On Saturday morning, more than 70 women, men and children participated in the first annual GenWealth Walks for Hope, a three-mile walk through Maplewood Village to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.
The event raised a total of $10,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).
The walk was led by Risa Olinsky, owner and president of "Count on Yourself Coaching," and GenWealth Group's founders Michael and Cherie Leanza and team members Braden Shipke and Kim DiBlasi. The Leanzas were inspired to launch the walk when DiBlasi's mother was diagnosed last year with Stage 4 breast cancer.
Walkers shared stories of how breast cancer has touched their families. The Noble family were participating in memory of Lois C. Noble, who recently died at the age of 93 and whose funeral would be held later that afternoon.
Founded in 1993 by Evelyn Lauder, BCRF provides critical funding for clinical research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increases awareness about breast health. Over 90 cents of every dollar donated to BCRF goes to breast cancer research and awareness programs.
The organizers stressed several points:
- In the USA, every 2.3 minutes, someone is diagnosed with breast cancer
- Get your mammograms
- Early detection is key
- Take care of your body
Maplewood Township Committee members Kathy Leventhal and India Larrier participated in the walk. Ms. Leventhal also is coordinating "Maplewood Loves Wellness" an event focusing on health and wellness that will run October 8-13 at locations throughout the township.
All walkers enjoyed a Pre-Walk Breakfast, a guided three-mile walk around Maplewood Village, Memorial Park and Golf Island, a pink team T-shirt and a digital pedometer.