Creative drive keeps fundraising alive for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ben Henry
Updated: October 24, 2020 10:46 PM
Created: October 24, 2020 09:33 PM

From plunging into freezing water, to the many different 5K walks likely around a non-frozen lake, Minnesotans pride themselves on their generosity centered around events that benefit charities and cancer research. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic organizers have had to get creative with the events and benefits. There have been virtual benefits and plenty of drive-thrus, and while the generosity has followed, some events have not been as successful as years past. 

With Valley Fair as the backdrop, music played while a dozen or so volunteers in pink cheered drivers through the Strides Ride event in Shakopee.

The Strides Ride is in place of the annual Making Strides of The Twin Cities 5K. As of the morning of the event, organizers had raised just more than half of their $225,000 goal. 

“Our focus is on creating awareness for breast cancer for breast cancer awareness month,” said Amy Countryman, manager with Making Strides.

“And continuing to fundraise — you know, we have research funding that is in jeopardy, and that’s a really scary place to be right now,” Countryman added. 

The creative event was a quick drive around Valley Fair’s parking lot with dedications to those who lost their lives to breast cancer, opportunities to catch up with friends and a wave goodbye from the line of law enforcement personnel also there to show support — all socially distanced with masks. 

“We know that not everyone can donate right now, but there’s a lot of people who still can and that’s what we’re really asking for. But you know out here, all the pink, it’s creating awareness,” Countryman said.

One of the stops along the route was the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. The benefit also came up short of its goal, but those taking part were still happy there was some kind of event to be held. 

“Our house has three survivors in it: my wife and my twin daughters,” said Jon Althoff, part of the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. “So it was very personal for me and most of the guys in the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign.”

The ride is over, but the need for fundraising continues. If you can help, organizers say every bit counts. 

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