By Joan Hadac
Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge
(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]
Hi everyone. I hope you’ve had a good week.
The folks over at Vaunt Fitness have a unique way to spotlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They are hoping to paint their parking lot pink, but not in the way you think.
It has nothing to do with pink paint, but rather their breast cancer fundraiser will see staff, members and non-members donning T-shirts with the words Breast Cancer Awareness in pink with the pink ribbon and participating either in a workout or 5K walk.
The event will be held beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16 in the Vaunt Fitness parking lot, 6255 S. Archer.
I chatted with Patsy Fox over at Vaunt Fitness to find out about what she calls “such an amazing event which means a lot to us.”
Paint the Parking Lot Pink is in its second year. Last year it started off slowly, Patsy said, but it grew enough and attracted enough people that Vaunt Fitness and the participants were able to raise $3,000 and donate 26 mammograms to women in need.
That matters, I trust you agree, because when breast cancer is detected in its earliest stages, women’s lives are saved.
Last year’s event was suggested by a former employee, a man whose aunt was fighting breast cancer. He suggested giving back to the community by hosting this fundraiser.
The Vaunt owner and staff were then put in touch with a local woman who is a breast cancer survivor. When they said they wanted to donate the proceeds to her, she asked them not to. Instead, she asked that they donate to A Silver Lining Foundation. The foundation helped this woman and helps women who cannot afford tests for breast cancer.
This year, Patsy said, they hope to sell a thousand pieces of sports gear, donate 50 or more mammograms to A Silver Lining Foundation, a non-profit organization and between the actual fundraiser, proceeds for gear sales and sponsorships from local businesses, raise $5,000 or more.
This year’s event is in honor of Gail Frazier, a mom of a Vaunt personal trainer, Nick Johnson. Gail is a breast cancer survivor.
Vaunt Fitness is asking businesses in the area to become part of the fundraiser and is offering different level of sponsorships. The white package is $135, the cost of one mammogram and offers the business social media exposure prior to the event and promotion at the event. The pink package is $250 and in addition to being promoted as a sponsor, the business will receive five shirts for their employees. The silver package costs $500 and the business will be promoted, have a table and tent at the event and receive 10 shirts for their employees.
Any level sponsor will also qualify for a Yeti cooler, which keeps items cold for 24 hours.
Vaunt Fitness has been open for six years and was started by Sean Bolger, the current owner, and his late father-in-law, Joe Perino. The majority of the employees, 17 of them, are from the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, including Patsy.
“It’s funny. I can’t walk through the neighborhood without seeing someone from Vaunt Fitness,” Patsy laughed.
While Vaunt Fitness has 1,300 members, they are also inviting non-members on Oct. 16. Each participant pays $50 and receives a T-shirt and a ticket for the raffle. There will be protein shakes, snacks, water, granola bars and more for the participants.
The event is open to all ages, even the young ones.
“While it may be hard for those younger than 6 to do the workout, parents can take part in the 5K and push them in a stroller,” Patsy told me.
“This is our biggest and favorite event,” Patsy said.
There are several goals for the event and not all of them are about raising funds. Patsy related them to me. She hopes the event raises awareness about breast cancer, helps people in need, brings people together and helps them have fun.
“We want to come together as Garfield Ridge. We are very big on our community and making Garfield Ridge stronger,” Patsy concluded.
For more information, call (773) 234-1492 or email Patty at [email protected].