"I Pink I Can" Breast Cancer Walk comes to Chiefland

Event subject to change due to Hurricane Ian

CHIEFLAND — The Chiefland Woman’s Club is hosting its first breast cancer awareness 5K walk, “I Pink I Can”.

“Primarily in the past, the Woman’s Club’s main focus was the Watermelon Festival,” Rissa Johns, chair of the race, said. “Those proceeds, we donate to civic organizations in our community. Of course, with the Woman’s Club, we are focusing on women. And with October being the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to put on the run.”

The walk/run will be held on the Nature Coast Trail Saturday at 8 a.m. People of all skill levels are welcome to run, walk, push strollers or bike ride. The paved course starts and ends at the Chiefland Trailhead, which is located across the street from the Train Depot (23 SE 2nd Ave., Chiefland).

“We have a few cyclists, and I’m 100 percent with that – just watch out for the walkers,” Johns said.

All proceeds benefit the Suwannee River Breast Cancer Awareness Association (SRBCAA), a local organization that donates to people in the region. The goal of the nonprofit is to assist families who are facing financial hardship as a result of paying for medical treatments.

SRBCAA does not give money directly to the families, but will assist qualified applicants with expenses, including mortgage or rent payments, utility bills and insurance premiums. They service the counties that border the Suwannee River, which include Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties.

“The money raised isn’t going to be sent off to another state or another organization,” Johns said. “It’s going to be right here. People that we live, breathe and work with can be benefitted by this organization. We were drawn to Suwannee River Breast Cancer Awareness Association because they are fully nonprofit. They are all volunteers. So is the Woman’s Club. So there is no overhead to be paid, no administrative cost. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to local families.”

All expenses for the walk have been paid by the event’s sponsors: Ag Pro, Allen Law, A Clean Team, Bejeweled, Big John’s Supply, BubbaQues, Florida Fitness, Forward Fitness, Friends of Brandon Peters, Gathering Table, Jim King Realty, Levy Citizen, Commissioner Lewrissa Johns, Spann’s Heating and Air, To Your Health & Wellness, True Aesthetics and Wellness, Heather Easley and Waste Pro.

The cost to join the walk is $25 per person to pre-register, or $30 to register at the walk. All participants will receive a t-shirt and medal. A water stop is located on the course.

Those who have been personally affected by breast cancer, or those walking in support or memory of someone, can also receive a bandana to wear, if they wish. While this is a non-competitive walk/run, there will be a timer on-site for those who want to know their time.

To register for the “I Pink I Can” 5K, visit the Chiefland Woman’s Club Facebook page or contact Rissa Johns at rissajohns21@gmail.com or 352-535-5301.

Johns is a fairly new member of the Chiefland Woman’s Club and she hopes that others will follow her. The Chiefland Woman’s Club has been focusing for the past year on increasing their membership. They have had some success with recruiting local women to the organization and hope to continue to grow.

“We always have open membership,” Johns said. “I strongly say women should join. It’s a phenomenal group who have a passion for this community. I love seeing the club get more involved and wanting to do more to continually give back. The walk is a simple way to get people involved, get people active, but still give back to the community.”

Annual membership fees to join the Chiefland Woman’s Club is $25. The club meets the first Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at their club house, 825 East Park Ave. Local women are welcome to drop in to a meeting.

Those interested in learning more about the Suwannee River Breast Cancer Awareness Association can visit www.suwanneeawareness.com.

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