JERSEY CITY, NJ - Despite the cloudy morning, Jersey City's Liberty State Park was blooming in pink as hundreds of survivors, friends, families, and sponsors attended Susan G. Komen of North Jersey's Race for the Cure. The explosion of color represented the hope and determination to celebrate those who have fought the disease and the science and energy behind the search for both better treatment and a cure.
This was the second year that the event was held at the park where the buildings of Ellis Island and the lamp of the Statue of Liberty create a background of of American confidence and inspiration. Mayor Steven Fulop said, "It's great to have you here in Jersey City, and we are glad to partner with Susan G. Komen." Fulop carried the banner for the Survivors' Parade and cut the ribbon for the final walk of the day. Participants trod the walkways of the historic location, cheered on from the sidelines by friends.
Survivors were welcomed to a hearty breakfast and some raffle prizes. North Jersey hospitals and health organizations also distributed "careware" for supporters in the fight against breast cancer along with some treatment information. Vendors and sponsors hosted booths and treated runners and walkers to food and drinks for free.
The Master of Ceremonies was Anthony Johnson of WABC's Eyewitness News who moved briskly through announcements of winners and the introduction of speakers and musicians to keep up the lively pace of the day.
Chanan Margolis, a member of a large team of runners representing corporate sponsor the Bank of America, won first place in the run overall.
Mayor Fulop then led the Survivors' Parade, a group of female and male breast cancer survivors, who assembled onstage to celebrate their months, years or decades of living cancer-free. Jersey City's St. Dominic's Dominoes, a renowned vocal group that has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Vatican, sang for the survivors and those who supported them. The rendition of "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," originally performed by Martina McBride.
Kelly Nagle, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen of North Jersey took the mike to let survivors know that the Affiliate is here for everyone: survivors whose breast cancer journey is now, hopefully behind them; those who are newly-diagnosed, or still in treatment; and those who are stage 4/metastatic and will be fighting this disease every day of their lives."
She continued, "We want to send a message of hope, for new treatments and hopefully the cures. We have set a bold, ambitious goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026. We will do this by insuring that everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, has access to and utilizes high-quality breast cancer care. Because where you live, shouldn't determine whether you live. And we will also increase funding for research targeted at the most lethal and aggressive forms of breast cancer."
The event concluded as hundreds joined in a walk around Liberty State Park and a rocking serenade by Running Late, who arrived just in time for a raucous sendoff.
*TAPinto was Platinum-Level sponsor of this event, continuing this news outlet's support of the Race for the Cure.