The Castleton Pavilion hummed with activity on a chilly Oct. 26 day as volunteers set up tables, members of a local high school band tuned their instruments, and Sodexo officials prepared to feed participants of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.
By the end of the walk, officials would announce more than $80,000 had been raised through the effort.
“Right now I’m trying to get petitions signed around our federal cancer research funding, looking for more critical research funds to help cure cancer,” said Jill Sudhoff-Guerin, the state Government Relations and Advocacy director.
Tables were set up on the outskirts of the Pavilion, some sporting pink t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, with all funds going toward breast cancer research. Other tables offered face painting and a basket raffle, while one table in particular held a slew of information about cancer awareness.
One of Sudhoff-Guerin’s main goals of the day was to obtain signatures to help influence the government to put more funds into the early detection programs for breast and cervical cancers.
Registration started at 11 a.m., and while waiting for the walk to begin, supporters were treated to live music. Many, including children, could be seen dancing and laughing with one another.
While there were many supporters from all around Rutland County in attendance, some, like members of the Castleton Social Issues Club, represented the college.
“When the walk started happening at Castleton about two years ago, I found it to be a bit more conveniently placed for the club to get involved. With the walk taking place here, a lot of club members would be able to make it, and we also made it open to the entire school,” said club President Jazmyne Spear.
The Social Issues Club alone raised over $300 dollars.
Many other students joined the four-mile walk as well, including the Spartan Football Team. It was a powerful moment, seeing the hundreds of supporters who showed up to bring awareness to breast cancer, walk out of the pavilion in a show of solidarity.