20th Annual "Walk for Beauty" Sets Sights on Boosting Breast Cancer Research at Stony Brook University
Event celebrates two decades and more than $1 million raised for SBU cancer research
STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 9, 2013 – More than a thousand walkers are expected to descend on the Stony Brook Village Center on Sunday, Oct. 20, with one common goal in mind: eradicating breast cancer.
The 20th annual Walk for Beauty, an all-volunteer effort with no administrative costs, will raise funds to conduct cancer research at Stony Brook University and help cancer patients who are treated at Stony Brook University Cancer Center. Co-sponsored by Stony Brook Medicine and the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, the walk has raised more than $1 million since it first began in 1994.
The event has been successful because it has been a true collaboration between Stony Brook University, area businesses, schools and governmental leaders from the beginning, said Gloria Rocchio, President of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization.
“The Walk for Beauty has contributed $1.175 million toward cancer research and patient support at Stony Brook Medicine,” said Rocchio, who co-chairs the event. “In addition, the Walk for Beauty has helped thousands of patients by providing prostheses and wigs to those in need. These seed grants resulted in eight additional grants from national organizations totaling over $7 million.”
“We are immensely grateful for the support that the Walk for Beauty has provided over the past two decades,” said Yusuf Hannun, MD, Director, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, Vice Dean, Cancer Medicine, and the Joel Kenny Professor of Medicine. “The funds raised directly and indirectly benefit our patients at the Cancer Center and reflect the synergies of a successful ‘town and gown’ collaboration.”
“Supporting the Walk for Beauty is a personal and tangible way to fight back against this dread disease,” said Linda Bily, Patient Advocacy and Community Outreach Coordinator at Stony Brook Cancer Center, event co-chair. “It is also a way to honor those who have courageously fought the battle against cancer.”
This year’s walk will honor Janet Taormina of Patchogue, who was diagnosed at Stony Brook University Cancer Center in 2010. With support from the hospital staff and her friends and family, she not only survived breast cancer, she thrived. “Everyone responded to me with tenderhearted compassion, constant encouragement and lots of hugs,” she said.
It will also honor two people who have supported the Walk for Beauty since its inception: Jim Condron, Vice President and Market Manager of WALK AM/FM Radio, and Leah S. Dunaief, Editor and Publisher of the Times Beacon Record newspapers.
The Walk for Beauty has helped hundreds of cancer patients over the years by providing prostheses and wigs to patients at Stony Brook Cancer Center. The event is an all-volunteer initiative with no administrative costs. All proceeds stay in the community to benefit cancer research at Stony Brook.
“The natural setting of the Walk makes the event a unique experience,” Rocchio added. The walk includes 4K and 6K options, with the 6K route leading walkers along Stony Brook Harbor, through lush Avalon Park and Preserve and past the historic Stony Brook Grist Mill.
Pre-registration for the walk is occurring now. The cost is $25 per person, and Stony Brook University students can participate for $10 per person. Dogs can walk for the $5 cost of a pink bandana. For more information or to register, call HealthConnect at (631) 444-4000 or visit www.stonybrookvillage.com/walk.
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About Ward Melville Heritage Organization: