October 3, 2010

Walk for Beauty, Walk for Life

This morning, I participated in Stony Brook's "Walk for Beauty, Walk for Life" fund raiser. The event is an annual 6K walk that is held in the beautiful and historic neighborhoods of Stony Brook.

The registration brochure explains:

Walk for Beauty, Walk for Life began in 1994 as a community effort to raise awareness about breast cancer and to establish a boutique for people with cancer. Since 1996, the Walk for Beauty has supported breast cancer research at Stony Brook University. In 2002, the Walk broadened its scope to include prostate cancer. Proceeds from the 2010 Walk for Beauty, Walk for Life will support breast and prostate cancer research at SBU, as well as provide cancer patients with wigs, prostheses, and other special products. 

The starting line is at the Post Office in the Stony Brook Village Shopping Center. I arrived there at 8:30am for registration and took my place among the thousands of participants that showed up. The autumn morning was crisp and I could feel the cool air nipping at my legs, though the atmosphere was one of joy, making the chill easy to bear. I strolled around watching local politicians giving supportive speeches, volunteers handing out t-shirts and cups of coffee, dance companies doing numbers to get the people ready for the walk. Definitely a scene of happiness and good will.

Soon, the air horn rings out, the ribbon is cut, and the walkers take to the pavement. The route runs through winding streets, passing by houses that date back to as early as the mid-1700s. At almost every corner along the way, volunteers wait to cheer on the walkers and give out water bottles. 

One of the most unusual sights along the way is the Hercules Pavilion at Stony Brook Harbor. This Hercules was the figurehead of the U.S.S. Ohio, built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1820 and dismantled in Greenport in 1884. A huge gazebo has been constructed by the Ward Melville Heritage Organization at the water line to proudly display this antique nautical sculpture. Though, I personally think that Hercules is kind of funny looking. LOL.

About an hour later, I approached the arch of pink and blue balloons that made up the finish line. I was invigorated from the exercise and feeling as though I had done something really great with my Sunday morning. I very much enjoyed taking part in this event, knowing that it was going to an important cause. It is something that I would definitely like to do every year...

"Go, walk through the length
and breadth of the land,
for I am giving it to you."

~Genesis 13:17