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Nearly 370 participants were treated to almost perfect weather as they hit the streets of Vinton on Friday, June 22 as part of the Sixth Annual Party in Pink 5K Walk/Run. The Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation (VGHHCF) and the support group, Survivors of Benton County organize the event as part of Vinton’s annual Party in the Park celebration. The race begins and ends in Riverside Park and takes participants through the city on their choice of a 1-mile or 5K race route.

The evening began with a Kids Run. Members of the Vinton-Shellsburg Sole Sisters, the 5th grade running club, led kids under the age of eight on short fun run course with medals for each as they crossed the finish line. Pre-race festivities included a warm-up for the racers and walkers led by the Be The Change exercise group and the National Anthem performed by Chris Salinas and Meredith Glynn.

As in year’s past, this event raises funds for Virginia Gay Hospital’s Gifts of Hope fund. Survivors of Benton County member, Deanne Halstead, spoke briefly before the start of the race on her experience with accessing these funds for her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment just a couple of years ago.

Overall winners of this year’s race were Jordan Yessak, Oelwein, with a time of 0:16:58.8 and Kay Fett, Vinton, coming in at 0:21:16.6. A complete list of results for both the 5K Run and the 1 Mile Run can be found at bit.ly/PIP5K2018_Results

“Party in Pink is possible because of the support and passion of the Survivors of Benton County support group. Six years ago, their vision was to raise funds that would help area women receive the diagnostics needed for early detection no matter what their financial status might be. Six short year’s later they’ve helped raise close to $100,000 dollars and made the Gifts of Hope fund at Virginia Gay Hospital possible,” states Robin Martin, event chair and director of VGHHCF. “In 2017, a total of 23 people were able to access funds for breast cancer diagnostics and treatment. Already in 2018, 47 patients have received support from Gifts of Hope.”

Thanks to the support of all the race goers and sponsors, an estimated $8,000 was raised this year. To learn more about the program and how to access funds, please visit www.myvghfoundation.org/gifts-of-hope/

Sponsors for this year’s Party in Pink event included Cyndi Alderson & Family; Frank & Yvette Baker; Barron Chiropractic; Benton County Farm Bureau; Cedar Valley Bank & Trust; Clickstop, Inc.; Clingman Pharmacy; Clipper Corner; Cobblestone Inn & Suites; EchoVision US Cellular; Eden Mutual Insurance Association; Fareway; Farm Bureau Financial Services; Dana and Tom Hanson; Doris M. Holst; Hummel Massage Therapy; LaGrange Pharmacy; Michele Lash; Dr. Maggie and Jeff Mangold; Monkeythis; New Beginnings Salon & Spa; North Benton Ambulance; Palace Theatre; Randy & Cindy Forsyth; Be the Change Exercise Group; Sara Stuefen, DDS, PC; Sole Sisters; Tom’s Auto Restoration; Unity Point Vinton & Shellsburg; US Bank; Vinton Fire Department; Vinton Lutheran Home; Vinton Park & Recreation Department; Vinton Police Department; Vinton Tire & Auto Repair; Vinton Trophy and Awards; Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing & Rehab; Deb and Mark Wilberg; Wilson-Hite Insurance; Windsor Manor Assisted Living; and Rick & Yvonne Zimpfer.

Donations to Gifts of Hope can be made at anytime during the year. If you’d like to contribute to this fund or any of the other programs supported by the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation, you may do so by visiting the Foundation’s website at www.myvghfoundation.org.