Congressional Teams Line Up for Big Race

Posted June 3, 2009 at 3:20pm

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Texas Trailblazers and Sen. Richard Burr’s Kickin’ Asphalt teams will be pounding the pavement at Saturday’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on the National Mall.

Joining them in the 5K run and walk that is one of the most well-known events highlighting the far-reaching impact of breast cancer will be 68 federal agency teams and 50 embassy teams — a record high for the D.C.-area race, said Pam Stevens, D.C. communications and external relations director for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

In addition, Stevens said, 31 Congressional office teams are participating, just two teams away from the record high of 33.

This will be the 20th race held in the District, a milestone marked by a concurrent resolution in Congress this week that honored the race and was sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

Stevens said 75 percent of the total funds raised go toward “addressing breast cancer disparities in the medically underserved— in the D.C. metro area. Last year the Komen Foundation raised $3.7 million that went toward community-based grants in the D.C. region for organizations such as the African Women’s Cancer Awareness Association and the Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic.

Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, said the main recipients of the funds focus mainly on education, awareness and screening.

The cause has already begun to achieve worldwide recognition and cooperation, with races taking place in Italy, Germany, Puerto Rico and Egypt, among others. Breast cancer survivors from 18 countries will be participating in this year’s D.C. race.

Brinker has recently been named Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control by the World Health Organization and said her main objective is to work with the WHO to develop better methods to register individuals with cancer. “I want to work hard with the WHO to develop timelines and objectives for the future,— Brinker said. “Breast cancer doesn’t end at our borders.—

One of the highlights of this year’s event is the involvement of Vice President Joseph Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, who will be acting as honorary co-chairpeople of the D.C. event. Vice presidents have a history of participation in the Race for the Cure, and Brinker said that after a brief hiatus during the Bush administration, she is “grateful that the Bidens have embraced it again with great vigor and enthusiasm.—

Jill Biden and Brinker will be in attendance on race day along with other noteworthy individuals including actress Sarah Chalke and Maggie Rodriguez, anchor of CBS’s “The Early Show.— Opening ceremonies will begin at 7:20 a.m.