By Amy Lukac
SC Staff Writer
Breast cancer survivors joined students from East Stroudsburg University and community members on Thursday, October 9 for the fourteenth annual Pink Light Walk.
The walk began in the Keystone Room at ESU and concluded at the Pocono Medical Center’s Dale and Francis Hughes Cancer Center at 206 East Brown Street in East Stroudsburg.
ESU’s Department of Health Services sponsored the event along with ESU’s Student Activity Association, the Pocono Medical Center Hughes Cancer Center, the Monroe County Office of the Area Agency on Aging, and the Monroe Chapter of American Cancer Society.
The first 600 people to register for the 5k-walk received a t-shirt as well as a pink glow light candle to carry during the walk.
In the entryway of the Keystone Room, there was a table with volunteers giving out pink glow-stick necklaces and water bottles.
Inside the building, there were 13 additional booths. Some of the booths sold items like pink ribbons, magnets, popcorn, candy, and boutique items. Other booths included charts with breast cancer prevention tips, brochures from the American Cancer Society, general information, and local support groups.
Pocono Medical Center’s booth had a registration form for a free mammogram, along with information on cancer care and screenings.
Sweet Creams Café, located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, handed out flyers letting the public know that during the month of October, they will be donating $1 to Hope for Strength Breast Cancer Fund for every cone or dish of Strawberry or Rose Petal homemade ice cream.
According to Maria Hackney, the overall turnout was at least 800 people. The students, community members, staff, children, and even ESU’s mascot Burgy visited the booths and waited for Beth Moses, our honorary chairperson, to give her speech about her experience with breast cancer.
“I think it’s great that ESU takes the time to create an event to help causes that affect a lot of people,” said Samantha Sheridan, a senior and an English writing major.
Beth gave her speech while all participants listened closely. “You could hear a pin drop when Beth gave her speech. I think it was very meaningful to our ESU students,” said Maria Hackney, director of University Health Services.
The students, staff, community members, children from all ages, and even dogs flooded Normal Street with the color pink. Leading the pink-glowing participants was a light pink fire truck, with firemen dressed in pink uniforms.
The crowd of people all had the pink t-shirts they were given, and many even designed their own. Pink was covering campus; men were wearing bras on top of their shirts, beards were pink, dogs’ tails and ears were pink, shoes, hair, faces, and even the sky was pink!
“I’m excited to be a part of something great that will help raise awareness in the community for breast cancer support,” said Jessica Emley, a senior and English major.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women, with an estimated 220,000 women in the United States diagnosed and more than 40,000 fatalities each year.
Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed and approximately 410 will die each year.
At the conclusion of the walk, participants enjoyed music, refreshments and participated in a raffle drawing of many donated prizes.
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