Participants encouraged to decorate vehicles, dress in pink for Saturday’s event
(Oct. 23, 2020) For nine years Maryland Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has hosted a walk on the Boardwalk, but because of covid-19 and social distancing guidelines, the event and several others have been canceled in 2020.
Over 700 walked or ran in the Ocean City event last year and several hundred spectators were also on hand to support breast cancer research and awareness.
Instead of a walk this October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month – there will be car parades in three Maryland locations, including Ocean City.
“It’s disappointing, but I think we’ll have some new participants because it’s a drive and you don’t have to walk,” Mary Bellis, senior community development manager, Northeast Region, American Cancer Society Inc., said. “We’ve had people sign up every day. It will be fun, so please come and join us.”
Online advance registration for the Ocean City Boardwalk car parade on Saturday, Oct. 24, is available at www.makingstrideswalk.org/oceancitymd. Teams raising $100 or more can bring up to three cars. There is a $50 minimum donation for individuals who would like to drive on the boards.
Participants can begin arriving at the inlet parking lot at 7:30 a.m., where DJ Rupe will be playing tunes. Masks will also be for sale for $10.
“There’s plenty of space in the inlet parking lot to social distance,” Bellis said.
The parade will begin at 9 a.m., from the inlet to 26th Street, where the cars will exit the Boardwalk. Participants are encouraged to wear pink and decorate their cars. Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated cars.
“It’s a rare opportunity to drive on the Boardwalk,” Bellis said.
Registered participants will receive a code to park in the inlet lot for free until 2 p.m.
Bellis praised her committee members for helping to get the event up and running. Many of them will be participating in the car parade.
“I have a wonderful committee,” she said.
Money raised will benefit the American Cancer Society, breast cancer research, programs and services.
The walk was part of the Ocean City Making Strides Against Breast Cancer chapter’s Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series, which also included a ladies-only fishing tournament, pickleball round robin, golf tournament, card game and party, Pamper Yourself For Charity Raffle, and mah-jongg competition.
All of the events were canceled this year except pickleball and the raffle.
The pickleball event took place on Oct. 2, at the Manklin Meadows Sports Complex in Ocean Pines. More than 90 players participated. About $8,500 was raised.
“Pickleball went very well,” Bellis said.
The 24th annual Pamper Yourself For Charity Raffle hosted by A Perfect Face Day Spa in West Ocean City runs until Nov. 2.
Tickets cost $5 each or get six for $25. Some of the items in the prize package include gift certificates to local businesses and spa services.
Despite the ladies-only fishing tournament being canceled, event merchandise is still available at https://shop.ocfishtales.com/collections/poor-girls-open.
The Pink Ribbon Classic Series was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers. Since its inception, the series has raised about $3.7 million for breast cancer research, awareness, programs and services
In 2019, more than $332,000 was raised through the Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series for the American Cancer Society.
“The Making Strides movement remembers, celebrates and fights back. The good news is that there are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.,” Bellis stated in a press release. “However, the pandemic has put our mission at risk for the first time in the American Cancer Society’s history. The society is facing a shortfall of $200 million and may only be able to fund 50 percent of cancer research if the trend continues … Making Strides is more important than ever this year.”
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. The society estimates that in 2020, about 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. and approximately 42,170 will die of the disease.
As of March, the American Cancer Society is funding 168 breast cancer research grants totaling $69 million.
For more information about the car parade or other activities, contact Bellis at Mary.Bellis@cancer.org, OceanCityMDStrides@cancer.org or call 410-749-1635. To learn more about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.