EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — With Komen Evansville Tri-State’s More than Pink walk becoming a virtual event this year due to COVID-19, Rachel Smith, the organization’s development director, joined Shelley Kirk to talk more about the event.
Shelley Kirk: 2020 seems to be the year everything changed because of COVID, and that now includes a major community event for the Tri-State to join together in the fight against breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen More than Pink Walk was scheduled for September 27 at Eastland Mall. Joining me now to talk about changes to that event is Rachel Smith of Komen Evansville Tri-State. Rachel, thank you so much for joining us today. We are going virtual with our walk this year. Explain that to us.
Rachel Smith: Yes, going virtual this year. It’s something that we’ve taken our time to decide about. It was a hard decision to make, but with those that are immune compromised as our main population with those fighting breast cancer, we just could not take the chance with the pandemic to make that happen. So, nationally Komen headquarters is rolling out a virtual program that we’re going to follow in the Tri-State. So we’re excited. We’re learning as we go as well, and still in the planning process of everything, but it’s going to be a, virtual, based off social media this year.
SK: It’s going to be a two fold event. There’s going to be walks and I understand that people are going to be kind of holding them on their own, and then there’s going to be something that day at the event. First, tell us about the walks that you want people to do.
RS: Well, the walk itself will actually be possibly the day of the event. So we still want people to gather and watch us on social media that morning with our opening ceremony and still hope to share our community experience. And then we want to ask them to get out in their neighborhoods with their groups and walk and share their experiences with us on social media as well.
SK: It’s gonna be a big social media event.
RS: It’s gonna be a big social media event. we’re gonna have stuff leading up to it through the weeks ahead with our sponsors, and then the day of we’re still gonna try to bring that opening ceremony to the public.
SK: And you’re still trying to kind of figure this out, right? Because I mean, everybody’s learning as we go on with COVID.
RS: Absolutely. So we’re trying to learn through this experience and hope that we can bring it together in the future with our events when we do come back to being able to be together again. So we can reach more people because you can walk where you are. So now that we have this platform, we service 28 counties, now we’re able to reach those that can’t get with us on walk morning as well.
SK: You just mentioned you reach 28 counties, you do a lot for cancer, people who are dealing with breast cancer in many different ways. You have a lot of different programs going on, as well as Komen also funds research to help find a cure and other treatments for people going through breast cancer. But you know, funding is down right now, COVID has affected that as well. Tell us why this is so important for people to continue to support events like the virtual one that you’re going to be holding, as well as just whatever y’all normally do for COVID, which I know you’ve not been able to do all of your events.
RS: We have not, we unfortunately are not holding any live events in 2020. Our events are our main bread and butter, we have to have that funding to be able to help the men and women in the community with programs like our Community Common Cares Program that helps reach those that are underinsured to get to those treatments, and we can help supply them with food and grocery cards and gas cards. And that need is greater now than it was before with so many people being laid off and off work.
SK: That’s right, and the funding continues. So what can people do right now?
RS: Right now,start thinking about your walk team. You can register on our website, there is a zero dollar registration fee at Komenevansville.org/walk, or you can download our mobile app in your app store and just start thinking about how to celebrate and neat ways that you can still fundraise while social distancing..