Walking for the Cure

WESTPORT A growing success, the Walk for the Cure in Westport has lofty goals for supporting breast cancer awareness, research, and treatment. The annual event, scheduled for Oct. 12, includes a three-and-a-half mile walk from the village of Wadhams to the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport. It is sponsored by Honora Carpenter and Pink Pig Antiques, owned by Debbie Schrodt. When we started it, we didn't know if 20 people were going to show up, said Schrodt. Actually, about 65 people came out for Westport's first Walk for the Cure in 2006. In its second year, there were 165 participants and the event raised $3,000 for the cause. Weve had people of all ages come, said Schrodt. Men, women, and kids. Now in its third year, Carpenter and Schrodt hope they can bring together an even larger crowd to raise $5,000 or more. Our mission is to promote breast cancer awareness, said Schrodt. We want to encourage women to do self-exams and not to have the it-can't-happen-to-me attitude. All proceeds from the benefit are split between two organizations related to breast cancer research and treatment. The Susan G. Komen foundation, one of the recipients, is one of the nations largest foundations devoted to breast cancer research and helping women who are diagnosed. The other half goes to Plattsburghs FitzPatrick Cancer Center, which the pair praise for its quality treatment of patients locally. Carpenter, a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed in 2001 and underwent a mastectomy shortly afterward. After two remissions, her battle with cancer continues, but she feels very lucky to be as healthy as she is and felt the need to give back. She is touched by the tremendous response the event has generated. I know the difference between what they had then and what they have now in the way of treatment, Carpenter said. So I know the more money we spend there, the more well get results. In addition to the walk, the pair will be assisting with other breast cancer fundraisers throughout the month. A bake sale is planned for Oct. 19 and locally-made stained glass pink ribbon ornaments will be available for sale at Schrodts store until Oct. 30. For those who dont wish to participate in the walk, monetary donations are welcome. Still, Carpenter and Schrodt emphasize that raising awareness is more important. If we can get one or two women to go out and get a mammogram, said Schrodt. It will have done its job.

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