POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ — Thousands of survivors, families, corporate teams, student organizations, union members and caring individuals met in Point Pleasant Beach Sunday for the 25th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The energy was high, and the mood was as vibrant as the pink swath of color that spread through the crowd.
The walk took more than 2,000 people around Point Pleasant Beach and then up on the boardwalk for a 3.1 mile jaunt on October 20. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Point Pleasant Beach hosted the event, raising money for cancer research, treatment and after-care by the American Cancer Society.
Said organizer Suzanne Rudick Oliver, "Fighting breast cancer takes a team effort, and we are so grateful to all of you for uniting with us in the fight. On behalf of our dozens of staff and volunteers, we thank each and every single one of you."
Prior to the event, teams had registered and solicited donations from corporations, friends and family.
The event began with an opening ceremony, some fun and joyful noise by a local DJ (aided by energetic dancing from high school cheerleaders.) Then the walk began as a crowd of thousands filled the streets of the seashore community to watch the event. Some walkers split off and took a path along the beach, as others milled along the decorated boardwalk, which was hosting a Halloween event later in the day. At the end, cheerleaders and some corporate sponsors "cheered in" the walkers as they completed their trek.
It was a happy, positive day tinged with some sadness of the memory of those who have not survived this disease, which is expected to claim some 42,000 lives this year. Participants were able to write the names of their loved ones on a Wall of Memory at the end of the event.
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