Pink Warrior Dash, Runway of Hope going virtual to raise funds
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Pink Warrior Angels of Texas is holding its sixth annual Pink Warrior Dash virtually this year.
The event serves as a fundraiser for the organization, which provides aid to cancer patients and cancer survivors.
Pink Warrior Angels of Texas founder Julie Moser said that the decision to make the event virtual came as the result of COVID-19.
“With any virtual event, you have to make a cut off decision at some point to decide to do it or not to do it and whether it’s going to be hybrid,” Moser said. “With the ever-changing rules of Texas and of course local changes, depending on your counties for your numbers, the board decided to finally just go ahead and make the run virtual because one, it’s easier; two, it hits everybody everywhere and gets everybody out and motivated.”
The virtual 5K will begin officially Friday, September 25 and run through September 30. Registration is $30 and is open until September 26.
Registered participants will be invited to a closed Facebook group where they will get to interact with other participants.
The race is based on the honor system, with participants sharing their results. The group will also allow for participants to share how they’ve been affected by cancer.
“The intent is to motivate, empower, give stories of how their $30 is going to go back and impact somebody who is going through cancer,” Moser said.
There will also be daily prizes in the group.
“Our sponsors are so wonderful to us, as they normally are regardless, but we want to be able to encourage that engagement, so whether you live in Colorado, California or New York, you can participate and still be interactive in your time zone,” Moser said.
Participants will receive a participation medal, a bib and a tie-dyed neck gaiter instead of a t-shirt, which will work as a face mask.
“It kind of goes into the “What’s Your Color?”, let’s start a conversation about your cancer ribbon, because nine times out of 10, people resonate to a cancer ribbon color because they either know somebody or themselves have been affected by cancer,” Moser said.
The month of September is the official month of awareness for several cancers- National Prostate Cancer which is represented by a light blue ribbon, Childhood Cancer which represented by a gold ribbon, Ovarian Cancer which is represented by a teal ribbon, Gynecologic Cancer which is represented by a purple ribbon and Blood Cancer, which is represented by an orange ribbon.
This year, there will be estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,520 cancer deaths in the United States, according to a paper published in the American Cancer Society Journal.
Money raised through the race will go to Pink Warrior Angels of Central Texas as they continue to help cancer patients and cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The money raised will help provide scholarships, financial aid and chemo care kits.
“A lot of cancer survivors had to go to treatment without support because they weren’t allowed in the hospital,” Moser said.
Moser shared that she had heard from one cancer patient who had to go to their first meeting with the oncologist by herself and was concerned about how she would hold it together without her husband able to be there with her.
“I was telling her some people FaceTime or if you can record it, because you’re not able to process the amount of information and unfamiliar words they’re going to give you, and that it’s awful she’s going to have to do it by herself,” Moser said.
Moser added that she felt there needs to be a better way to emotionally and mentally support cancer survivors, “because emotionally and mentally, we’re already all jacked up because of the word cancer, and having to go through some of that alone or not to process or hold somebody’s hand literally is mentally not okay.”
“I think about what I went through. There’s no way I could have done this without my husband and my best friend that was there. I thought I was a hot mess then,” Moser said.
With the pandemic, the organization’s donations have also decreased, but they are slowly going back up, according to Moser.
The goal is to raise $15,000 through the Pink Warrior Dash. So far, participants have raised $6,205 as of press time. The registration fee is $30, and some participants have formed teams and are fundraising that way.
Participants are encouraged to take photos and upload them to the PWATX Facebook timeline, PWATX Facebook group, Instagram and Twitter using hashtags #PWADASH2020 #Whatsyourcolor #pwatx or they can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The race officially starts September 26 but will run through September 30. There is no set course for this 5K, so participants can use a treadmill or their local parks.
“That’s the best part of the virtual is that they can walk, they can run, they can bike, they can swim,” Moser said.
Moser plans to do her 5K at race sponsor Integrity Rehab using their AlterG ® Anti-Gravity Treadmill ® which will be a low-impact way for her to participate.
“The hope is that people will post pictures, use our hashtag, tell us why they’re walking or running, and then we’ll pull all of that together for end of event video as one big race party that we did together,” Moser said.
Being virtual also means that participants can do it on their time, within the time frame, at their own pace.
“That’s a positive is you make it what you want on your own honor system,” Moser said. “My daughter named her team, ‘Couch Potatoes,’ and she’s like, ‘I may or may not walk it but this is my team.’ That’s okay! Bottom line, it is about supporting the organization. We have been hurting with donations because of everything but we are one of the few organizations that gives money right now.”
Moser said that with the pandemic, and the increase in requests for assistance from Pink Warrior Angels of Texas, the organization had to hone down the area they served from nationwide to just the state of Texas.
On a monthly basis, the organization receives over $20,000 in requests, Moser said. They have added a question to the application asking if the requestor lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
PWATX will be joining with the Copperas Cove HomeBase Lumber & Supply in hosting the Pink Block Party on October 10, to raise more awareness.
Runway of Hope goes virtual, Miss America 2020 to emcee
The organization will also hold the Runway of Hope again this year, also virtually. The fashion show fundraiser was originally scheduled for August but due to the size of the event and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the board of directors made the decision to turn the event into a virtual one to be held in December, featuring 10 models, with Miss America 2020 Miss Camille Schrier as the event’s emcee.
The models will wear dresses provided by Operation Deploy Your Dress, and Maria Reed, with Moving with the Military, will oversee the production as it is broadcast live out of a local location.
Moser said the virtual event will still allow for the models to share their stories and “let them strut their stuff.”
The models will work with a runway coach virtually.
“It’s not about how to be prim and proper on a runway, but how you strut your stuff on whatever it is that your journey is and strutting through that,” Moser said.
Moser said she will miss the people and getting to interact with everyone in person and the “feel-good energy”, but she is excited about the virtual events
Participants can register for the Pink Warrior Dash at http://bit.ly/6pwadash.