WOD lace up for cancer walk

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cancer is no walk in the park, but the Women of Distinction are going to turn a simple walk in the park into an event to help those suffering from the disease.

A walk-a-thon will be held at Tom Byrne Park Saturday beginning with a 7 a.m. registration start. Opening ceremonies will begin at 7:30 a.m. with walking beginning at 8 a.m.

Organizers of the event are hosting the “Walk in the Park” in an effort to raise funds to help provide gas cards to cancer patients who must travel for treatments.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We wanted to do something to help cancer patients with expenses related to getting treatment for the disease,” WOD member Stephanie Walker said. “The proceeds from these events will benefit those patients in our area.”

Walker said the beginnings of WOD came when a group of women realized how much cancer touches the lives of the community.

“We have nine members in our group and everyone in the group has someone in their lives that have been touched by cancer,” Walker said. “We have two members who have lost sisters to breast cancer. One of our members lost her father to lung cancer and I lost a close friend to cancer. This is something we can do to help the people in our local area.”

Although Walker said the group supports Relay for Life events of the American Cancer Society, this particular event is targeted more at helping local cancer patients.

“Relay for Life is a great event and we do support that to an extent,” Walker said. “What we do is more for local area cancer patients. Relay is meant to benefit patients nationwide, but what we do is just for our community.”

In previous years, WOD have generated funds that purchased $700 in gas cards the first year and $610 last year. Walker says she hopes to see those amounts double this year.

“We are thankful for every donation and contribution,” Walker said. “We would love to see $1,000 or $1,500 this year in funds raised.”

Walker said the money would make gas cards available through the American Society Society’s mid-south division office.

“Any local cancer patient who needs assistance with the expenses of gasoline to get to and from treatments can contact us or the mid-south division office of the American Cancer Society,” Walker said. “We will purchase the gas cards with the proceeds from this event and they will be distributed by that office.”

For those who aren’t able to attend Saturday’s event, opportunities to make a donation toward the purchase of a gas card are available.

“We have donation or pledge forms available on our Web site that will let people ‘Give A Gallon,’” Walker said. “If you can’t come out to walk or want to support someone who is walking that day, making a pledge to contribute enough to cover the cost of a gallon of gas would be a great help.”

Walker said participants in the walk-a-thon will have pledge forms available and those forms may also be downloaded from their WOD Web site.

In addition to the walk-a-thon portion of the day, a carnival will also be held from 1 to 5 p.m.

“The carnival is geared more toward elementary-aged children,” Walker said. “We will have a lot of games that are suitable for children 12 and under.”

Tickets for the carnival will be 4 for $1. Games will include horseshoes, fishing pond, lollipop tree, duck pond, spin the toy, face painting, fingernail painting, temporary tattoos and others.

Prizes will be given and refreshments will be available.

For more information about Saturday’s “Walk in the Park,” contact any member of The Women of Distinction organization. Pledge forms may be downloaded at the group’s Web site at www.womenofdistinctiongroup.com. Walker can be contacted by calling 577-1339 or 368-4597.

Members of the Women of Distinction prepare for the group’s cancer walk in 2008. |File Photo