By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A group of Havre residents will travel to Helena next week for the 10th annual Race for the Cure.
The race, sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, is intended to honor breast cancer victims, celebrate breast cancer survivors and raise money for research and education. The May 15 race in Helena attracts hundreds of entrants from across Montana and coincides with similar events throughout the United States.
"It's a very emotional event. The women who wear pink shirts are cancer survivors. It's emotional because everybody knows somebody who had or has cancer," said Havre resident Janet Cortese, who has participated in the race for the last two years.
"I think it makes you feel good seeing so many survivors. You see that there is a cure, and this is not a death sentence anymore," she said. "Plus, it's a nice social event. You meet new people and get to enjoy it."
Cortese learned of the race from one of her friends, and was touched by her own experience at the event.
"I cried half the way through. It was a real emotional event. We had one woman who wanted to walk it alone, because her daughter had just gone through breast cancer," Cortese said. "I was hooked after the first time. It's wonderful."
For the last two years, she has traveled to Helena in the courtesy van sponsored by Havre Ford. The dealership provides transportation and meals for local residents who want to participate in the race.
"Havre Ford is so wonderful. They collect anyone from Havre who wants to go and take you down there," Cortese said. "They feed you. It's a fun trip. It's just a fun group."
The Race for the Cure is supported by Ford dealerships throughout the state, said Steve Steinmetz, general manager of Havre Ford.
"The Montana Ford dealers have been huge into supporting Race for the Cure," he said. "Each one does their own thing, and this is how we help out."
The Race for the Cure raises funds for education and early detection of breast cancer for women throughout Montana, and helps fund the National Grants program of the Komen Foundation, according to the foundation's Web site.
The foundation was founded by Nancy Goodman Brinker in memory of her sister, Susan Goodman Komen, who died from cancer. Komen was diagnosed in 1978. Before she died at the age of 36, she asked her sister to do everything possible to bring an end to breast cancer, according to the Komen Foundation's Web site. Brinker kept her promise by establishing the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 1982. The foundation is the nation's largest private source of research funding dedicated solely to breast cancer.
This will be the 10th year the foundation has sponsored the Race for the Cure in Helena. Participants can choose to enter either 1-mile or 3-kilometer races.
Many choose to walk, Cortese said.
"For me, it's not about the race, it's about being out there with all these cancer survivors and getting to meet all these people. When you're done, you go to the Capitol and they have a really nice feed for you, with yogurt, juice and bagels, and you just get to visit with people," she said.
This year, the van sponsored by Havre Ford will leave for Helena from the dealership at 5 a.m. on May 15. Those interested in riding in the van should contact local race captain and seven-year race veteran Raela Hulett.
Anyone interested in joining the Race for the Cure needs to register via mail by Monday. The forms are available at Havre Ford, Albertsons, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana and the Hill County Health Department. The cost of mail-in registration is $18 for adults and $15 for children.
Registration may also be done online until May 14. The cost of online registration is $16 for adults and $13 for children.
Hulett's number is 265-4097.
On the Web: www.mtrace4thecure.org