In its first downtown Tupelo event, the Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure feted more than 90 survivors and their guests with an "Alice in Wonderland" tea party. Staff and friends of Main Attraction dressed the part of Alice and her friends at the Renasant Center for Ideas.
"I like this," said 23-year breast cancer survivor Shirley Osborne of Guntown, who has participated in Race for the Cure events for years. "This is something different."
After 13 years at The Mall at Barnes Crossing, the Race for the Cure moved downtown because the race had grown too large for the course. Saturday's race will start in front of the Hilton Garden Inn and wind through historic Tupelo neighborhoods north of downtown before returning to Fairpark.
"One thing that remains constant is our cause," race chairwoman Pam Hadley told survivors.
Seventy-five percent of the money raised through the event will remain in Northeast Mississippi to provide screening mammograms to the medically underserved and provide breast health education programs. The remaining money goes to the national Komen for the Cure Foundation breast cancer research program. Already more than 3,500 racers are registered for the race, which will start at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Patricia Ellis, a 23-year breast cancer survivor who recently moved back to Tupelo from Milwaukee, is excited about her first Race for the Cure in person.
"My sister (Gwendolyn Ellis) has been walking three years in my honor," Patricia Ellis said. "It's time for me to make myself physically part of the activities."
With race time temperatures forecast to be about 40 degrees, race organizers are encouraging participants to dress in layers.
"It's going to be cold, but it's going to be fun," said committee member Cindy Edwards.
Race for the Cure
• Noon to 7 p.m. – Packet pickup and registration at Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau
• 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. – Race Day registration in front of Tupelo City Hall
• 7 a.m. – Survivors’ group photo at starting line in front of Hilton Garden Inn
• 8 a.m. – Race for Cure starts