5K run will begin at 8 a.m., and a 1-mile walk will begin at 8:15 a.m.

The walk draws between 300 to 400 participants, almost all of whom are either cancer survivors or are supporting someone who fights cancer. Part of that support means expressing a bit of buoyancy for the event. Many arrive with baby strollers decorated wildly pink. Others bring along their dogs dressed in tutus or other fun attire.

The walk is followed with a celebration of cancer survivors. Anyone may purchase a “survivor balloon” for a post-race release. Also, survivors are presented with tiaras and brought on stage for special recognition.

JoAn Niceley, founder of Pink Heart Funds, said that although their event takes place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, their organization helps people with all types of cancer.

Last year this event raised at least $17,000. The proceeds are used throughout the year to provide wigs, breast prosthetics and helpful accessories to cancer patients.

This is the local organization’s first fundraiser since mid-August, when $235,000 in funds were allegedly embezzled. Niceley said there have been some great sponsors who stepped up with large donations since then to help the organization recover. She also said they have taken measures to assure all funding goes directly to the cause of helping cancer patients.

“We are 10 years strong,” Niceley said. “I can assure people we have taken every effort and now are bonded, and all our policies and procedures are updated, and we have new directors. We want to let people know that will never happen again.”

Registration for the Walk of Hope is $25 for adults and $15 for children and begins at 7 a.m. at the event. Participants also may register online at https://pinkheartfunds.org/.

Walk of Hope

Benefits: Pink Heart Funds

Registration: $25 for adults and $15 for children and begins at 7 a.m. at the event. Participants also may register online at https://pinkheartfunds.org/.

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