Making Strides for Connecticut is known for its 5,000 annuals with the goal of raising money for breast cancer research and treatment, but COVID-19 forced the organization to change plans this year.
Breast cancer ribbons and cars festooned with pink balloons and confetti filled the Foundation Plaza parking lot in East Hartford on Sunday morning.
It’s one of the many ways Making Strides for Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society are raising money and awareness for research and treatment.
This year has been a tough one for the American Cancer Society and their fundraising campaigns. COVID-19 is estimated to reduce the ability to fund cancer research by 50% by the end of the year. This statistic means it will be the lowest investment of the century.
It’s the main reason fundraising campaigns like the drive-thru are critical to the fight against cancer.
“We still wanted to find a way to get survivors out safely and get people out and support the cause, make donations and raise awareness of breast cancer,” said Stephanie Balesano, Director of Communications for the American Cancer Society.
“It is crucial now more than ever to ensure that we support cancer patients because even during the pandemic, we have had people who have been diagnosed and need treatment, so we need to keep pushing forward and not stop progress,” she said. added.
Lines of cars made their way through a group of volunteers cheering for every car and truck. Even a bus made its way down the line.
“I love seeing all the people and just celebrating that you are alive,” said Carol Reed, an 11-year-old breast cancer survivor. “Once upon a time when people had breast cancer they didn’t even talk about it, now you have so much support and it’s wonderful,” she said.
If you haven’t had a chance to participate in today’s drive-thru fundraiser, you still have time to get to one of the many other events.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of New London County – Sunday 18 October 2020 – Rocky Neck State Park, Niantic – 10:30 11:30 – www.MakingStridesWalk.org/NewLondonCT
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Greater New Haven – Sunday 18 October 2020 – Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven – 10:30 11:30 – www.MakingStridesWalk.org/NewHavenCT
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Fairfield County – Sunday 25 October 2020 – Sherwood Island State Park, Westport – 9:00 12:00 – www.MakingStridesWalk.org/FairfieldCountyCT
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Litchfield County – (Date TBD) – White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield – 10:30 11:30 – www.MakingStridesWalk.org/LitchfieldCT
NBC Connecticut is a proud sponsor of Making Strides for Connecticut.