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Individuals, teams getting ready for Breastfest 2013

February 6, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

Teams are starting to form, and individuals are stepping forward to participate in Breastfest 2013, which will be held next month.

From Our Hearts President Karen Washburn said this year's Breastfest will focus more on the walk instead of providing the afternoon music once the walk concludes.

"Focus on honoring the people who are supporting breast cancer patients, honoring survivors and honoring those who have passed from breast cancer," she said of why they want to focus their attention on having more participants in this year's Breastfest.

The walk will be held Saturday, March 9, with registration taking place at 7:30 a.m. and the walk kicking off at 8:30 a.m. The walk will begin at Pine Island Center at Phillips Park. It will then go around the library area and through the Nestings neighborhood.

Washburn said they will start their awards ceremony at 11 a.m. She said they will provide some walker prizes, as well as provide an award for the team that raised the most money and the individual who raised the most money. In addition, Washburn said all walkers are also eligible for raffle prizes.

The ceremony then will be followed by some testimonies from breast cancer survivors, as well as honoring those who have died.

Fact Box

If You Go

What: Breastfest 2013

When: March 9, registration begins at 7:30 a.m., walk at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Pine Island Center at Phillips Park

Registration Fee: $30, includes T-shirt


"Our big finale will be the drawing for the Chevy Spark," she said of the chance drawing tickets that are currently on sale.

There are only 1,500 tickets for the 2013 Chevy Spark. Tickets are $25 and the person must be present to win the car.

There will also be some craft vendors at Breastfest.

Last year Breastfest attracted more than 400 walkers and more than 30 teams.

Last year KOA had the largest team, claiming first place.

Matlacha Hookers Madam DJ Rusik said they have had members participate in Breastfest every year since it started. The organization decided to finally form a team in 2010.

"The 2012 team was 22 members strong, which we have had each year since 2010," she said.

Breastfest is near and dear to many of the Matlacha Hookers.

"Many of our own members have fought and won the battle against breast cancer," Rusik said. "We have one member right now that is still going through chemo."

Although the final number of Hookers who will be participating in the walk this year will not be determined until the end of February, Rusik said she is sure they will have a good showing again this year.

"The battle against breast cancer is very near to my heart," she said. "I lost my mother in 2002 to breast cancer after winning the battle and having a clean bill of health for over 18 months. She had just turned 71."

Rusik said she commends From Our Hearts for their efforts.

"I commend From Our Hearts for coordinating efforts to provide services to those in need, especially without proper insurance coverage of what can be a very costly battle," she said.

Washburn said she hopes the spirit will return again this year.

"It is really neat to see the teams come together," she said, adding that individuals are certainly encouraged to register for the walk as well.

Individuals who wish to participate in the walk can visit and download the registration form. Registration for the walk is $30, which includes a T-shirt.



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