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Local race for the cure supporters raise $13,000

PLATTSBURGH The North Country has come together to raise substantially more money than last year for the annual Northeastern New York Race for the Cure. Janice Opal, who served as the chairperson for one of the main competing teams from the area, The Treasure Chests, said the Oct. 4 event has so far raised more than $93,000 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, with pledges still being received. The goal of the foundations Northeastern New York Affiliate was to raise $100,000, said Opal, with support from the North Country playing a role in that success. Here, in our region, we raised more than $13,000, said Opal. We did quite well up here and that was a combination of direct donations and registrations for people to participate. The Treasure Chests ended up being the largest team in the affiliate for the race, with 162 people registering, said Opal. Approximately 25 people attended the event, participating in either the co-ed 5K run or walking in the two-mile family walk, while the other 137 or so participated from the comfort of their own homes in Sleep in for the Cure. That event consisted of participants sleeping in after collecting donations for the foundation. Of course, because of the geographic area that we're in, the majority of the registrations were sleep-ins, said Opal. Whether running, walking or sleeping, participants from the North Country raised more than $4,500 over last years amount, said Opal. The increase is attributed to more people taking an active role in fundraising, she said, hosting bake sales and other special events in addition to collecting pledges. One fundraising effort was within the hospital, said Opal referring to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh. About $1,000 was raised from a bake sale, which is amazing, because I've never heard of raising so much money from a bake sale. Overall, $4,200 was collected from fundraisers held within the hospital, said Opal. Other fundraisers included a competition between local hair salons to sell pink paper ribbons in honor of breast cancer awareness. The ribbons were sold for $1 each, with approximately $1,200 raised from that fundraiser. Punkis Shear Perfection in Plattsburgh won the competition, collecting $510 in donations from their customers. Opal, who herself is a breast cancer survivor, said she is particularly proud of the amount raised this year for breast cancer research due to fundraisers for other causes going on at the same time. It's just unbelievable people were still coming out to support this, said Opal. There were a lot of things competing for everyone's dollars but it was nice to see people still came out and supported this particular organization. Obviously, it shows people's awareness of the need for continued research and support programs for breast cancer survivors. I think the commitment that people have and the knowledge that these things need to continue is really what motivates them to participate and donate, she added. Opal applauded the community for its support including the efforts of Cathy Collette, a breast cancer survivor from Plattsburgh, who alone raised $1,000 by selling pink ribbons at Wal-Mart. Additionally, the local Wal-Mart donated another $250 to the foundation. Opal credited their efforts, along with those of her fellow team members, including team co-chair Bonnie Berry and team captain Libby Goller, for making this years event a success.

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