The Inyo County Board of Supervisors passed a proclamation Tuesday declaring Oct. 15 Community Pink Day at the request of the Eastern Sierra Community Alliance, marking about two decades the county has participated in raising breast cancer awareness during the month of October.
Kevin Carunchio, speaking on behalf of the board of directors for the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance, said the month of October is not only about raising awareness regarding breast cancer but educating the community about screening and other resources available in the area.
Carunchio said the proclamation raises awareness of the existence of the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance and all the support and resources the alliance provides to people and their families battling cancer in the community.
He said the 21st annual 5K Fun Run and Walk, which is the primary fundraiser for the alliance, will kick off at at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Bishop City Park. Those interested can register before Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Shallcross and Associates Office, 250 Sneden St., in Bishop. Carunchio said those who wait until Saturday to get their pink on can still register beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the park.
He said some of the many resources the alliance provide include monthly support groups held on the first Tuesday of every month, emotional support, arranging for other resources that might be needed in one’s battle with cancer and, most importantly, financial support.
“Battling cancer in a rural community comes with a lot of costs not incurred by people in metropolitan areas,” Carunchio said. “You have to travel to treatment, you often have to stay near the hospital for the duration that treatment until you’re well enough to travel home and other expenses.”
He said using just donations from the community, the ESCA makes monthly contributions to people who requested it to cover those kinds of costs.
Carunchio, the former county administrator, said he always admired the ESCA and how efficiently the organization is operated.
“I was always impressed with the fact that the Cancer Alliance operates with almost no overhead,” he said. “Over 95 cents on every dollar raised goes right back into the community to help our friends, our neighbors, and our family members who are battling cancer.”
He said the community grant the alliance received from the county last year helped keep the organization going and the ESCA is grateful for that.
Supervisors expressed their gratitude for the resources that ESCA provides beyond the financial to the outreach, the education and just being there for those in the community dealing with cancer.