Although it was a little damp, the Pink Pumpkin Run was a fun event.
Cindy Sparkman with the Marshall Cancer Care Center said she was excited about celebrating the 10th year of the Pink Pumpkin Run and the hundreds of women they were able to help with the mammography assistance program. She is appreciative of all the men, women and children who come out each year and support the organization. She is proud of the community for all of the support shown the Cancer Center and the mammography program.
There were lots of organizations, businesses and booths set up giving away free items and discussing some of the programs they offer. There were a few that were participating for the first time such as Zaira Parga from Family Services of North Alabama. She said she was excited to be there and never knew how big the event was.
Dr. Mary Holley was also on hand. She is a medical director and has been a part of the Pink Pumpkin Run for 10 years. She discussed how important it is to have events like this and is glad to be a part of it.
Edward Jones Investments were on hand as well. This was their second year and the company is a huge supporter of the event. The reason they are there is because they have been personally impacted. One team member was walking for her mother and one for her sister.
Myria Pugh is a breast cancer survivor and was participating in the 1k Fun Run. Her daughter was participating in the 5k. Last year, she got a T-shirt for her time and her goal was to get T-shirt again this year. She likes getting a trophy, she said. She had a double mastectomy in January of 2016 and has been cancer free for 3 years.
The Lake City Civitans passed out pumpkins to breast cancer survivors at the Pink Pumpkin Run. Grover Williams is a member of the Lake City Civitans and he said that they are celebrating their Pumpkin Patch's 10th year just like the Pink Pumpkin Run is celebrating its 10th year.
He said giving the pink pumpkins came from a thought he had. His wife is a two time survivor and he wanted to do something for those who have survived. Most of the pumpkins were fully pink, but there were some that were white and pink. This is because some like the partially painted not the full colored pumpkins.
A couple of people asked Grover what kind of seeds they should get to grow pink pumpkins.
Grover said the organization contacted someone on the exact color of the breast cancer pink. They ordered some paint and realized how time consuming it was to paint the pumpkins, but they found some spray paint that was similar in color.
Andrea Oliver, the director of the Foundations for Marshall Medical Centers, said this is the 10th anniversary and although they were hoping for better weather, they still had hundreds people turn out. More than 1,200 people signed up for the race and more than 700 actually ran. She believes it is the biggest 10k they have had so far.
"I think people appreciate this cause and come out and fight through it because that is what breast cancer patients are doing. They are fighting through it as well. We are all standing together," Oliver said.
They are all types of runners, she explains. There are serious runners but also families and kids running as well. The weather was not as bad as predicted. It was windy and it was misting some when the first two races began, but it was not pouring rain. It was warmer as well.
Every year, they are able to help about 300 women receive a mammogram. They raise between $60,000 and $70,000 every year through the run.
"It takes a village to pull this off," Oliver said. "We have someone doing a little bit of everything from cooking pancakes to taking out the trash and timing the runners."
Look for more about the Pink Pumpkin Run in Saturday's paper.