by Alicia Di Rado and Wayne Lewis
More than 26,000 people in nine cities ambled, jogged and scrambled to support Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer in 2008. Their efforts made the event a resounding success, bringing in more than $2.5 million nationwide for breast cancer research, treatment and education at City of Hope.
Walk for Hope has surpassed $27 million in fundraising since its inception in 1995.
Hilton HHonors, United Stationers, the Walking Company, Delta Air Lines and Good Housekeeping magazine sponsored the event nationally, while Albertsons/ SavOn served as local presenting sponsor for walks in Los Angeles and San Diego. For the eighth year, soap opera star Andrea Evans served as Walk’s national celebrity ambassador.
|Philadelphia Walk for Hope participants trek across the historic Ben Franklin Bridge. (Photo by KSN Images)|
In 2008, events took place in San Diego, Edison, N.J., Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
The top three fundraising Walk events took place in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Chicago. More than 8,000 supporters turned out in Los Angeles on Nov. 9, raising more than $840,000. The Oct. 5 Phoenix event attracted more than 5,000 supporters, who brought in more than $312,000. Chicago’s event, also held Oct. 5, garnered more than $293,000 thanks to the effort of more than 2,500 walkers.
The story of Philadelphia’s Bottino family was just one example of what happens when ingenuity meets generosity in the fight against breast cancer. They used their family-owned food markets, Bottinos ShopRite, to raise funds. For each employee who registered for Philadelphia’s Walk in September, the Bottinos pledged $25. All four family stores sold pink ribbons and Walk-themed T-shirts, donating all proceeds to the Walk. In all, 63 employees participated, and the business raised more than $10,000 for City of Hope.
For the third year running, the top Walk team nationwide was C is for Courage, S is for Strength. Led by captain Chelli Fishman, the Chicago team raised more than $47,000. Sharon Fiedler of the Los Angeles Walk was the top individual fundraiser, with a total of more than $20,000. The Pink Carpet Club, a group of teams composed of City of Hope staff members, made a strong showing. Its 853 members raised more than $79,000.
The 2009 Walk for Hope fundraising season is already under way, with the year’s first event scheduled for May 9 in San Diego.