National News

Albany Pink Walk raises nearly $74,000 for cancer crisis funding

Posted July 20

— Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital officials said Tuesday that the annual Albany Pink Walk, established as a means to raise crisis funding for those suffering from female-related cancers, gained enough momentum this year to pull in more per participant than ever before.

Phoebe officials said organizers and sponsors of the annual Albany Pink Walk delivered checks on Tuesday totaling $73,891 to the Phoebe Foundation. The funding comes in during a year of devastating storms in Albany that coordinators for the March fundraiser thought might impact donations.

Albany Pink started in 2013 with 231 walkers. Last year, nearly 1,300 walkers participated.

Officials said the number was down slightly this year.

"We thought we might have 50 people, but it kept growing," Albany Pink Founder Janet Elliott, who also works as controller for Albany Motorcars, said. "It's been amazing to watch it continue to grow since (that first year) and to hear from people we've been able to help and support.

"It has really given me and co-coordinator Erica Bliese a sense of purpose."

Albany Pink organizers prepared for this year's event as they came together to help with storm recovery, providing 1,000 meals for victims of January's two disasters, officials said.

Each year, the foundation uses money raised by Albany Pink to serve patients in Southwest Georgia suffering from female-related cancers. Officials said funds raised during the 2016 event provided free mammogram screenings for 230 women, paid for cancer treatment for 85 patients in need, and provided 37 patients with rehabilitation supplies and equipment over the last year.

"The caring folks who organize and participate in the Albany Pink Walk are some of the most generous and passionate supporters we have," Phoebe Foundation Executive Director Lauren Ray said. "Their generosity and commitment translates directly into better health outcomes for women in our area who might not otherwise get the cancer screenings and care they need."

This year's donation included $68,891 raised by event participants and $5,000 donated by BMW of Albany. Officials said a $3,000 gift from Pfizer paid administrative costs associated with the event so that all registration fees could be donated to the foundation.

The next Albany Pink Walk is set for March 17, 2018 at Meredyth Place. For more information, visit www.albanypink.com.

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