Gordon woman organizes Walk the Block breast cancer fundraiser

GORDON—A Gordon resident said she had thought long enough about holding a breast cancer awareness walk on Manitoulin Island and now is the time to act.

“The Walk the Block in 20 Shades of Pink 10 kilometre breast cancer walk will take place on October 19,” said Bonnie Hore in an interview with the Recorder. “I’ve participated in this type of walk before and I’ve had it in the backburner for the past 11 years until last Thursday morning. After talking to Kathy Burns of the Cancer Society in Sudbury, I just decided this was the year we were going to do this on the Island. Without giving myself a chance to rethink my decision I got on the phone and started making arrangements for the walk.”

Ms. Hore noted that, “in the early 2000s I walked in the Espanola breast cancer walk two years in a row. These walks overwhelmed me then and still do this many years later. It was amazing how those days played out. Once I entered the Espanola complex my eyes were invaded by a thick haze coloured in different pink hues. The building stood full with hundreds of people aged from one-year-old to seniors in their 80s. Happy chatter and laughter deafened the ears as we waited for the time for the walk to begin.”

“Once the crowd moved outside the mayor and council for Espanola welcomed us to their town,” said Ms. Hore. “The crowd of people came from all directions and places surrounding Espanola. Along with many from Espanola there were also other women from Manitoulin Island besides myself. The mayor wished us a safe walk and thanked us for our contribution to a worthy cause. In the front row, ready to lead the crowd, were seven courageous women who all were breast cancer survivors.”

“The weather also played in our favour both days,” recalled Ms. Hore. “I’m sure God smiled down on us. We began our journey: the 10 kilometre walk to Clear Lake, then we returned back to the Espanola complex.”

“The trail along the way was decorated with flowing balloons, large pink bows and breast cancer ribbons,” continued Ms. Hore. “Most of the walkers donned at least one piece of pink clothing. We couldn’t be missed by the ongoing traffic. The crowd kept a good pace and all the walkers finished the walk. I was amazed by the amount of men that took part in the breast cancer walk; senior men walking beside their wives, young fathers pushing babies in strollers. This really was a family event. When we all returned to the complex we congratulated each other on the completion of the task. We shared more conversation, had lunch, then prizes were rewarded to those who raised the most money and pledges.”

“Both those days of the breast cancer walks raised over $20,000,” said Ms. Hore. “Now that’s something to crow about. I have also took part in the Terry Run twice, but they didn’t leave the same lasting effects on me.”

“Someone had to take the first step in organizing an event on the Island and I thought it might as well be me,” said Ms. Hore. “I’m a people person and I like a challenge. I feel most people are afraid to hold an event because of the outcome of its success. Failure lingers in the back of all organizers’ minds.”

“Cancer touches all of our lives today, we all know survivors and many of us have lost loves to this disease. We also know in the last 30 years with funding raised for cancer research there are many more survivors that can live a normal life,” continued Ms. Hore. “We all need to do our part by donating a day or two a week of our time in helping with fundraising to save lives or help find that final cure to end this disease. Isn’t that the big trophy we all should be aiming for? I’m hoping this walk will spill over into the next decade or two. And if God’s willing I will be taking part.”

Look for the pink flyers and pledge forms around Gore Bay businesses. Come on out and join us in Gordon Township meeting at the Gordon Hall at 10:30 am on Sunday, October 19. For information contact Bonnie Hore at 705-282-3425. Everyone from ages one to 101 are welcome to walk! Kids ride your bikes, babies can be pushed in strollers! Rides back to the Gordon Hall will be available for those who cannot finish the walk.