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Run, walk for the cause

October 15, 2012

Last year’s Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance 5K/10K fun/run drew folks on foot, on bicycles, in wheelchairs, in running shoes, in costume, with pets and in strollers. And all funds raised go directly to all kinds of cancer patients. Photo courtesy Heather Marvin and Rebecca Garrett

Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance will soon host its annual fun run, raffle and impromptu art sale, to benefit the organization, which sustains cancer patients and their families with emotional as well as financial support.
“We expect about 300 people,” ESBCA Treasurer Andrea Shallcross said of the annual event, which is the organization’s biggest fundraiser.
There are several ways to pre-register for the ESBCA 12th Annual 5K Walk/10K Fun Run, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20. There will be a pre-registration event from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Northern Inyo Hospital in the administration breezeway. Reduced entry fees will be $30 per adult and $15 for youth 12 years old and under. Entrants can also pre-register online at ESBCA.org or via snail mail – make checks payable to ESBCA, and mail to ESBCE-Registration, P.O. Box 1523, Bishop, CA 93515-1523. All entrants will receive T-shirts, sponsored by NIH.
Raffle tickets will also be sold at pre-registration and at the walk/run – one for $2 or three for $5. One prize is a handmade apricot/mint quilt by Barbara Stuhaan, who has made a number of ESBCA opportunity quilts in the past. Other raffle prizes include gift baskets from Bee Gee’s Beauty Supply, Mule Days, Dwayne’s, Anne Marie’s Home Boutique, Kate Roberts and Nail Solution, said Shallcross.
The fun/run will begin at 9 a.m. at Bishop City Park’s Main Street entrance. (Entrants can still register from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at $35 per adult and $15 for youth.) The route will go through the park, along Spruce Street, behind Vons, over to Wye Road, past the canal and back again.
When the fun-running is over, folks can enjoy refreshments: fruit, yogurt and donuts courtesy of Vons; bagels from Schat’s Bäkkery; and coffee donated by Starbucks. They can also meander among health-related information booths such as NIH Breast Imaging, AFLAC, Curves, Yerkes Nutrition and Fitness, Airway Medical and Vitality Personal Indulgence.
At 11 a.m., raffle prize winners will be announced.
Anyone interested in helping at the fun/run should attend the volunteers meeting, 5:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 18 at the City Park gazebo, said Shallcross.
Although this is by far ESBCA’s biggest source of funds, said Shallcross, the 501c3 non-profit also receives funding through memorial and other donations. For example, “the Ryker Carr family donated artwork that wasn’t sold at their 2011 art auction fundraiser,” explained Shallcross. ESBCA is currently selling that art and among the many pieces are a watercolor by the late Peggy Gray and an oil by western-theme, Montana artist Donna Erickson.
All funds raised by ESBCA go directly to supporting cancer patients, explained Shallcross. For example, patients need only provide “a doctor’s written diagnosis of cancer and receipts for qualifying expenses” to apply for reimbursement of co-payments, prescriptions, travel expenses (food, lodging, gas) and even rent and utilities. To this end, ESBCA reviews applications and available funds on a monthly basis.
Every cancer patient has a big burden but more so in a rural area because of travel, said Shallcross. “Even someone with great insurance doesn’t get all their costs covered … Income is not a consideration.”
ESBCA provides support for patients, with any form of cancer, in various ways. The organization helps patients find treatment information, prosthetics and wig catalogues and other literature; apply for American Cancer Society gas cards; organize patient paperwork; and more. Most importantly, Shallcross said, ESBCA provides emotional and moral support. “Sometimes we just listen.”
Twelve years ago, NIH Nurse Pat Ramirez founded ESBCA. “She was a visionary,” said Shallcross. Secretary Vickie LaBraque, and board member and PR person Sherry Nostrant are also NIH nurses. The connection continues. ESBCA has rent-free office space in NIH’s Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St. All of this support comes at no charge, Shallcross added, as the alliance is not affiliated with the hospital.
“NIH provides us with great support,” said Shallcross. “We are very grateful to them.”
The public is welcome to join Shallcross, LaBraque, Nostrant, President Melissa Best-Baker and board members Candy Stone, Cheryl Underhill and Heather Marvin at the open sessions of ESBCA monthly meetings on the first Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
The volunteer-staffed office is open Tuesdays, 10 a.m-noon, and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon, or by appointment. For more information about receiving services or volunteering, purchasing art work or otherwise donating, call (760) 872-3811.

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