GOUVERNEUR The Gouverneur Business Women Breast Cancer Walk gets bigger every year in both money raised and in the number of people it helps in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties.
Were the only organization I know where the money stays local, said board member Judy A. Bush. We are interested in direct patient assistance.
Money raised at the walk and from other events goes toward gift bags for those diagnosed with breast cancer and to help with expenses that might include co-pays, travel or other bills.
Not having to worry about unpaid expenses alleviates some of the stress of being sick, said Mona L. Allen, another board member.
Last year, the organization raised $134,000 and spent $135,000, more for the first time to help women in Jefferson County than in St. Lawrence County as word spreads about the groups emphasis on assisting locals.
Over its 13-year history, the organization has raised $755,000.
This years walk begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the Gouverneur Village Park. The approximately one-mile walk from the park to Johnstown Street and ending in Riverview Park begins at 10:30 a.m.
The event will include an announcement which board member Terry A. Pistolesi would not reveal ahead of time. Awards go to the team and individual that contributes the most money. It also includes raffles and prizes, including a diamond and pink sapphire necklace from Browns Jewelry, Gouverneur, valued at $2,500.
The annual event typically draws 1,200 to 1,500 people, a number which is hard to pin down because not everyone registers.
Groups in other locations also have events that benefit the fund.
We wouldnt be able to continue without additional help, Ms. Bush said.
Applicants for help fill out a form which goes to a screening and distribution individual.
Its all very confidential, Mrs. Allen said.
Recipients or their families often pay back the organization by forming their own teams and joining in the walk, Ms. Bush said.
For more information or to download an entry/pledge sheet, visit www.gouverneurbreastcancerwalk.com.