Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure is back in person

“We’re back!” exclaims Gretchen Awad, the new executive director of the Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure, to be held Sunday, Sept. 25 in downtown Toledo. “For the first time since the pandemic,  we are excited to welcome race participants in person this year and grateful for the opportunity to provide a community for anyone who has been impacted by breast cancer. Whether you are in treatment, celebrating survivorship, or a family member, friend, or loved one, we hope you will join us and be part of our collective efforts to end breast cancer forever. The Race for the Cure is about making an impact toward curing breast cancer and the funds raised through registrations, participant fundraising, and sponsorships will give more individuals who have been impacted by the disease access to resources and the support they need now.”
“The last two years have been a little challenging, not just for Komen but for everyone,” Awad says. “This year our partners, our participants, and sponsors are back in person. We are back in person 100 percent. We’re thrilled to celebrate what Komen’s mission is all about.”

According to Awad, while she and the name of the race are new for this year, the mission remains the same. “That mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs of our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.  We have two strategic imperatives—conquer deadly breast cancer to have people live longer, better lives, and ensure people get the quality care they need and deserve.”

Awad assumed the agency’s leadership role earlier in the year after working closely with former Executive Director Mary Westphal for the past six years serving in various capacities. “Also new is the way we are delivering services, thus the new race name,” she explains. The Komen event in Findlay now is combined with Toledo’s race, in keeping with a national trend in which many of the smaller runs/walks have merged with others.”


Awad states that money raised at the various walks Komen chapters conduct goes into a central fund. “The money is accessible to everyone, from a small rural area to a large metro area. If you need and have challenges receiving equitable health care, Komen steps in, no matter where you live. We need our strongest communities to help every woman and man get help. Men, are also susceptible to breast cancer,” Awad says.

On event day, registration opens at 7 am in Fifth Third Field. The Mercy Health mobile mammogram machine will be available for immediate mammogram screenings. Activities for breast cancer survivors are planned inside the Hensville park, complete with pink bagels from Barry Bagels. A “We Remember” tent offering a peaceful, serene space where people can remember those who’ve lost their battle with breast cancer is a new feature for the 2022 event. The 5K run and walk, in partnership with Dave’s Running, will begin at 9:30 am, with a one-mile walk following through downtown. Several performing groups, including high school bands and cheerleaders will provide entertainment along the course.

Registration for the race or walk is $35 and can be done on Komen’s website, komen.org/nwohiorace. Volunteers can sign up for free on that website. Also, racers/walkers can register in person at Dave’s Running in Sylvania on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 22.

“My hope is that anyone who wants to celebrate registers, brings family and friends, donates, and invites people to join this event to support Komen’s mission. This day is for them.”

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