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In less than two months, Party in Pink participants will be pounding the pavement as they set out for a tenth time to show that "Hope Runs Pink" in Benton County. Organizers have set Friday, June 17 as the date for this year's annual fundraising event to benefit Gifts of Hope.

In honor of the tenth anniversary, a 10K route has been added as an option for participants. If they prefer, racers may still choose the traditional 1-mile or 5K walk/run routes. Racing enthusiasts should note this event includes chipped timing with posted results after the race. Online registration is already open and can be accessed using the shortcut, bit.ly/partyinpink2022. The same link offers a selection of Party in Pink apparel and an opportunity to place donations for anyone who would like to forgo the race but still provide support. Racers may register until race time on Friday afternoon, but those interested in tee shirts and race packets must make sure and submit their entries before June 8, 2022. All event details, including race routes, safety guidelines, and a free participation certificate, are available on the race website.

A virtual option is available for anyone unable to attend the event in person or those who would prefer to walk or run independently. Racers have the weekend to complete a course of their choosing and upload their times to the official website by 10 pm on Sunday, June 19. By doing so, virtual participants ensure their finish times show on the leader board.

The Kid's Fun Run will start the evening off at 5:45 pm, with the 10K beginning at 6 pm and the 1-mile/5K to follow at 6:15 pm. Party in Pink coincides with Party in the Park, so racers are encouraged to stay after the race for a great evening of live music, food and other activities hosted by the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department (VPRD). Find schedule details on the VPRD website: www.vprdzone.com

The race and fundraiser are a joint effort between co-hosts, the Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation, Virginia Gay Hospital, and the Survivors of Benton County to support Gifts of Hope. It serves as a great reminder of how important early detection is in the fight against breast cancer and raises funds to ensure every person in our local communities has access to regular mammograms. Statistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. But, if caught in early stages and prescribed treatments are followed, there is a 98% survival rate. Financial obstacles should not be a reason to skip an essential screening like a mammogram.

Gifts of Hope is a fund implemented through the Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation that provides financial assistance to pay for mammograms and other health services related to breast cancer detection and treatment. Patients who need help can access the funds through Virginia Gay Hospital family medical clinics located in Atkins, Urbana, Van Horne and Vinton. There is no application to complete. Patients just need to have a conversation with their healthcare provider about their needs. Learn more about the fund and how it works by visiting the Virginia Gay Hospital website at www.myvgh.org/vgh-foundation/gifts-of-hope.

Almost $130,000 has been donated to Gifts of Hope in the last ten years. Between $15,000 and $25,000 is distributed each year to women in our local area. "We are pleased to partner with The Benton County Survivors and Virginia Gay Hospital each year to hold this special event. It's a wonderful way to recognize those diagnosed with breast cancer and survived, honor those who have lost the battle, and support and encourage everyone to keep up with vital health check-ups and routine screenings. As we celebrate ten years of Party in Pink, we are grateful for our business sponsors' continued and generous support and the community that shows us just how much hope runs pinks by attending the race each year! We'd love to see a record number of participants on the routes this year," Robin Martin, Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation Director, explains.

"This is such a special event. It is organized and supported by local groups and organizations, and all the funds raised go straight to those in need with nothing going to administrative or operational costs."

Questions regarding the Party in Pink 5K event or contributions to the Gifts of Hope fund should be directed to Robin Martin by phone at 319-472-6375 or by email at rmartin@vghinc.com.

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