Gundersen Medical Foundation’s annual Steppin’ Out in Pink event will take over La Crosse’s Riverside Park and surrounding areas Saturday, September 9. The non-competitive fundraising walk for all ages and abilities raises money to support breast cancer research and patient support programs at the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care.
Olivia Moths, Philanthropy Program Coordinator at Gundersen’s Medical Foundation, told Z93 the event is unique because all of the funds raised through this event stay local. Funds assist breast cancer patients through support programs that help them get through treatment and funds also go right to medical research.
Moths said lead researcher Dr. Paraic Kenny and his team are doing the most incredible things for breast cancer. “The way that we treat people now is so different and so personalized to each person,” she said. “It’s really important to know that all the funds raised through Steppin’ Out In Pink, if they don’t go to a patient support program, which they do, they go to funding the research being done, and it’s all right here. It’s incredible.”
At the event, there will be live music, DJ entertainment from Mid-West Family Entertainment, and a vendor market.
Moths explained, “if you’ve never been to the actual event, it’s indescribable. The energy you feel that day, everyone is in pink; the town is literally painted pink.”
“It’s incredible and everyone’s just so excited. They’re either there to support a loved one going through this or remember someone that they’ve lost and I think that’s really important to remember. It’s a really fun event but some people are there to remember someone they’ve lost.”
There are many survivors that attend the event as well.
“The breast cancer survivors are incredible and they bring so much energy to the event. And it’s just so important that we honor them and celebrate them for what they’ve gone through and just make sure they know we’re behind them.”
Moths said at Gundersen, patients are considered a breast cancer survivor at day of diagnosis.
“So, not only are some of our survivors in remission, cancer free, some of them are currently fighting breast cancer and they’re here and they’re having a great time and it’s good to support them,” Moths continued.
Early bird registration is on through June 29. Right now, participants will receive their T-shirt and registration for only $20.
The event is looking for volunteers as well. Community members helping at Steppin’ Out in Pink receive a free shirt and can register here.