Northwest NEWS

March 11, 2002

Local News

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Team Woodinville prepares for the challenge of a lifetime

by Deborah Stone
   Features Writer
   Over 58,000 people have participated in one of Avon's Breast Cancer 3 Day Walks since they began four years ago.
   The walks are one of several fund-raising efforts of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, whose mission is to fund access to care and find a cure for breast cancer. Money raised through the walks goes biomedical research, clinical care, financial assistance and support services, educational seminars and advocacy training and early detection and awareness programs nationwide.
   The goal is to benefit all women, with a special emphasis on reaching low-income, elderly and minority women.
   The 3 Day Walks are currently held in 13 cities around the U.S. Last year marked the first of such walks held in Seattle. Close to 3,000 people walked the 60-mile course from Enumclaw to Seattle and raised $4.6 million.
   Woodinville resident Janice Clifton walked last year in honor of a friend who was battling breast cancer. "It was the challenge of a lifetime for me and a very inspiring experience," says Clifton.
   She hooked up with a Kirkland team of women preparing to do the walk and participated in some of their training activities. "The group had sixty people and raised $100,000," explains Clifton. "I saw how much more a team could do together and how much fun it was to be part of a group of women all focusing on this one cause. This year, several more women I know were diagnosed with the disease and I decided that it was important for me to do as much as I could to help eradicate breast cancer."
   With this goal of increased commitment, Clifton formed Team Woodinville and became a training walk leader. The team began with eight and has quickly grown to 23 women, ranging in age from 18 to 70.
   Many have friends or relatives who are currently fighting the disease or who have died from it. They meet several times a week to do short three-mile walks together and on Saturdays, they set a longer course.
   "Our goal is to have about 40 people and raise $80,000," comments Clifton. "I know we can do it."
   Each walker is responsible for raising a minimum of $1,900, but according to Avon, the majority of participants go far above and beyond that amount. "It may sound like a lot of money at first for people who are not used to fund-raising, but believe me, once you start asking family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc., you reach that minimum quickly and you realize how easy it is to set a higher goal," explains Clifton. "I see the 3 Day as a wonderful way to do something for a very worthwhile and necessary cause. People don't realize the statistics with breast cancer. This year, over 182,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. and 40,000 of them will die from it. These numbers are frightening."
   As part of Team Woodinville's fund-raising efforts, the group will have a garage sale at the Grange on May 18.
   Clifton encourages the community to come out and support the team. She says, "There are many ways to participate. We'd love to have more walkers, but if people don't want to do that, they can come to our garage sale or make a donation."
   The Avon Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk will occur August 9-11.
   Participants usually cover approximately twenty miles a day, stay in specially created tent cities equipped with basic amenities, receive full medical attention if necessary, and are provided with various services along the route.
   For more information, call 1-800-825-1000 or access the organization's Web site at: www.bethepeople.com.
   For additional information about Team Woodinville, contact Janice Clifton at (206) 818-4795.