(April 12, 2019) Help raise breast cancer awareness and aid in the fight against the disease during the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s “More Than Pink” Walk, this Saturday on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
“Susan G. Komen’s sole focus is a world without breast cancer,” said Kim Schmulowitz, communications and marketing director of Komen Maryland. “It’s more than just about awareness. It’s about taking action in the fight against breast cancer.”
The event raises awareness, support and funds for breast cancer research with a three-mile walk.
A run/walk has taken place in Ocean City for eight years under the name “Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure.” It was changed to the “More Than Pink” Walk this year.
“We wanted to change the name of the event to reflect a new message that we started in 2016 which was ‘More Than Pink,’ because for many years pink has been associated with breast cancer awareness and that has served us very well,” Schmulowitz said.
“We were discovering that only about 7 percent of our participants were runners. So we felt that the name was kind of a misnomer,” she continued.
Since the inaugural event in 2012, Ocean City cancer survivors, supporters and race participants have raised more than $1.5 million for the organization.
“Through events like the Race for the Cure, Komen Maryland has invested $31 million in community breast health programs in the state including nearly $5 million on the Eastern Shore since 1993, and has helped contribute to the more than $956 million invested globally in research,” Schmulowitz said. “Komen has set a bold goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the United States by 2026.”
Festivities kick off tonight, Friday, at Shenanigan’s on Fourth Street and the Boardwalk, beginning at 5 p.m. for a pre-event celebration with happy hour prices.
The Celebration Village in the inlet parking lot opens at 7:30 a.m. where the registration tent and event sponsors will have booths set up. DJ Rupe is slated to play music on the main stage and coffee, doughnuts, water, granola bars and fruit will be provided by Dunkin’ Donuts and Seacrets.
Breast cancer survivors will have their own tent with activities, and Komen merchandise will be available for purchase.
“This year you’ll notice there will be some new activities because it’s part of our new branding and in an effort to educate people about what Komen does,” Schmulowitz said. “We’ll have some new tents in walk village that are dedicated to each area of Komen’s focus and we call those our pillar tents. There will be a tent devoted to research, a tent devoted to community, a tent devoted to care and a tent devoted to action, and there will be activities within all of those tents to kind of illustrate what Komen does.”
There will also be a remembrance tent this year to honor those who have lost their battle with cancer. This tent is intended to be a quiet spot at the event.
At 8:10 a.m., the survivors’ parade will begin at the Survivors’ Tent in the village. They will then gather for a group photo before a dance party breaks out with DJ Rupe at the main stage.
All survivors will receive a complimentary T-shirt and a surprise gift to use in the opening ceremony. All other participants will receive a gift to use in the open ceremony, but must fundraise $100 to receive a T-shirt.
“About 30 percent of the participants are from the Maryland, Delaware, Eastern Shore communities,” Schmulowitz said. “That varies usually from 30 to 40 percent of the participants. The rest come over from west of the bay because it’s a destination weekend for them and the Town of Ocean City likes that because they would like to have visitors in the offseason. So it’s great … it’s the best of both worlds.”
Berlin resident Suzy Taylor, the volunteer committee chair for the walk, will say a few words. In addition, Isabel Sanchez of WBOC will serve as emcee.
The walk will start on the Boardwalk at the inlet at 9 a.m. and continue north to 18th Street, where participants will then turn around and head back. Runners are also invited to participate.
Last year, close to 1,500 people participated in the Ocean City race, which raised about $163,000 from registration, donations and cash sponsorships. Around 200 of those participants were breast cancer survivors, Schmulowitz said.
“If you look at the weeks out comparatively from this year to last year, we are days out now and we are trending to register about the same amount of people,” Schmulowitz said.
As of earlier this week, nearly 1,300 people had already signed up, with a goal to generate at least $160,000 this year. Approximately $70,825 had been raised as of Tuesday afternoon.
“The majority of people sign up in the last two weeks prior to the race,” Schmulowitz said. “We are expecting about 1,500 registered participants and about a few hundred spectators.”
As this year’s event is no longer a race, the distance for the event will be less than three miles, though participants are encouraged to walk as long or as little as they want, Schmulowitz said.
Seacrets on 49th Street will host a post-race celebration on Saturday, April 13, beginning at 5 p.m., with live entertainment and happy hour drink prices in addition to complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.
Online registration ends today, Friday, and costs $20 for adults. Children 11 and under can participate for $10.
Race-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Celebration Village in the inlet parking lot. The cost to sign up the day of the walk is $20. The event will take place rain or shine.
Parking is complimentary this year in the inlet parking lot. Participants can use the code Komen13 from 6 a.m. to noon at the inlet parking lot stations.
Handicapped parking will be available in the inlet lot at no charge for those with a permit. Others can park for free at the Public Safety Building on 65th Street, at Northside Park on 125th Street or at the municipal lot at 100th Street and ride the Ocean City bus to the Race Village. The bus costs $3 for an all-day pass.
In 2018, Komen Maryland awarded $359,000 to Eastern Shore grant programs including the St. Agnes Hospital Foundation, the University of Maryland Medical System Foundation, Wicomico County Health Department, Meritus Healthcare Foundation, Moveable Feast, Maintaining Active Citizens, the Northwest Hospital Center and Nueva Vida, Schmulowitz said.
“We’re very proud to provide that funding because the incidence of breast cancer deaths are higher on the Eastern Shore,” Schmulowitz said. “That’s why we want to have a strong presence there, not only with our fundraising events, but also with our community health presence. We’re excited to be having this educational event as well as our walk and to support all of these programs.”
For more information, call 410-938-8990 or visit www.komenmd.org to donate.
Schedule of Events:
7:30 a.m.: Celebration Village opens in inlet parking lot
8:10 a.m.: Survivors’ Parade
8:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremony
9 a.m.: Walk begins