LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — One of the state's largest events for breast cancer research and support is making major changes this year.
On October 26th, Susan G. Komen Arkansas is debuting a new concept they hope will help them better end breast cancer in the state.
From race to walk, Susan G. Komen Arkansas is changing up their yearly event starting with the name.
It’s now the Susan G. Komen Arkansas More Than Pink Walk. That means there is no longer any race.
Lindsey Gray, co-chair of the More Than Pink Walk said that there are no more timed races because there was a small percentage of people who participated in the races.
“Now it’s a walk that’s more accessible for everybody,” she said. “It’s just over two miles and we’re still keeping in the two iconic bridges.”
The More Than Pink Walk will be in a different part of downtown.
“We’re moving from center of downtown to the center of the River Market to give it more of a festival feel,” said Gray. “We’re going to be at the amphitheater together with food trucks, a kids zone, and new activities to make it more of a family event.”
While in the River Market, walkers will also be immersed with opportunities to learn about breast cancer research and support; the reasons behind the More Than Pink Walk. Gray said they'll have informative pillars set up throughout the River Market.
“We will have the care, research, community, and action informational pillars up,” said Gray. “It brings all the work we are doing in Arkansas full circle.”
There are some logistical changes happening too with registration requirements.
“With us moving it into the River Market, everything will be fenced in,” she said. “So, to get into the walk space and activities you have to be registered.”
Gray said that the major reason for all these changes comes down to the financial impact from the lack of registered race attendees in the past.
In 2012, over 46,000 people registered for the race. That enabled Komen Arkansas to grant around $2 million to breast cancer research and support.
Last year, while there were an estimated 40,000 people who descended upon downtown Little Rock for the race, only around 11,000 of them actually had registered. This had huge ramifications.
Komen Arkansas could only provide around $500,000 dollars of the requested $1.5 million needed for screenings, treatment, survivor support, research and more.
Amy Treadway, Executive Director, said Arkansas is joining other states across the nation that are shifting from a race to a walk. She said she feels it’s the best step forward.
“We may have lost the connection of why we’re there doing what we are doing,” she said. “It’s a fundraiser and an awareness event.”
She said that once people realize how important breast cancer is in the state and how bad it is in our state, more people will re-engage.
“We want people to be re-educated as to what Komen does and help us with our bold goal to reduce breast cancer mortality to 50%,” Treadway said.
For more walk details visit: https://komenarkansas.org/more-than-pink-walk/