Sprinting a battle

Stiletto sprint brings awareness to breast cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means men and women will be participating in the second annual “Stiletto Sprint” to benefit the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center.

“My mother is a 10-year survivor of breast cancer, twice, so this hits home for me,” said, Avery Larson, junior in the public relations program.

“I love the month of October just because of what is stands for, and I am glad Big Rapids raises money for a cause like this because so many women are unaware of the effects breast cancer has on loved ones around them,” said Larson.

This event is intended to have special appeal to younger residents and to area university students.  It is said to be fun, reasonably priced and for an excellent cause. It is also beneficial to learn about ways to maintain good health. The activities of Paint Big Rapids Pink are designed to provide important health information to participants and have fun at the same time.

Contestants, both men and women, dress in pink and are required to wear at least three-inch high heels with no straps over the top of their feet or around their ankles.      

The race starts at 6 p.m. in downtown Big Rapids, with a $10 entry fee, $5 for students. $100 in prizes will be given for first place in the women’s and men’s races and a gift will be given to the person voted “Best Dressed.”

Many people sign up the day of the race and the week before the events; however, there are about 33 expected to attend.

“Students who get involved in the Big Rapids community and the activities it has to offer have a more dynamic university experience,” said Tom Hogenson, MCMC executive director on the Susan P. Wheatlke Cancer and Wellness advisory board. “Big Rapids has much to offer students who take the time to make connections with our residents during the time they spend at Ferris.”

Last year, a total of 28 people participated, and roughly 100 people came together to watch and cheer on the contestants. $280 of proceeds was raised, with Jake Cronkright winning the race. The goal of the whole Paint Big Rapids Pink campaign is to exceed $25,000. Already having more people expected to attend, as well as all the events planned for October, the committee is confident in reaching the goal.

“This will be the first time participating in the Paint Big Rapids Pink Committee and it has so far been a wonderful experience,” said Allissa Witucki, interim director of Student Leadership & Activities. “The committee has such positive energy and determination to raise as much money as possible for the Susan P. Wheatlake Center.”

According to the Nation Breast Cancer Organization, 2.4 million women living in the U.S. have been diagnosed with and treated for beast cancer.

“Breast cancer is prevalent in my family. I will not be participating this year but it’s such a cool thing to see so much effort going into raising awareness,” said LaBreonna Stori, senior in health care systems administration. “When will you ever be able to say you ran around in stilettos and raised money for breast cancer again?”

Visit spwcenter.org for more information. For any questions, contact Nicole Leyder at 592-4280 or at nleyder@nullmcmcbr.com. The race registration form can be downloaded there or participants can visit The Sole in downtown Big Rapids to pre-register at 5 p.m. before the race.