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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Making Strides 5K run/walk, Oct. 18

(Oct. 15, 2015) More than 1,000 people participated in Ocean City’s American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K run and walk last year and about the same number or more are expected to take part in the fifth annual resort event this Sunday.
“Every year, more and more people come out,” said Beverly Furst, chairwoman of the Ocean City run and walk. “Every year it’s been growing and growing and we couldn’t be more happier about that.”
About 119 teams from various corporations, schools, churches and social civic groups registered for the 2014 event. The Ocean City Making Strides was ranked first in the state out of five races last year. The participation goal for the 2015 run and walk is 127 teams.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 74 teams and 371 participants had registered for this year’s event, according to
Runners who have already signed up can pick up their race packets today, Friday, from 4-7 p.m. or Saturday, from 9 a.m. until noon at Wockenfuss Candies, located between Hallmark and Bath & Body Works in the White Marlin Mall, off Route 50 in West Ocean City.
Anyone interested in competing in the 5K run can register during those times or Sunday, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the inlet parking lot. The cost is $45, and entry fee includes a T-shirt.
There is no cost to take part in the walk.
An opening ceremony will begin around 8 a.m. Sunday. The festivities will include guest speaker, Atlantic General Hospital oncologist, Dr. Roopa Gupta; cancer survivor and state Delegate Mary Beth Carozza will say a few words, and Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series committee member and survivor, Sheryl Mitrecic, will sing.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan is slated to take the stage to welcome participants, and Sen. Jim Mathias will greet the crowd. DJ Rupe will provide the music. MaryBeth Beck of Pilates Zumba and Yoga Fitness Studio in West Ocean City will get runners and walkers warmed up.
Other activities in the inlet parking lot will include corn hole, bra pong, face painting, photo booth and a Wall of Hope. Starbucks will offer free coffee as well. Pink Ribbon and Making Strides merchandise will be for sale.
A tent will be set up where breast cancer survivors can converge. Survivors will receive a sash, T-shirt and goody bag sponsored by Atlantic General Hospital, and food courtesy of Chick-fil-A of West Ocean City and A Bagel And in Ocean Pines. Last year about 80 survivors attended.
Survivors will be celebrated and come together for a photo before the race.
“Making Strides is also a celebration of breast cancer survivorship. Many breast cancer survivors will participate in the walk and celebrate their own victories as well as lending hope and support to those currently battling the illness,” said Josette Castiglione, community manager, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer South Atlantic Division, American Cancer Society Inc. “New friendships will be made and tears of joy will be shed as so many gain strength and hope on this day. Who would want to miss that?”
The 5K run will begin at 9 a.m. in the inlet lot near the Boardwalk. The walk will start around 9:15 a.m. on the Boardwalk.
Spectators and supporters are encouraged to attend.
“In addition to a Making Strides store full of fun pink accessories to raise awareness while making a fashion statement, there will be plenty of people to cheer on. Even if you can’t walk or run, be one of the smiling faces along the way clapping as a breast cancer survivor or two walk by, letting them know that you recognize and support their journey,” Castiglione said. “Get involved now. There is still plenty of work left to end this disease. There will be plenty of ACS staff and volunteers at the Strides event. Ask one of them how you can help.”
Light refreshments will be provided after the run and walk in the inlet lot.
The run will be timed and medals will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place male and female in each age division. The top overall male and female will win an award as well.
The top fund raisers as of Oct. 18 will also be recognized after the run and walk. Participants will have until Dec. 31 to turn in their final donations.
Free parking will be available in the inlet until noon. Passes will be distributed at the check-in tent at the inlet that morning. They will also be available at Wockenfuss Candies during packet pickup today and Saturday.
This is the fifth year the run and walk is an official Making Strides event. For 10 years before that, it was the Pink Ribbon Classic run and walk, one of a series of local events to raise breast cancer awareness while collecting money for the ACS. The Pink Ribbon Classic run and walk took place in the midtown area, from 61st Street to the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street and back, along Coastal Highway.
Furst, organizer of the run and walk, inquired about the local activity becoming a Making Strides event since the money raised was going to the ACS anyway, but at that time they were only held in urban areas.
When an ACS Making Strides small community model was created, Furst was approached about the Ocean City run and walk becoming a Making Strides event.
“Since the beginning, the Making Strides event has grown exponentially because of more exposure with national branding and recognition,” Furst said.
Funds raised through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks enable the American Cancer Society to finish the fight against breast cancer by investing in groundbreaking research, providing free, comprehensive information and support to those touched by breast cancer, and helping people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable.
The Ocean City event is one of more than 300 Making Strides walks across the country that raise more than $60 million for the ACS each year.
“Uniting with others in the Making Strides walk gives us power to make a real difference in the fight to end breast cancer,” Furst said. “At the event, we celebrate survivorship and pay a meaningful tribute to those affected by the disease. Thanks to participants, the American Cancer Society is there for those who are currently dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, those who may face a diagnosis in the future, and those who may avoid a diagnosis altogether because of education and risk reduction.”
Since 1993, more than 11 million supporters have raised in excess of $685 million nationwide. In 2014 alone, 1.3 million walkers across the country raised $64 million to help finish the fight against breast cancer.
The Ocean City Making Strides 5K run and walk is one of several events that make up the Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series, an assortment of local activities to increase breast cancer awareness while raising money for the American Cancer Society.
The 2015 Classic includes a ladies-only fishing tournament; card, game and mahj party; tennis, mah jongg and golf tournaments, Jammin’ Out Cancer, Brews for Boobs, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk and run and “Pamper Yourself for Charity” raffle.
Most of the events are held in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Pink Ribbon Classic Series was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers. Last year, the series raised more than $335,000 for the American Cancer Society’s fight against breast cancer. The goal is $350,000 for 2015.
Since its inception, the series has raised about $1.5 million for breast cancer research, awareness, programs and services.
Some of the local programs and services in this area include free wigs for patients; the Look Good Feel Better program, which teaches patients how to cope with the cosmetic side-effects of treatment; Reach to Recovery, a one-on-one support visitation program by trained breast cancer survivors for new patients and Road to Recovery, which gives patients transportation to and from cancer treatments.
There is also the Hope Lodge, which provides lodging during treatment; Patient Navigator Program, which helps with the health care system; Cancer Survivors Network and a 24-hour-a-day cancer information center.
Visit oceancitymd for more information. Find the Ocean City chapter on Facebook at or at the Twitter handle @OCMDStrides.
This year, 4,730 women in Maryland will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Across the country that number rises to 231,840, and an estimated 40,290 will die from the disease, according to the ACS. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women except for skin cancer, and is the second-leading cause of cancerous death in women.
“Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and something needs to be done to change these odds now. We are fighting through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” Castiglione said. “The American Cancer Society wants to make sure that nobody fighting breast cancer should ever have to walk alone. Money raised will help save lives through groundbreaking research and programs to promote early detection. Funds raised will help to provide patients and family caregivers with access to 24/7 critical information and support. When you support the American Cancer Society you’re providing a hand to hold for someone who desperately needs one.”
For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, visit or call 1-800-227-2345.