More than 5,000 Southeast Texans took the Gift of Life’s “pink challenge” by immersing themselves in the color and spirit of survivorship at the 5th Annual Julie Richardson Procter 5K Ribbon Run Color Rush.
The 5K, supported generously by title sponsors H-E-B and Jason’s Deli, featured color blast stations, lively music, a health-related Wellness Village, a Kiddie Blast Color Zone, great prizes and entertainment!
“This means the world to me,” said Ribbon Run Co-Chair Sherry Paschal. “As a breast cancer survivor, I know what this display of love and support means to others in the fight. This run gives us hope to keep persevering and raises much-needed funding for an organization that is saving lives in Southeast Texas. I am proud to be associated with the Gift of Life because of the phenomenal work it does in the community.”
This 5K Ribbon Run heightened awareness of the risks and symptoms of breast, ovarian and other gynecological cancers, while also celebrating the strength and courage of cancer survivors. At a poignant Celebration Ceremony, cancer survivors were honored with an energizing and uplifting flash mob and poignantly symbolic balloon release.
The release was led by breast cancer survivors: Gift of Life Vice President Marty Craig and Angel Among Us honorees Beverly Perry and JoAnne Broussard.
“With these balloons, we remember our beloved cancer survivors – those who have fought, those who are fighting and those who are angels, now fighting for us,” they said. “As we let go of our balloons, we send forth this message – you are not alone. With support, we survive and grow. And, to those no longer with us, we remember you today and will remember you always. This balloon is a symbol of our hope, our compassion and our love.”
During the Celebration Ceremony, a flash mob composed of local dance students energized the crowd. Coordinated by Kelli Underhill and choreographed by Gwen Cormier, the flash mob featured poignant statements of survivorship and support.
The 5K honors the loving memory of Julie Richardson Procter, a respected local attorney and devoted Gift of Life board member and volunteer who passed away after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. It was Procter’s wish that her illness would serve as a meaningful platform to educate women about the signs and symptoms of the disease.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Gift of Life’s breast and ovarian cancer initiatives, which impact thousands of Southeast Texans each year. Along the 5K Ribbon Run route, breast and ovarian cancer educational awareness messages were shared to underscore the mission of the event.
The event also recognized 15 Angels Among Us Honorees, extraordinary champions for the organization’s mission and voices of compassion and support for women and cancer survivors:
Mayor Becky Ames, Charlene Babineaux, Joanne Broussard, Bonnie Cokinos, Becky Hunter, Gloria Locke, Jean Moncla, Beverly Perry, Heather Petkovsek, Janey Phelan, Barbara Phillips, Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, Barbara Quinn, Verna Rutherford and Carol Smith.