Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure celebrating 25 years

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is celebrating $12 million and a silver anniversary this year.

They call it their bold goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026. At home here in northwest Ohio efforts to create impact in the community are a main focus.

The Northwest Ohio Chapter says the communities support has grown from just 600 people in its first year of the race to more than 20,000 people in last year's Race for the Cure events in Findlay and Ohio.

The money raised helps fund metastatic and aggressive breast cancer research and expanding efforts to provide breast health services like mammograms to minorities.

Desmond Strooh of Komen Northwest Ohio says this is a grassroots efforts to impact the people right here in our area.

"When we started back in 1993, we had 600 people at the Franklin Park Mall and raised a little less than $2,000," Strooh said. "Over the years we were able to grant out our first grant of $4,200 and from there the community has just continued to get behind this."

Desmond says some partners and sponsors have been committed to their efforts all 25 years.

"Incredible support from the NW Ohio Ford Dealers who rally behind us every year," Executive Director of Susan G. Komen, Mary Westphal said. "Our presenting sponsors for our gala and our mission partners for this year Key Bank Savage and Associates and Mercy Health. They have walked the journey with us."

Mercy Health is a 16 year supporter of the race raising funds and awareness for breast cancer screenings, treatment and prevention.

"We look to help the uninsured, under insured women not only get mammograms but also information, education, advice and partner with them through their journey," Melissa Rinker, Manager of Oncology Ancillary Services at Mercy Health said. "We created this structure of this mammography assistance program and we work with Komen who has been very gracious and generous to us to help us fund this program and it helps patients get access to care."

To celebrate Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure's 25 year milestone, there was a toast held Tuesday afternoon.

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