By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure got a jump on 2012 from the other side of the world.
The Lucky 11 Naval Mobile Construction Battalion, which is based in Gulfport, held its own Race for the Cure in Helmand Province Afghanistan and raised more than $3,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure through its North Mississippi affiliate.
“I was just floored by how much they raised for us,” said Cindy Hale, affiliate coordinator.
The May 27 race came out of the battalion’s women’s wellness council.
“No one in my family has suffered from this disease,” said Legalman Misty Masters, who organized the race. “However, my best friend’s family has had many struggles with breast cancer. … you never know who may be affected.”
The race pulled in nearly 100 runners, including colleagues from other units and branches of service.
“Goes back to our motto out here of ‘One Team, One Fight,’” Masters said.
It was a break from the battalion’s usual work.
“We build things such as helicopter landing zones, pre-engineered buildings, Southwest Asian huts, bridges, roads and forward operating bases to support the various missions of the U.S. and coalition,” Masters said.
Because there’s currently no Komen affiliate covering the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Komen for the Cure national office connected the Lucky 11 Race for the Cure organizers with the North Mississippi affiliate office in Tupelo.
Darrell Robertson of Robertson’s Sportswear in New Albany, designed and donated 325 T-shirts for the Lucky 11. The shirts shipped out to Afghanistan last week.
“I just wanted to do my part in helping them out,” Robertson said.
Just like the money from the October race, 75 percent of the funds will remain in the region, supporting mammograms for the medically underserved and community education; 25 percent goes toward the Komen for the Cure national research efforts.