Lakewood Ranch Herald

Lakewood Ranch Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk raises more than $240,000 and hosts nearly 2,000 participants

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Local American Cancer Society officials said this past weekend's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk raised $248,000 to date for research to end the deadly disease, treatment resources, education/prevention programs and support services.

The 15th annual Sarasota-Manatee Breast Cancer Awareness 5K Walk held Oct. 18 at the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch hosted nearly 2,000 participants and almost 200 teams who walked 3.1 miles around the grounds in joining with about 300 communities nationwide taking part in similar walks, which honored breast-cancer survivors and which promoted early detection via mammograms.

"It warms my heart to see all the community engagement in the Sarosta and Manatee County area and we appreciate all they have done. It was a fabulous event," said

Cindy Crisci, community specialist for the Sarasota American Cancer Society, who is a 15-year survivor of breast cancer.

More than 232,000 women in the United States have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer this year, but with the support by such fund-raisers, there has been a 30 percent decline in breast-cancer diagnoses since 1979, according to the cancer society.

"We have gained some ground in research and programming efforts, but we still have a long way to go to finish the fight," said 2014 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk chairwoman and District 5 Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh.

The annual walk is the signature fundraising event of the society, which helps support more than $78 million in research grants. Baugh noted the walk included many men as well as women.

"We must conquer the disease so that women and men stop suffering and losing the fight. It doesn't only affect the individual, but (also) their family and friends," she said in a statement following the walk.

Donations are still being accepted through the end of the year. More information is available onling at:

Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.