Komen Race for the Cure
For 17 years Baton Rouge has supported the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, southern style. More than 15,000 people came together to raise money to defeat this deadly disease, and in addition to the runners, there were supporters and survivors filling the Old Front Nine at LSU on March 2nd.
The young women of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority showed their version of southern hospitality by providing survivors breakfast and small gifts as tokens of support. They established a tent exclusively for survivor comfort.
Of course, a festival in Baton Rouge couldn't be a festival without great food, so in a magnificent effort to raise additional funds, forty teams participated in a jambalaya competition. The first place winners included Mark and Josh Johnson in the 30 gallon category, Jay Alexis in the 10 gallon, and Donald Matherne in the pastalaya competition. These teams of renowned chefs added significantly to the $2.8 million raised in Baton Rouge.
A one-mile fun run kicked off the event for supporters not competing in the 5k race. Next came the Race for the Cure itself. Finishing first out of 237 women was Rosalie Teeuwen with a time of 20:03.1. Alex Braud was the first of 197 finishers with a time of 18:53.0.
Lastly were the award ceremonies, in which winners were named in 17 categories from top fund raisers to best t-shirt designs, while live music accompanied the inevitable parade!
Nancy G. Brinker launched the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in 1980 in honor of her sister and with the promise to end breast cancer. The organization has generated $750 million for research. The network funds almost 2,000 community organizations which support education, screening and even provide patient emergency funds. Since 1982, the corporation has provided $1.3 billion in local grants. This year the organization is providing grants totaling $330,000 to seven community programs including:
- Baton Rouge General Medical Center
- Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge
- Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
- Pointe Coupee Health Services Foundation
- River Region Screening Center
- Woman's Hospital
- YWCA Greater Baton Rouge
The tremendous amount of work to raise awareness of this disease, and the community spirit demonstrated in local fundraising efforts, are indicative of the character of the people of Baton Rouge and their commitment to family and friends. Their methods of turning the task of raising funds into a delightful party for all to enjoy is part of what makes moving to Baton Rouge feel like coming home.