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Guest blogger Danielle Rosenzweig is the Director of Events for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2).
Everyone says that you have to walk before you run, but Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) has asked “why can’t we do both?” In the spirit of hitting the ground literally running, ABC2 is in the final planning stages of its first fundraising event in Florida, The Florida Brain Cancer Walk. This 5K Walk, Run, and Family Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, March 27, 2010 at John Prince Park in Palm Beach County.
While you wouldn’t know it from the website, community support, or funds raised to date, the Florida Brain Cancer Walk has only been a project of ABC2 since October 2009. I was hired in mid-October with the task of creating something out of nothing, a task that, when you first hear it, is pretty daunting. But my colleagues had confidence in the work that was being done at facilities such as Scripps Florida and felt that we should be doing all we could to support such promising projects. We decided that the best way to not only raise funds, but also awareness, was to host an event that would be accessible to the entire community and open to participants of all fitness levels. From the beginning we made the important decision that all the proceeds would benefit Florida-based brain cancer research projects! We were asking the local South Florida community for their support and wanted to make sure that we were demonstrating that same level of support in return.
The Walk has already attracted amazing supporters! Genentech, Promega and the Rendina Family Foundation have all committed to sponsorships; Sunny 104.3 and Earl Stewart Toyota are providing in-kind services; and community leaders are showing their support including Grace Nelson, Wife of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who will be serving as Honorary Chair and Anne Gannon, Palm Beach Tax Collector, who has created a Walk Team.
Everyday more teams and individuals register for the upcoming Walk, and our current count is 28 teams and 160 participants. Needless to say with every new participant comes new donations and even as I type this message I am watching our fundraising total roll past $36,000…very exciting!
Our efforts in Florida could not succeed without the support of amazing volunteers on the ground. During my most recent trip down to Florida, I had the pleasure of participating in our first volunteer committee meeting. This small, yet determined group of nine started the meeting by sharing stories of loved ones and reasons for being involved.
As the Event Director, I have a lot of professional interest in the success of this event however my real commitment comes from my own experiences. In 2007, I lost my mother to a brain tumor, after watching her fight for nearly 8 years. Her illness along with her passing had a huge impact on my father, sister and I, and left me with a feeling of helplessness. Sitting in that living room and listening to stories that echoed my own, I was inspired by the people who surrounded me. Their experiences reminded me of how important our mission is and I was moved listening to people who have suffered so much, and yet were determined to find ways to help others avoid similar pain. As tears filled my eyes, I realized that this event was going to do much more than raise research dollars; the Florida Brain Cancer Walk is going to be a celebration of hope, love and life and I invite you to join us and get involved!
We Walk For Those We’ve Lost, We Walk For Those We Love, and Together We Walk For a Cure! For more information about the event or to get involved please visit www.floridabraincancerwalk.org