Komen race events slated for this week: Event hopes to see thousands of participants at annual race

Published on Saturday, 3 May 2014 23:14 - Written by Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

Louise Hagen was vigilant about getting mammograms, considering her family history with breast cancer.

At age 53, she got a mammogram, which came back negative. But she later found a lump and was diagnosed with the disease.

Ms. Hagen, of Longview, is now a five-year survivor.

As a survivor, she said she feels lucky, and wants to help raise money for breast cancer screenings and research, and share her story with others.

“You kind of give hope to the people who are diagnosed,” she said.

She will have an opportunity to share her story as a volunteer during the upcoming Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Tyler.

The event, which sees thousands of participants annually, will take place Saturday and start at Bergfeld Park. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., followed by the race at 8 a.m.

The Dine Out for the Cure kick-off party will be 5 to 9 p.m. today at Bruno’s Pizza and Pasta, 1577 Farm-to-Market Road 2493 in Gresham. A staff of local celebrities will be handling server duties at the event. A percentage of proceeds from Bruno’s during that time, along with all of the servers’ tips, will be donated to Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure.

The theme for this year’s race is “Mothers and Daughters.”

The purpose of the race is to raise awareness of breast cancer, but it also is the largest fundraiser in Tyler for Susan G. Komen, Honorary Race Chairwoman Karen Durham said.

She said 75 percent of the proceeds go to East Texas nonprofits “to prevent, educate, and increase awareness of breast cancer.” The rest assists the Susan G. Komen National Research Grants program.

On race day, a percentage of revenues from these restaurants will benefit Komen Tyler: Luby’s, The Diner, McAlister’s, On the Border, Mooyah, Salsarita’s, Newk’s and Sonoma Grill. Ms. Durham said race participants must have their race bib or race T-shirt with them.

She hopes to see 6,000 people in the park on race day, including volunteers, runners/walkers and survivors. In addition to the 5K, there will be a 1-mile fun run/walk, as well as a 50-yard dash for children.

Ms. Durham said a survivor group photo will be taken at 7 a.m. on race day, and survivors will be treated to a breakfast and receive goodie bags.

Many sponsors also will have tents in the park, and a majority of them will have a promotional giveaway, she said.

“It’s very family oriented in the park and on our race courses, so we encourage entire families to come out,” she said.

Susan G. Komen — Tyler Affiliate Board Member Bryan Campbell became involved with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure after his mother passed away from breast cancer.

He said he wanted to try to change the experience from a negative into a positive by being part of the race. This year, he will participate with his team, “Save Second Base.”

“If I can get one mom or one wife that can’t afford a mammogram to go get one then I feel like I’ve done my part as much as I can do…” Campbell said.

“I’m very passionate about it. I feel very strongly that everybody is affected by this cancer one way or another. ... And I think it’s up to all of us to help eradicate the disease and do your part.”

People may register for the race during the Dine Out for the Cure kick-off party, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at The Market near FRESH by Brookshire’s. People also may register online or on race day.

For more information, contact the local Komen organization at Info@komentyler.org or 903-561-6992, or visit www.komentyler.org .

This story contains excerpts from Tyler Morning Telegraph archives.