NEW BRITAIN â€“ The Connecticut Breast Health Initiativeâ€™s annual Race in the Park has been postponed to May 8, 2021 due to the uncertainties of the coronavirus outbreak.
With no definitive end to the ongoing situation, the Board of Directors has unanimously decided to follow the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention directives and reschedule this yearâ€™s May 9 race to next year. It was a hard decision to make, but it was unmistakably the right decision, according to the board.
â€śWe waited as long as we could, but it quickly became obvious that it wasnâ€™t a safe thing to continue,â€ť said Joyce Bray, president of CT BHIâ€™s board of directors. â€śIt was a very emotional and difficult decision for us to make. We know weâ€™re a very small cog in the wheel of the world but when it hits you personally and directly, it hits hard.â€ť
The Connecticut Breast Health Initiative Inc. is a statewide volunteer-run organization that provides grants to support education and research in Connecticut. It started in 2002 and 100% of the money raised by CT BHI stays in the state to support education, research, and funding programs that have yet to qualify for federal grants. Since the organization began awarding grants in 2005, more than $3.95 million has been awarded. Some grant recipients include Bridgeport, Danbury, Farmington, Hartford, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk and Stamford. Researchers at MidState Medical Center, UConn Health Center, Yale University, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Middlesex Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Hospital of Central Connecticut and Stamford Health. Proceeds from the annual race go towards those grant funds.
Bray said sheâ€™s been receiving emails from breast cancer survivors who are disappointed at the postponement. But everyone understands the reason why.
â€śItâ€™s an event that they look forward to every year. It solidifies their survival and a lot of people are touched by it.â€ť
Like many organizations, Bray said their finances have received a hard hit due to the coronavirus outbreak.
â€śEveryoneâ€™s having a hard time and our sponsorâ€™s donations are a major source of income for us,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s a serious situation but weâ€™re dealing with it the best we can as we go forward.â€ť
Those who have already registered for the race are eligible for a refund. CT BHI is hoping people would consider their registration fees as a form of donation toward the cause.
â€śWeâ€™re trying to come up with creative ways to keep going in the upcoming months,â€ť Bray said. â€śWe hope everyone will continue to support us because weâ€™re expecting to have a super big celebration next year and I think thatâ€™s a very good cause to support.â€ť