By Renee Etcheberria |Staff Writer|
Over 8,000 Inland Empire residents gathered together for the 4th annual Believe Walk in downtown Redlands on Sunday Oct. 2.
Overall the entire walked raised over $350,000 for Loma Linda University Cancer Center and St. Bernadine’s Medical Center.
“This is the first time the walk will benefit St. Bernadine’s,” said Jack Brown, Stater Bros. charities chairman and CEO.
CSUSB student Amanda Hodge attended the walk. “The walk was very moving. I’m happy to participate because cancer affects so many of us one way or another,” said Hodge.
Adults, children and pets alike proudly donned their pink attire as they walked the streets to support family and friends in an effort to raise money to help find a cure to cancer.
“The walk is for everyone in the community – families, businesses, community leaders and cancer survivors and for those who wish to walk in memory of loved ones who have passed.
We want everyone to participate during these hard times. “It is imperative that our community fights the fight together,” said Cathy Stockton, a co-founder of the Believe Walk Committee.
The Believe Walk is hosted by Stater Bros. Charities and Inland Women Fighting Cancer. The walk is sponsored by several of other companies ranging from Coca-Cola to Frito-Lay.
Big name companies like Nestle and Bank of America were not the only ones who generously donated to the cause. The walk received sponsorships from residents and small businesses in the community.
“We had to ask people for help four years ago, now people ask to be a part of it,” said Annie Sellas, also a co-founder of the Believe Walk committee who helped come up with the idea to begin the walk in 2008.
The Believe Committee made an online goal of $50,000 to raise. The committee almost tripled that goal with an estimated $132,576.00 raised.
Participants of the walk were able to choose between a 5K or 10K route. The 5k was more of a family friendly route whereas the 10k was for competitors.
The “Believe Bash” was an extra bonus for walkers where they could take advantage of the 50 vendors and corporate sponsors that gave away free goodies.
Family and friends were able to listen to music, cheer on and encourage their walkers.
The “Believe Bash” was also a place to remind everyone of the reason they were all gathered together. The Loma Linda University Cancer Center Remembrance Garden was a place of retreat and remembrance.
The participants, families and friends were able to enjoy the beauty of the garden and also had the opportunity to take photos that captured memorable moments of the day.
The Bra and Tie contest sure did bring the fun and excitement to the day as people were able to support the fight against cancer through their artistic creativity.
For information on future events visit www.believeinlandempire.com