NEW BRITAIN – In just one week, thousands of runners from across the country will flock to Walnut Hill Park for the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative’s flagship event, Race in the Park.
The annual fundraiser, which is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, May 12, helps the organization fulfill its mission to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness efforts. CT BHI has awarded more than $3.6 million to researchers and educators in the state since it began making donations in 2005, and this money has gone to fund innovative programs, treatment options and educational efforts.
This year is the 15th anniversary of CT BHI’s Race in the Park, and organizers are hoping it’s successful so it can continue providing grants throughout the state. One recently approved grant went to UConn Health’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund a collaborative educational effort with a dozen hair salons in the state.
Dr. Christina Stevenson, a UConn Health assistant professor and breast surgeon, has spearheaded the educational program. As part of the program, Rashea Banks from Stevenson’s team has visited hair salons in the Hartford area to host informational sessions about breast cancer, the importance of screenings and ways to get help.
These sessions allow breast cancer experts to go directly to the communities they hope to help. Attendees receive scheduling assistance through UConn Health’s Community Breast Navigation Program and they also get breast health guides detailing information from the educational session.
“I applaud Dr. Stevenson for her phenomenal efforts to reach women with our message,” said Joyce Bray, president and founder of CT BHI. “The CT Breast Health Initiative believes in this project and looks ahead to its impact and success to save lives, one person at a time.”
Judy Donofrio, co-chair of CT BHI’s Grants Committee, said the committee likes giving education grants to “creative” programs and efforts like this.
“The grants committee has been very focused on exploring and funding all deserving educational applications from across the state,” Donofrio said.
This is just one of many programs CT BHI has helped fund in recent years. Go to their website www.ctbhi.org for more details on programs and research the organization has funded.
Online registration for the Racing in the Park is now closed, but runners can register in person at Walnut Hill Park from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, May 11 or on race day, Saturday, May 12. Tickets cost $36 for adults and $15 for youth under 17 years old.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Connecticut Breast Health Initiative Race in the Park
WHEN: Saturday, May 12
WHERE: Walnut Hill Park
PRICE: $15 for youth 17-and-under, $36 for adults