The 2017 Race for the Cure was held in Manchester over the weekend

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MANCHESTER — Hope and the color pink surrounded Riley Rink at Hunter Park on Saturday for the 25th annual Race for the Cure.

Since 1993, the race has been held to help Susan G. Komen New England fight against breast cancer. So far, it has raised roughly $8 million between the annual race and other related events like Ride for the Cure and Snowshoeing for the Cure.

Money raised by teams and silent auction tickets go directly to supporting the organization. Linda Maness, development coordinator for special events for Susan G. Komen New England, said that about $9,000 was raised from the silent auction. The race sought to raise $45,000.

Susan G. Komen New England is a nonprofit organization that raised money to invest in research to help prevent and cure breast cancer. According to its website, about 75 percent of its net funds stay in New England to fund local breast cancer programs. Twenty-five percent of money raised goes toward national priorities such as new early detection technologies, among others.

Earlier this year, the Vermont-New Hampshire chapter of the Komen organization merged together with the Southern New England branch in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

The Northshire race had hundreds of participants between the 10k run, 5k run, and the 5k walk. An obstacle course was also set up for children. With so many attending, the race had to be delayed to allow for traffic to clear, Maness said.

Breast cancer survivors proudly jogged or strolled through the area with loved ones at their side. Pink roses were handed out to survivors after they crossed the finish line. Sandy Grover, a 20-year cancer survivor from Arlington, went through the walking portion of the race. The two-time cancer survivor said she was happy to be out participating on a cool day. She was also happy to help raise awareness for the disease that was detected in a mammogram she had at age 51.

"Get your mammograms," Grover said. "They save lives, they saved mine twice."

Friends and survivors, Barbara Hyde, of Westover, and Barbara Lady, of Wilmington, also strolled through the 5k walk. The two have been friends for about 24 years; this was their fifth time participating. Both women said that the cooler weather made for a more pleasant walk.

"I like being able to participate in it every year," Lady said, "and I don't want to jinx it."

Erin Connor, also known as the 2017 Miss Vermont pageant winner, was also in attendance, participating with the team Ray's Girls. While she was excited to participate and to be in an uplifting and positive environment, Connor also said that there were a few family members that she would be thinking of as she walked. Connor also said she would be thinking of "Kathy," who currently is in remission.

Komen New England CEO Lori van Dam also attended the race, along with past Vermont and New Hampshire officials and returning volunteers and committee members.

"I can't stress how much volunteerism makes this race work," Maness said. "From the parking and the traffic, setup, and cleanup. People are so dedicated and I thank each and every one of them for every minute that they donate."

The 2017 Komen Vermont Race for the Cure is accepting donations until July 31. To donate visit www.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/HAR_NewEngland?pg=entry&fr_id=6884 For more information about Komen New England visit www.komennewengland.org

Reach the Bennington Banner at news@benningtonbanner.com

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