Travis Benjamin of the Los Angeles Chargers named 2017 Honorary Race Chair
Online PR News – 15-August-2017 – IRVINE, Calif. – For the 26th year, Susan G. Komen Orange County’s Race for the Cure®, the largest and most successful breast cancer fundraiser in California, will unite thousands of supporters, breast cancer survivors and advocates on Sunday, Sept. 24, at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island. Komen Orange County is excited to announce a partnership with the Los Angeles Chargers, who will raise awareness and funds through the creation of team Chargers for the Cure. Travis Benjamin, wide receiver and return specialist has been named Honorary Race Chair. Benjamin has been personally impacted by breast cancer: his mother, grandmother and aunt have all fought the battle against this disease.
Themed “Be More Than Pink,” this year’s race encourages participants to do more: to fundraise and to get more involved! The nonprofit’s goal is to raise $2 million at Race for the Cure to fund Komen’s Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026. Funds raised will support expanding access to cancer care for the underserved population and research focusing on aggressive breast cancer types and metastatic disease.
A special tribute will honor Robin Pollok, who performed the National Anthem at the event since 2000 but this past year lost her third battle to breast cancer. Pollok’s 17-year-old daughter, Emily, will perform at the event in place of her mother, who despite her numerous surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, never missed a race.
Komen Orange County’s first male chair, Doug McKay, community grant and giving chair for Macy’s Orange County, will serve as the Race Chair for the fourth consecutive year. Having lost his wife to cancer at age 27, he carries a deep understanding and passion for the mission of this event. McKay is guiding the race leadership committee in the strategic planning to make the event a success.
“On any given day in Orange County, at least five women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one will die from the disease. For many of them, it does not have to be so. Early detections and treatments can save their lives,” says McKay. “It’s one thing to be aware of breast cancer, it’s another to do something about it. We’re very thankful for the thousands of people who participate in the race, who make pink so much more than a color by cheering for our cause, donating and raising funds!”
The Komen Orange County Race for the Cure is open to participants of all ages and skill levels, who are welcome to run, walk or stroll the course. For early birds, the first 5K begins at 7:15 a.m. with a “PLUS Timing Chip” option for those who plan to run the course. The Kids One-Mile Fun Run & Walk presented by Knott’s Berry Farm begins at 8 a.m., and a second 5K will begin at 9:45 a.m. for those who prefer a more relaxed pace. At 8:45 a.m., thousands of survivors will fill the steps of the Pacific Life Insurance Building after the Breast Cancer Survivor Parade, followed by the Survivor Tribute – a memorable and moving ceremony highlighted by the national anthem and the release of white doves to recognize survivors and pay tribute to those who lost their battle to the disease.
Race attendees also will have the opportunity to explore the Whole Health Expo and learn more about breast health, community resources and much more. New this year, all registered participants are invited to visit the “Orange Zone” hosted by Orangetheory Fitness to receive a 12-minute High Intensity Interval Training workout.
“Last year alone, Komen Orange County was able to assist more than 16,000 Orange County residents with their breast health needs,” said Lisa Wolter, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Orange County. “The funds we raise at Race for the Cure are capital for the success of our mission of saving lives and ensuring that all people, regardless of race, income, geographic location, sexual orientation or insurance status, have access to screening and to quality, effective treatment and treatment support services.”
Race registration is now open. General registration for adults is $35; breast cancer survivors, $30; youth under 18, $15; and day-of registration, $40 for all participants. The Komen-branded “PLUS Timing Chip,” available for an additional $5 donation in the 7:15 a.m. race, allows competitive runners to show off their skills by tracking their times on a scoreboard. In celebration of the 26th race, participants can donate $26 at the time of registration to receive a limited edition I AM MORE THAN PINK medal. Those who can’t attend can still participate by registering as a Virtual Participant for $45 and receive a T-shirt and race bib by mail.
Local Presenting Sponsors include The Allergan Foundation, Chevron, and Knott’s Berry Farm. The Platinum Sponsors are ABC7, Pacific Life Insurance Company (Home of the Race), Ralph’s and Food for Less. Diamond Sponsors are First American Title Insurance Company, Hot Ticket Racing, and Carol and Becky Burch.
Seventy-five percent of funds raised, stay in Orange County and provide breast health education, screening, and treatment for uninsured or underinsured community members. The other 25 percent raised benefits Komen research and scientific grant programs, which support groundbreaking breast cancer research.
Race Day Schedule
The 26th annual Komen Orange County Race for the Cure kicks off with a Whole Health Expo at 6:30 a.m. in front of the Pacific Life Building at 700 Newport Center Drive. At 9 a.m., breast cancer survivors will be honored during the Survivor Tribute. Three difference races will begin on Newport Center Drive. Times are as follows:
• 5K Run/Walk – 7:15 a.m.; separate starting area for runners/PLUS Timing Chip participants
• Kids One-Mile Fun Run & Walk – 8 a.m.
• 5K Run/Walk – 9:45 a.m.
Participants can register individually or as a team at http://www.komenoc.org/race.
About Susan G. Komen® and Komen Orange County
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Komen was founded in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Komen Orange County is working to better the lives of those that face breast cancer in the local community. Through events like the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure®, Komen Orange County has invested more than $38 million in community breast health programs and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. For more information, call 714-957-9157 or visit komenoc.org.