Whether walking outdoors in the light rain or inside on a dry track, participants gathered at Herkimer County Community College on Saturday for the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.
"It's a disease that, unfortunately, touches a lot of lives," said Julie DelMedico, HCCC academic coach and an event organizer. "This brings awareness to the campus and community."
DelMedico said the disease has touched her own life. She had a lumpectomy when she was 27, and an aunt who died from breast cancer.
Donna Testa, HCCC professor emeritus and an event organizer, has also seen friends and family struggle with the disease, including two aunts and a cousin.
"We're all about awareness and education," she said.
DelMedico said they were expecting about 200 participants for Saturday's event.
"It used to be held indoors, but then two years ago we held it outdoors and it's grown since," she said.
Testa said it originally started off as a campus event, but then, "students kept asking if they could bring family members, and it made it a little bit bigger."
HCCC clubs, groups, teams and classmates were among those walking together along with staff and community members.
Also participating, either independently or with assistance in a wheelchair, were residents of the Mohawk Valley Health Care center.
"It just always amazes me how sensitive the young people are to these causes," said HCCC President Ann Marie Murray, who participated.
Murray said the walk teaches students some life lessons.
"Once they become committed to something, they're going to stay committed to it," she said.
All the proceeds raised from the walk were donated to local American Cancer Society chapters.
Volunteers for the event included members of the HCCC men's basketball and men's and women's cross country teams. The first men's basketball team game, scheduled for Nov. 6, will be devoted to breast cancer awareness.
Bassett Healthcare Network sponsored the walk and printed T-shirts that were passed out as people registered at the HCCC physical education building.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Besides the walk, the school will have a visit on Wednesday from the Mammogram Mobile from the Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, which organizers said is new this year.
The walk coincided with this year's Fall Fest and Alumni Weekend at HCCC. The weekend started with a Fine Arts Quartet performance on Thursday. On Friday, the second HCCC Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place in the Robert McLaughlin College Center.
Saturday was the busiest day for events, which included a car show, a farmers' market, MVAS solar star gazing and horse-drawn wagons. At the college center, there was pumpkin painting, caricatures, glitter tattoos and an international food event. At Cogar Gallery, there was an alumni art show and reception.
Page 2 of 2 - There were also tours scheduled of the historic Herkimer County Jail, the Herkimer Community Museum and the HCCC Natural History Museum.
Athletic events were scheduled throughout the afternoon, which included men's and women's soccer games.