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VINTON, IA — Rain earlier in the day did not dampen the enthusiasm of nearly 400 participants for this year’s Party in Pink 5K Walk/Run on Friday, June 21. Registrants represented seven states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Wisconsin and, of course, Iowa. Runners and walkers ranged in age from 3 to 84. And, they all had the same mission: to make sure everyone in Benton County has access to 3D mammography and diagnostic services by raising money for the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation’s Gifts of Hope Fund.

In its seventh year, this annual event is organized by the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation (VGHHCF) and the support group, Survivors of Benton County.  The race coincides each year with Vinton’s annual Party in the Park celebration held in Vinton’s Riverside Park.

The evening began with a kid’s fun run. Members of the Vinton-Shellsburg Sole Sisters, the 5th grade running club, led kids under the age of 12 on a short 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 REFIT® exercise group and the National Anthem performed by Vinton-Shellsburg High School vocal students, Casey Funk and Brin Johnson.

Overall winners of this year’s race were Eli Miller, Van Horne, with a time of 0:16:47.1 and Kay Fett, Vinton, coming in at 0:19:26.6. A complete list of results for both the 5K Run and the 1 Mile Run is available at bit.ly/PIP20195K_Results

“Early detection of breast cancer saves lives. It is the advocacy and passion of the Survivors of Benton County support group that has made this event so successful. Because of their efforts, we can offer a program that is 100% local with 100% of the donations going to patients in our area and none to administrative costs,” says Robin Martin, event chair and director VGHHCF. “Because of the tremendous support we’ve received, we’ve more than doubled the number of people receiving assistance. In 2017, 23 people accessed Gifts of Hope funds. That number grew to 74 in 2018. We hope to increase that number again for 2019.”

The race is only one part of the fundraising needed to meet this year’s goal of $15,000. For anyone unable to participate in this year’s event, donations can still be made through a Facebook fundraiser at bit.ly/2019PinkFUNdraiser or online through the VGHHCF’s website: www.myvghfoundation.org/gifts-of-hope/

Thank you goes out to the many volunteers, participants and sponsors who make this event possible. Sponsors for this year’s Party in Pink event included Cyndi Alderson and Family; Anonymous; Frank & Yvette Baker; Barron Chiropractic; Be The Change Fitness Group; Benton County Farm Bureau; Cedar Valley Bank & Trust; Clingman Pharmacy; Clipper Corner; Cobblestone Inn & Suites; Eden Mutual Insurance Association; Edwards Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning; Essential Health Massage; Fareway Stores; Farm Bureau Services – Agent  – Teresa J. Meyer; Farmers Savings Bank & Trust; Randy & Cindy Forsyth; Doris M. Holst; Johns Qwik Stop; Jay & Michele Lash; LaGrange Pharmacy; Lutheran Home Communities; Dr. Maggie & Jeff Mangold; Martin Bros. Distributing Company, Inc.; Monkeythis; Mossman Law Firm; New Beginnings Salon & Spa; North Benton Ambulance; Palace Theater; Pink Heals Eastern Iowa; Stoney Arch Financial; Sara E. Stuefen, DDS, PC; Sole Sisters; Tharp Design; Toms Auto Restoration; Dawana Trasak; Unity Point Vinton & Shellsburg; US Bank; Vinton Fire Department; Vinton Parks & Recreation Department; Vinton Police Department; Vinton Tire & Auto Repair; Vinton Trophy & Awards; Virginia Gay Hospital & Clinics; VSHS Cheerleaders; We Run; Deb & Mark Wilberg; Wilson Hite Insurance; Windsor Manor; Dr. Alan & Janet Woodhouse; Rick & Yvonne Zimpfer. 

If you would like to learn more about the Gifts of Hope Fund or how to access assistance in receiving diagnostic services, please visit www.myvghfoundation.org.