Thousands take part in annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk
By Casey Toner email@example.com May 13, 2012 11:24PM
An estimated 12,000 people participate in the 13th annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk Sunday, May 13, 2012, which is expected to raise $500,000 for the benefit of Little Company of Mary Hospital. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 15, 2012 10:54AM
Patricia Mroz and her daughter, Roberta Schultz, took to the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk wearing black pants, pink shirts, pink sunglasses and feathered boas.
“We thought this is where we would ‘hootch it up’ for today,” Mroz quipped.
Mroz, of Bridgeview, had a special reason to get dressed up for the 13th annual event. Not only was it Mother’s Day, but Mroz is a breast cancer survivor. She has been cancer-free since undergoing a mastectomy seven years ago.
“It’s such a scary thing to go through and I’m here seven years later, happier than a pea,” Mroz said.
Mroz was one of 12,000 people who participated in the 3-mile walk through Chicago’s Beverly community. The event also was a fundraiser for the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park.
Pat Morley, an associate director of the hospital’s foundation, said the goal was to raise $500,000. Roughly 250 teams of walkers participated.
The walk began and ended at Ridge Park at 97th Street and Longwood Drive, and the weather cooperated. Walkers were treated to a pleasant, 68-degree, blue-sky day.
Homeowners who live around the route decorated their houses with pink bows and festive signs, and there were musicians playing at different stops along the route.
At the end of the route, walkers could sip cups off coffee, eat complimentary bananas, listen to music from the DJ table, and meet Southpaw, the furry neon-green White Sox mascot.
All the walkers ended the event by walking through an archway of pink balloons. Volunteers lined the finish clapping for everyone who made it through to the end.
Kathie Chap, of Evergreen Park, was one of the early finishers. She was wearing a bandana, checkered with pink skulls, that read, “I’m the booty.”
“The pink skulls are a great way to fight cancer, get aggressive and get the message out,” Chap said. “This is the best way to spend a Sunday, start Mother’s Day and stamp out cancer.”
The Rev. Karol Tybor, of St. Christina Parish in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community, took part wearing his collar. He was part of a congregation from the church that arrived in three buses.
A different priest said Mass for the walkers at 6:30 a.m. before they were shuttled out to the event. About 60 parishioners came with him.
“The pastor took over the rest of the Masses (for today), and it’s my turn to walk,” Tybor said. “There has to be someone in the church. He’s there. I’m here.”
Frances Shedbar, of Chicago, finished the walk in a wheelchair. Shedbar, 85, walked most of it but her grandson pushed her through the archway at the finish. Shedbar and her husband, Alphonse Shedbar, were taking breathers in their wheelchairs after the stroll through the neighborhood.
“It’s a nice walk for the people,” she said.